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DaVinci Code Study Resources Page - 100 Books & Documentaries
Below is a listing of 100 nonfiction books and documentaries for anyone wanting to study the ‘holy blood, holy grail’ field beyond the framework of TDVC.
I've discussed some of these works in previous blog entries. In his ongoing defense against a plagiarism suit (the case has now gone to appeal), brought by two co-authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Dan Brown in his witness statement cited a number of other nonfiction books as his sources of inspiration. I did a blog entry on these ('The Books Behind The Da Vinci Code'), together with the judge’s comments on what he thought Brown actually took from which source. Brown had actually mentioned three of these other works, along with HBHG, in the novel itself (when the duo visit Teabing’s library). He said in his statements the teacher in him (he used to teach English) wants people to pursue further reading on the subjects of his novels. I also did a roundup of ‘rearguard action‘ books recommended on a church-run website as a counter to TDVC arguments (‘The DaVinci Book Boom’), and an item on how the film studio was encouraging churches to engage in such controversy ('The Real Da Vinci Conspiracy'). I also wrote a lengthy analysis of the evolution of the nonfiction-mystery investigative books genre of which HBHG is an example, as a ‘film-friendly’ basis for fictional mysteries like TDVC ('The Da Vinci Formula').
However, the genre has now expanded from what has been called the "battle of the books" to audiovisual media with a recent cycle of documentaries. The UK TV channels each did one, and I reviewed the 3 main ones on my blog (links in the relevant entries below) as mass-media events. Some of these shows were also issued as DVDs and there is a larger cycle of non-broadcast DVDs, some of these being book tie-ins. There are also now a few online videos and CD-ROMs [links included below].
  The ‘holy blood, holy grail’ field has in fact also been a TV-documentary genre for several decades, going back to the 1970s BBC Chronicle documentaries that led to HBHG, and many of the subsequent works plainly spark off each other. And long before the television era, there was a school of thought called Liberal Christianity producing ‘historical Jesus’ works since the 19th C. (Albert Schweitzer's Quest For The Historical Jesus, published exactly a century ago, outlines this earlier search.) However when my recent remark on my blog there were now a good hundred books, documentaries, and websites devoted to the subject prompted surprise from an acquaintance, I realised many people may still not be aware of the extent of this field or genre. And trying to cover the flow of these works piecemeal via blog entries, as indicated above, is not a very accessible approach.
So below is a listing of 50 nonfiction books and 50 documentaries, which I hope indicates the range of research and diversity of interpretations out there. I decided not to list websites per se as few of these have as much info as a book or even a documentary; they tend to be either offshoots of books or documentaries, or standalone sites whose content changes, and thus best covered topically within the blog itself. As it is, some titles on the list overlap as a number of the DVDs and recent books are companions.
A beginner to the field might find TDVC a case of TMI (perhaps culture shock would be a better term), but there’s in fact a lot more to this field in terms of both ideas and facts than Brown’s thriller will ever tell you - and of what it does tell you, almost every detail is wrong, as almost any of the works below will quickly document. I’ve annotated each with a brief comment as to its content or why it’s included.
     
The Books
The 50 titles listed below are all English-language books, despite someone pointing out that because many of the events related to the Templars etc took place in France much key research is done there, drawing on French-language documents. However since trying, in my reckless youth, to teach myself French to try to read first Sartre age 16, and later on, texts of old French Arthurian Romances, I’ve decided to stick within my limitations. A few books listed are actually translations, and this is indicated.
Books are listed alphabetically by author or editor surname. I’ve given the year of publication after the title to indicate where the book fits into the genre chronologically, but have omitted the publisher unless they are hard to find on Google or Amazon.
To obtain details on any of the others, below are the relevant Amazon, Google, and IMDB [Int'l Movie Database] links.

