This is a marvelous production, filmed in Morocco, with wonderful costumes, textiles, and rustic sets, making this telling of King David's life visually believable. It has some standout performances, and Nathaniel Parker, always a favorite of mine, fares well as Israel's second king. As Saul, the casting of Jonathan Pryce is an odd choice (Saul was "a head taller than his people" and there was "not a man more handsome than he") but it works, and he is exceptional as the tormented and demented king.
Gideon Turner is very good as the young David, Dominic Rowan is a great bit of casting as Absalom, and as Joab, Maurice Roeves is terrific. Other notables play the two prophets, Leonard Nimoy, in an appealing and powerful portrayal of Samuel, and Franco Nero as a handsome Nathan.
The photography is lovely (by Raffaele Mertes) and the melodic score by Carlo Siliotto enhances the mood (the final title music is by Ennio Morricone).
The story line picks up at 1 Samuel, Chapter 9, with Saul looking for his father's mules, and proceeds through much of both books of Samuel, often being quite faithful to them. It is interspersed with the occasional Psalm, and writer Larry Gross has blended scripture and dialogue quite effectively. It is interesting to watch this with Bible in hand, to see just how cleverly this has been done.
There are some moving scenes, like David's annointing, and his proposal to Abigail (played by the beautiful Lina Sastri). This is a way above-average film for television. There are a few gory battle scenes that would be too violent for the very young, but otherwise this is an excellent family film for older children, with the complexity of King David making it a fascinating story for discussion and repeated viewings.