SAINTS & STRANGERS is an exciting, faith-oriented, jeopardy-filled two-part TV miniseries from National Geographic about the first year of the settling of Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620 and 1621. The program starts with a preamble. Pilgrim leader William Bradford muses the Pilgrims crossed an ocean for God to build a new life and to worship as they pleased, while the merchant company came for fortune. Flash back to the small group of Pilgrims trying to survive the long journey on the Mayflower to America. On reaching Plymouth, the Pilgrims must find a way to survive while dealing with the sailors, soldiers and adventurers who came with them and the American Indians who live there.
SAINTS & STRANGERS is beautifully produced with a great authenticity that comes from great directing and great acting. The Christian faith of Bradford and the Pilgrims is affirmed in a deep, satisfying way. That said, these are not pristine characters. They are real people with real problems, but they have a real faith in Jesus Christ. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for SAINTS & STRANGERS because of some foul language and intense violence.
SAINTS & STRANGERS is an exciting, faith-oriented, jeopardy-filled two part TV miniseries from National Geographic. It tells the story of the Mayflower and the settling of Plymouth by the Pilgrims, the soldiers, the fortune hunters, and the sailors who arrived in Massachusetts in 1620 on Nov. 11.
The program starts with a preamble where William Bradford muses that the Pilgrims crossed an ocean for God to build a new life, and to worship as they pleased, while the merchant company came for fortune.
Flash back to the small group of Pilgrims trying to survive the long journey on the Mayflower to the New World. The sailors and adventurers have nothing but disdain for them and their faith. The journey takes longer than they expected, so they run out of food and supplies. Some have scurvy, some are malnourished, one falls overboard, and some die from disease. As the leader, Bradford tries to hold them all together with a stunning sermon that God is testing their faith.
When they finally land, it becomes clear the Indians are hostile, and their chances of survival are slim. The sailors refuse to leave the boat, and the soldiers under Miles Standish want to kill the Indians. When they come across an Indian village, they steal some of the Indians’ grain even though Bradford warns them not to do so and tells them they’re stealing from God. When the Indians discover the theft, it creates an intense desire for revenge.
Eventually, the Indian named Squanto enters the picture. His tribe was wiped out by the plague, and he’s made four trips across the ocean as a slave and is now the lapdog of a local tribal leader, Massasoit. Massasoit allows Squanto to live with the colonists, and assigns a brave named Bobbamock to watch Squanto. Squanto tries to be the diplomat, often at the expense of truth. Nobody trusts Squanto except Bradford, who eventually has to defend him from being decapitated by Massasoit.
Massasoit has a smaller tribe and has to pay tribute to several other larger tribes. Massasoit builds a relationship with the colonists so he can fend off the aggressions of the other tribes.
Eventually, it’s the colonists pitted against the united tribes, who want to wipe them out. Will they convince Massasoit to become their friend again? Will they rescue Squanto? Can they survive thousands of bloodthirsty Indians?
SAINTS & STRANGERS is beautifully produced with great authenticity that comes from great directing and great acting. Surprisingly, in an age of political correctness, the Christian faith of William Bradford and the Pilgrims is affirmed in a deep and satisfying way. That said, these are not all pristine characters. They are real people with real problems, but they have a real faith in Jesus Christ, the second person of the one Triune God, who called them to come to America. Others are motivated by greed and envy, but even the Pilgrims have their flaws, which makes them magnificent characters. Eventually, those around them come to respect their faith.
For some reason, the first part of SAINTS & STRANGERS has some very blatant obscenities. This foul language could have been common to that period in history but it also will exclude a more youthful audience. The fact that this language is unnecessary is clear from the second part, which has NO foul language but more intense violence.
Since this is a dramatization of the events, SAINTS & STRANGERS simplifies the storyline in the interest of clear dramatic structure. So, it’s not the whole story of the founding of the Plymouth Colony, it is only an introduction. Even so, SAINTS & STRANGERS is a great introduction to the Christian history of the United States of America and must-see TV.
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