Sunday, May 21, 2006

At last, some good da Vinci TV

After shaking my head over the shabby me-too-and-it's-all-true "documentaries" about The daVinci Code on the History Channel and A&E, I was delighted to see something of value on, of all places, the Sci Fi Channel. Good production values, good people, and most importantly, the right attitude. Actually, it's got plenty of attitude.

Called Cracking Da Vinci's Code, it aired May 18, the day before the movie opened, and features such luminaries as the inimitable Amy Welborn; Scott Wenig, Assoc. Prof of Applied Theology at Denver Seminary; Chuck Missler, author of How We Got Our Bible; Jim Garlow, co-author of the book Cracking Da Vinci's Code; Darrell Bock, author of Breaking the da Vinci Code; Erwin Lutzer, author of The da Vinci Deception; Steve Kellmeyer, author of Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code; Sandra Miesel and Carl Olson, authors of The da Vinci Hoax; and Paul Meier, Prof. of Ancient History at Western Michigan University.

Together, they do a fine job of taking Dan Brown's book down hard, exposing the major lies and misrepresentations in authoritative fashion.

Also appearing is an interesting scoundrel named Lewis Perdue, author of The da Vinci Legacy and Daughter of God, two books he penned a decade or more before DVC. Parts of the DVC bear, shall we say, a very, very close resemblance to passages in his books. But of course, Dan Brown says he never read them or heard of them. Never. Nope.

There's also a visit to Rosslyn Chapel, where DVC says a huge Star of David is carved in the floor. A tour guide even pulls up the carpet. No star.

The DVD appears to be available at ShopNetDaily. There, it's confusingly titled Breaking the da Vinci Code, and is billed as an edited version of another production, The da Vinci Code Deception. Amazon has it, too, without the reference to the longer version. Odd. Beware a similarly-titled DVD, Cracking the da Vinci Code; this is different.

Me, I'd rather read the books this production is based on. But a whole lot of people don't read anything serious, so I'm glad this show is out there. I guess things haven't changed much, come to think of it, since Boss Tweed complained about Thomas Nast's political cartoons of him: "I know my constituents can't read. But dammit, they can see pictures!"