The Documentaries
The 50 titles listed below are works which have been made available via TV broadcast, or sold in DVD, home-video or CD-ROM format. I’ve indicated, just before the date, if a work was made for broadcast-TV or just published as a DVD – though some TV docu’s are also sold as DVDs. I haven’t indicated nationality, even though this can determine whether the DVD is available in Region 1 [USA] or 2 [UK/Europe]. This is for several reasons - the TV shows tend to be co-productions, many people have multi-regional players, and you can order them online. I’ve not listed videos or DVDs only available as part of a church-group discussion package, but note that a number of the DVD-only releases are companions to nonfiction books. I’ve added a descriptive comment where I could, taken from online sources if I couldn’t view the work myself. I’ve tried to sort out the confusion over titles (some older items were not only retitled but re-edited as DVC tie-ins, while others have a double name, the name of the series being used as a prefix unless the work is marketed without it). I’ve cross-referenced known retitlings with qv [quod vide, Latin for ‘which see’]. However some productions are marketed under more than one title, or have virtually the same title as different works, so if anyone encounters an error, please email me, and I’ll try to fix it.
Amazon UK | Google [UK] | IMDB Amazon UK | Google [UK] | IMDB 

Anonymous
The Quest Of The Holy Grail (c1220)
Anonymous
Penguin Classics, 1969 translated by P.M. Matarosso
This translation of the ‘Vulgate Quest’ – Vulgate meaning a prose rendition rather than the original Old French verse Romance – is the most accessible early version of the Grail Quest.

Anonymous
The Mabinogion (12th C?)
Penguin Classics 1976 translated by Jeffrey Gantz
The Mabinogion is the (mistranslated) title of a key source work for the study of Celtic British literature and Arthurian legend: a mediaeval-Welsh codex comprising 12 items: prose expansions of ‘Triads Of Britain’ verses relating to the mythological Mabinogi dynasty, compiled folk-tales, and Welsh adaptations of Norman-French Romances.

Ashe
King Arthur's Avalon: The Story Of Glastonbury (1958)
Geoffrey Ashe
A pioneering history of the site, covering the development of the legends of Joseph of Arimatheia and Arthur along with a political history of the rise and fall of the Celtic Church Of Britain.

Baigent & Leigh
The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception (1991)
Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
Critique of church-oriented scholarship in the translation of the scrolls, culminating in an alternative interpretation.

Baigent & Leigh
The Temple And The Lodge (1991)
by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
The 2nd followup to HBHG: here, the Templar survivors establish themselves in Scottish Freemasonry and from there influence the American Revolution. (This last part is reportedly the theme of Brown’s TDVC followup.)

Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln
The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail (1982; US version Holy Blood, Holy Grail 1983; Illustrated Edition 2005)
Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln
The bestseller Dan Brown claimed he had never heard of, the book that launched the ‘holy blood, holy grail’ publishing genre.

Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln
The Messianic Legacy (1986)
Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln
The trio’s followup to HBHG, with more speculation on the possible activities and influence of the shadowy 'Priory of Sion'.

Barber & Pykett
Journey To Avalon (1993)
Chris Barber & David Pykett
An early attempt to trace a dynastic link between Joseph of Arimatheia et al, Glastonbury, and identify the ‘real’ Arthur.

Barber, R.
The Holy Grail: Imagination And Belief (2004)
Richard Barber
A leading Arthurian scholar explains how it’s not just a symbol of a blood-line, but many things to many people.

Benham
The Avalonians (1993; rev. 2006)
Patrick Benham
Gothic Image (Glastonbury)
A ‘collective biography’ of various writers, artists etc, such as Dion Fortune [qv], who were drawn to Glastonbury and helped establish it as England’s mystical centre.

Burstein
Secrets Of The Code: The Unauthorized Guide To The Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code (2004)
Daniel Burstein (Editor)
An anthology of mainly scholarly works, this became a key sourcebook compiling a range of views on Dan Brown’s novel before the DVC boom began.

