Televising an account of Holy Week for national TV is an interesting exercise in bringing religion into the public sphere without offending either religious communities or those who reject religious faith. Fortunately, the particular genius of the Holy Week story is that it bridges the worlds of Roman Empire and established religion, and critiques both. And who can argue with telling a story (as opposed to presenting belief propositions)?
This BBC production is the most credible account I have ever seen (although as yet only the first two episodes have been screened). It has managed to avoid stereotyping Jesus as some human/divine weirdo, or political revolutionary, or guy with sexual or masochistic hangups, and the real dilemmas faced by Pilate and Caiaphas the High Priest are presented such that if you were Caiaphas, presented with the information he is presented with, you would have to follow his logic to its gruesome conclusion. Pilate's historically-attested brutality is not softened, but he also is not one of those Hollywood baddies who for no apparent reason just want to be bad.
The storyline seems to be following John's Gospel closer than the other accounts. As in John, Jesus has prescient knowledge of what the future holds for him, yet presses ahead nonetheless. This would have been a little weird for me a few years ago, until I read Margaret Barker's 'Temple Theology' in which she argues that the historical Jesus consciously took upon himself the missionary role of the High Priest (as a way of non-violently 'deposing' Caiaphas in the popular imagination) and took it to its logical conclusion by 'becoming God for the people' in the great Atonement sacrifice.
The story challenges all the neat boxes and labels that are often used when discussing religion and secular society.