The Passion is a television drama serial produced by the BBC and HBO Films in association with Deep Indigo Productions. It tells the story of the last week in the life of Jesus. The serial was first proposed by Peter Fincham in 2006, on the success of the contemporary-set Manchester Passion. Writer Frank Deasy and producer Nigel Stafford-Clark were inspired to make a drama that opened up the story beyond the “vacuum” it is often told in. They did this by expanding the roles of Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas, and exploring the politics of Judea at the time. Deasy and Stafford-Clark were aided by scholar Mark Goodacre, with whom they put together an extensive research manual about the topic.
The part of Jesus is played by Joseph Mawle, who researched the role by reading the Gospels and research papers. Other main roles were played by Paloma Baeza, Ben Daniels, James Nesbitt, David Oyelowo, and Penelope Wilton. It was directed by Michael Offer on location in Morocco from 27 August to 23 October 2007, and broadcast on BBC One in four parts from 16 to 23 March 2008. Its viewing figures ranged from 3.2 million to 4.9 million people, and it received generally positive critical reception.