Campbell
The Hero With A Thousand Faces (1949)
Joseph Campbell
Still in print, this is an admitted influence on writers interested in the formula behind timeless heroic myths, from George Lucas to Dan Brown.

Collins
Twenty-First Century Grail: The Quest For A Legend (2004)
Andrew Collins
If you haven’t read any ‘psychic questing’ books by Andrew Collins or others, where treasures are found by means of interpreting dreams and visions, this is the most relevant here.

Cox
Cracking The Da Vinci Code: An A to Z Guide To The Facts Behind The Fiction (2004)
Simon Cox
This A-Z guide by the ex-editor of Phenomena magazine (he resigned to write this), who also presents the DVD version, bills itself as the first such DVC ‘companion.’

de Sède & Kersey
The Accursed Treasure Of Rennes-le-Château (1967; 2001)
Gérard de Sède (translated and adapted by Bill Kersey)
English translation-adaptation of a 1967 book, Le Trésor Maudit, based on a manuscript, L'Or de Rennes by Priory Of Sion pretender Pierre Plantard (then an acquaintance), which in turn led to Henry Lincoln's local researches, and from there to HBHG - thus kick-starting the genre.

Eller
The Myth Of Matriarchal Prehistory : Why An Invented Past Will Not Give Women a Future (2001)
Cynthia Eller
The controversial counterblast to the (DVC-backed) idea of a pre-Christian matriarchical society or matrilinear dynasty based on goddess worship.

Fortune
Glastonbury: Avalon Of The Heart (1934; repr 2000)
Dion Fortune
Red Wheel/Weiser Books
“There are many different roads leading to our English Jerusalem ….” begins the occultist Dion Fortune in her guide to Glastonbury as a legendary and mystical centre – the Avalon of ‘the Graal’ and the Holy Chalice, of the Keltic Saints, and gateway to the Celtic Otherworld.

Gardner
Bloodline Of The Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage Of Jesus Revealed (1996, revised 2000)
Laurence Gardner
MediaQuest Hardcover HC (also now an e-book, CDROM etc)
This now-updated bestseller is characterised by Gardner’s uniquely confident, authoritative prose delivery (no ifs or maybes here), though where he gets this info is not always clear – raising the implication, does he have access to secret archives? (Though his main modern print source seems to be Thiering, he has a bio full of obscure aristocratic positions, which may be from his link with a current pretender to the Jacobite throne who wrote the Foreword.)

Graves
The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar Of Poetic Myth (1948, rev 1966)
Robert Graves
Another book for lovers of historical codes, this is a massive compendium of ideas about the ‘sacred feminine’ as a perennial poetic theme, written by a poet and mythographer, and author of the novels I, Claudius and King Jesus.

Haag
The Rough Guide To The Da Vinci Code - An Unauthorised Guide (2004; 2006)
Eds. Michael Haag, Veronica Haag, with James McConnachie
Rough Guides
Updated 2nd edition with info about the film adaptation.

Harpur
The Pagan Christ: Rediscovering The Lost Light (2004)
Tom Harpur
Thomas Allen (Toronto)
Argues Christ was a non-historical figure - a universal mythic archetype.

Kersten & Gruber
The Jesus Conspiracy: The Turin Shroud And The Truth About The Resurrection (German original 1992; translation 1994)
by Holger Kersten & Elmar R Gruber
Element Books
Two German scholars argue the Turin Shroud is not a mediaeval fake but dates from the Biblical era, and that the testing of it was interfered with by church scholars, since the blood-flows on it show Jesus must have survived the crucifixion.

Knight & Lomas
The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons And The Discovery Of The Secret Scrolls Of Jesus (1997)
Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas
Written by a pair of Freemasons, this is another ‘standard’ work, cited by Brown, tracing the origins of Freemasonry to the Knights Templar, etc. and from there back to those scrolls under the Temple.

