NOAH’s turning his dust-dry soil under the pitiless heat of a desert sky when a messenger from God suggests he build a boat. Wherever Noah casts his eye he can see no sea.
But this humble farmer, who worries about his four sons and the temptations of the nearby city fleshpots is about to learn a fundamental truth - it never rains but it pours. However, judging by his accent Noah (David Threlfall) should know this, having perhaps learned his boat building skills on the Manchester Ship Canal. But enough of that, this is a Biblical disaster story former EastEnders’ scriptwriter Tony Jordan, has boiled down into a domestic drama about one man and his unshakeable faith – with all the cutbacks the BBC couldn’t afford a great flood, never mind hordes of animals going in two by two, so the Ark’s battle for survival depends on sound effects and viewers’ imagination. That aside, The Ark succeeds thanks to great turns by Threlfall, playing the polar opposite of feckless Frank Gallagher in Shameless, and Joanne Whalley as the wife who supports him in his mind-boggling mission. It’s all very down to earth, even when the seas get a bit choppy.
Acorn, cert 12