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Young David, King Saul, Goliath and their friends are meeting again in a new television series.
Kings, which will bring the biblical drama into a contemporary setting with a dash of sci-fi, opens with a two-hour premiere on the US's NBC network at 8 p.m. on Sunday. Subsequent weekly programs will start March 22.
Creator and executive producer Michael Green, whose mother is Israeli, said the idea for the show came to him several years ago during a trip to Jerusalem. He wrote the pilot while working on NBC's Heroes. Kings is set in the present in a kingdom called Gilboa, whose opulent capital, Shiloh, resembles a much cleaner New York and is ruled by a power-suited King Silas Benjamin, played by Ian McShane. When the king's son, Jack, is taken hostage by an enemy army, he is saved by a young soldier named David Shepherd, played by Australian actor Chris Egan, who becomes an immediate media favorite.
Green wrote the pilot halfway through the Bush administration, and viewers may see some political resemblances in the power struggles in King Benjamin's court, including the behind-the-scenes influence of powerful corporations and the anticipated change from the old to the new king. Green warns, however, against taking the perceived allegory too literally.