Knight & Lomas
The Second Messiah: Templars, The Turin Shroud And The Great Secret Of Freemasonry (2001)
Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas
Argues the Turin Shroud shows martyred Templar leader Jacques de Molay - “Without doubt, the last Templars and the founders of Freemasonry must have considered Jacques de Molay to be the Second Messiah.”

Laidler
The Head of God - The Lost Treasure Of The Templars (1998)
Keith Laidler
Argues the idol the Templars worshipped was really the preserved head of Christ.

Laidler
The Divine Deception (2000)
Keith Laidler
Followup to above, arguing the same preserved head was used to create the Shroud Of Turin forgery as a Templar revenge.

Loomis
Celtic Myth And Arthurian Romance (1927)
Roger Sherman Loomis
Academy Chicago Publishers (1994)
Columbia University Professor RSL documents how the Arthurian Romances adapted pagan Celtic myths.

Loomis
The Grail: From Celtic Myth To Christian Symbol (1963)
Roger Sherman Loomis
Professor Loomis traces the development of the grail motif from pagan to church-approved motif.

Markale
The Church Of Mary Magdalene: The Sacred Feminine And The Church Of Rennes-le-Château (2004)
Jean Markale (translated from French)
The Celtic-Gallic interpretation, from France’s most controversial writer on all things Celtic. (He calls conventional history “the intellectual masturbation of academic nitpickers.”)

Michell
The Traveller's Guide To Sacred England: A Guide To The Legends, Lore And Landscape Of England's Sacred Places (2003)
John Michell
Gothic Image Publications
DIY guide by trend-setting ‘New Age’ writer for exploring Christian and pagan sites around England.

Olson & Miesel
The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing The Errors In The Da Vinci Code (2004)
by Carl Olson with Sandra Miesel
An example of the cycle of the US churches' DVC ‘response’ books which explain where Dan Brown went astray. This one, by two Catholic journalists, enumerates a series of charges (‘#4: It promotes a radical feminist, neo-gnostic agenda’) and proceeds to attack not only DVC but Brown’s acknowledged sources – Starbird, Templar Revelation, and HBHG.

Paigels
The Gnostic Gospels (1980)
Dr. Elaine Paigels
Cited by Dan Brown in his court evidence as a source, an introduction to the various non-canonical texts such as The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, of interest for the different viewpoint on the role of women.

Palmer
The Spiritual Traveler: The Guide to Sacred Sites and Pilgrim Routes in Britain (2000)
By Martin & Nigel Palmer
Another guidebook to DIY pilgrimages and exploration of pagan and early Christian sites.

Patton & Mackness
Web of Gold: The Secret History Of Sacred Treasures (2000)
Guy Patton & Robin Mackness
This argues that the ‘treasure’ of Sauniere and Rennes-le-Chateau was not religious documentation as HBHG claimed, but clues to unimaginable amounts of gold taken from the Temple of Jerusalem to Rome, and then brought here after the Visigoths’ sack of Rome -- some of which was used to establish anti-Nazi and other secret political groups, and some of which remains (co-author Mackness was jailed in ’81 for gold smuggling).

Phillips
The Virgin Mary Conspiracy (2005) (original title The Marian Conspiracy)
Graham Phillips
A Vatican priest suggests to GP a new take on the real meaning of the Grail - he follows in the footsteps of a priest sent to Britain to check on stories Mary had a tomb there, and (as this would’ve undermined the doctrine of the Assumption) was ordered to keep silent on what he found.

Picknett & Prince
The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ (1997;10th anniv. edition spg 2007)
Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince
Cited by Dan Brown in his court evidence as a major source for TDVC.

Picknett & Prince
The Sion Revelation (2006)
by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince
An exploration of the French European-federalist (and fascist) politics behind the Priory Of Sion which appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the postwar era, claiming the most ancient origins, but with a modern (and ongoing) political agenda.

