From the people who created the made-for-TV special-effects extravaganzas "Merlin" and "Arabian Nights" comes "In the Beginning", the story about the travels and travails of the tribe of Abraham (Martin Landau). Set around the year 2000 B.C., the narrative opens with "Genesis 12," wherein the Lord has kicked Abraham and company out of their country to a land of milk and honey to be named later. In order to keep up the morale of his followers while on the road, Abraham gives a sermon that sums up God's creation of the universe. By illustrating this sermon with stock footage and special-effects shots, the producers are obviously making a connection between sermons of old and popular entertainments of today. From there, the twists and turns of the Old Testament are treated like a soap opera. Family dramas take center stage, whether it's God testing Abraham by telling him to kill his son in sacrifice, Joseph (famous for his amazing Technicolor dream coat) gaining power in Egypt after being sold to slave traders by his brothers, or one of the many other stories of brothers fighting (Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, etc.). The events that have been visualized in movies before (the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, to name but two) pale in comparison to their earlier incarnations, but the bigger picture is that "In the Beginning" works best as the Bible for beginners. "--Andy Spletzer"