Steve Shill’s 2010 miniseries Ben Hur was screened as a single epic yesterday on British TV, starring The Vampire Diaries‘ Joseph Morgan as the titular vengeful hero. It’s loosely based on Lew Wallace’s novel, which pays homage to The Count of Monte Cristo by having the same plot. Having Romans in it, therefore, it’s basically Gladiator.
Though Morgan is fine as the wronged Jewish merchant, it’s Stephen Campbell Moore’s performance as Messala that kept me spellbound for its three-and-a-half hour running time.
As for Hugh Bonneville as Pontius Pilate, I’d never heard of the actor before his little scandal shenanigans earlier in the year. If he hadn’t taken out the famous superinjunction, I’d probably remain in blissful ignorance, so his actions backfired a little there. He’s good enough in this, though.