Putnam & Wood
The Treasure Of Rennes-le-Château - A Mystery Solved (2003; revised pbk 2005)
Bill Putnam and John Edwin Wood
A favourite of sceptics, this work uses methods such as statistical analysis to undermine Henry Lincoln’s theory of sacred geometry there.

Ralls & Robertson
The Quest For The Celtic Key (2002)
Dr Karen Ralls and Ian Robertson
Luath Press (Edinburgh)
A Scottish academic and local historian outline Scotland’s Celtic pagan and Christian heritage.

Robinson
Born in Blood: Lost Secrets of Freemasonry (1990)
John J. Robinson
Cited by Dan Brown as a source of inspiration. ‘Aiming to solve the last secrets of Freemasonry, this book uncovers the mysterious words, symbols and rituals whose meanings have been lost for centuries, even to Freemasons themselves. ‘

Rogak
The Man Behind 'The Da Vinci Code': An Unauthorized Biography of Dan Brown, with Supplement (2005)
Lisa Rogak
The ‘only biography available of Dan Brown,’ published shortly before the general release of the DVC movie version.

Schonfield
The Passover Plot: A New Interpretation of the Life and Death of Jesus (1965; 40th anniv edn 2005)
Hugh Schonfield
‘Did Jesus orchestrate his public life and subsequent crucifixion and disappearance from the tomb?’ British Bible scholar and Pulitzer Prize nominee Dr Schonfield argues Jesus was a radical political figure and the Crucifixion a staged event – which went horribly wrong.

Starbird
The Woman With The Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen And The Holy Grail (1993)
Margaret Starbird
One of Dan Brown’s principal cited sources, on Mary Magdalene and child fleeing to southern France.

Starbird
The Goddess In The Gospels: Reclaiming The Sacred Feminine (1998)
Margaret Starbird
A followup on the way the ‘sacred feminine’s survived in the Gospels – again, one of the admitted sources for TDVC.

Tabor
The Jesus Dynasty (2006)
James D. Tabor
Simon & Schuster
Following on his discovery of what many now think was Jesus' family tomb, achaeologist and scholar Dr Tabor attempts answers to questions about the historical Jesus and his family, from who his real father might have been (a Roman soldier?) to the fate of his brother James after the post-crucifixion takeover of Christianity by Paul.

Thiering
Jesus The Man: A New Interpretation From The Dead Sea Scrolls, Decoding The Real Story Of Jesus And Mary Magdalene (1992)
Dr Barbara Thiering
The work of this elderly Australian academic, using the ‘Pesher Code’ to reintrepret the Gospels more humanistically, has been a source of inspiration for Laurence Gardner, Dan Brown and others.

Thomas
Christian Celts: Messages And Images (1998)
Charles Thomas
Tempus (UK)
If you thought the codes in TDVC were too easy, and are interested in British heritage, this is the book for you. Prof. Charles Thomas, the Sherlock Holmes of Celtic Christian memorial inscriptions, argues the existence of “ingenious Celtic codes” hidden in gravestone dedications etc.

Treharne
The Glastonbury Legends: Joseph Of Arimathea, The Holy Grail And King Arthur
Treharne, R. F.
Cresset 1967; Abacus 1975
This paperback compilation of early folk legends not otherwise available may now be itself becoming hard to find.

Weston
From Ritual To Romance (1957; repr Dover 1997)
Weston, Jesse L.
An influential work on the evolution of the Grail as a cultural symbol.

Whitehead
Guardian Of The Grail: A New Light On The Arthurian Legend (1959)
John Whitehead
Jarrolds, 1959; Barnes & Noble, 1993
An early attempt to rationalise Arthurian-Romance legends about the Grail and the Waste Land in the context of real events in post-Roman central southern England.

Wilson
Jesus: A Life (1992)
A.N. Wilson
Leading biographer Wilson attempts a life of Christ compatible with modern secular thinking, rationalising the miracles etc. as real events later mythologised for propaganda purposes.

 


Behind The Mysteries: Unlocking Da Vinci's Code - The Full Story (TV 2004)
ABC News Productions / National Geographic Channel 2004; Written & Presented by Elizabeth Vargas
Apparently this is an updated version of an earlier ABC-TV documentary filmed in France with a range of experts being interviewed, from Dan Brown to Elaine Pagels, Margaret Starbird, Rev Robin Griffith-Jones, Henry Lincoln, Umberto Eco, Andrew Sinclair etc., plus “uncredited contributions by various inhabitants from the village of Rennes-le-Château and the town of Saintes-Maries de la Mer.” This may be an updated version of Unlocking Da Vinci's Code [qv].

Beyond The Da Vinci Code – see updated version Revealed...The Da Vinci Code Myth

Chronicle (TV 1972, 1974, 1979)
BBC TV series [1968-]
This influential history and archaeology series led directly to the writing of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. It produced 3 documentary films outlining the theories of Henry Lincoln about Rennes le Chateau: 'The Lost Treasure Of Jerusalem?' (1972), 'The Priest, The Painter And The Devil' (1974), 'The Shadow Of The Templars' (1979). Not sold on DVD but key parts of these, including the 1979 interview with Pierre Plantard, feature in many recent documentaries from the 1996 Timewatch expose onwards.

Conspiracies On Trial: The Da Vinci Code (TV 2005)
Discovery Channel
Interviewees include Sister Wendy Beckett, Jean-Luc Chaumeil, and Michael Baigent.

Cracking The Da Vinci Code (DVD 2005)
Odeon Entertainment 90 mins *
A book tie-in DVD (‘the official DVD of this bestseller’), presented by author Simon Cox. Interviewees include Lynn Picknett.
* There seems to be a longer, double DVD version also available.

Da Vinci - Tracking The Code (DVD 2006)
Delta Music Plc 80 mins
“Travel from the Louvre Museum in Paris to Chateau de Villette in central France, then on to Westminster Abbey and Temple Church in London and on to the Rosslyn Chapel in Edinburgh and unravel the secrets in the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci.” (Sounds as if it’s following the DVC story route, though the blurb doesn’t say what Leonardo was doing in Edinburgh.)

The Da Vinci Code – Bloodlines (TV 2006)
History Channel 'Digging For The Truth' series; Presented by Josh Bernstein
Reportedly includes DNA testing of the bones of a Merovingian Queen for possible mid-Eastern origin.

The Da Vinci Code - The Greatest Story Ever Sold (TV 2006)
BBC Bristol for BBC4 'Time Shift' series 60 mins
Analysis of the formula that made the book so successful - "exactly how Brown used myths to create an intoxicating potion with a whiff of plausibility" (Radio Times). Interviewees include HBHG co-author Richard Leigh; ecclesiastical historian Jonathan Riley-Smith, Guardian columnist David Aaronovitch, Opus Dei UK Director Jack Valero, Times Religion Correspondent Ruth Gledhill, Master of the Temple Church Robin Griffith-Jones, art critic Brian Sewell, historical novelist Sarah Dunant.

The Da Vinci Code Decoded (DVD 2004)
The Disinformation Company 180 mins / 360 minutes*
Interviewees include Dan Brown, Dan Burstein (editor of the scholarly anthology Secrets Of The Code), Henry Lincoln, Martin Lunn (The Da Vinci Code Decoded) Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince (The Templar Revelations), Dr. Karen Ralls (The Templars And The Grail) Dr. James Robinson (The Nag Hammadi Library), and Margaret Starbird (The Woman With The Alabaster Jar).
* Also available as a double DVD box set, with ‘bonus chapters’ on John the Baptist, Jesus, The Gnostic Gospels, The Grail, and Tarot.

The Da Vinci Code Myth (TV 2005)
Channel 5 / History Channel
Each major TV channel did a DVC documentary, and Channel 5’s examines TDVC as "a new interpretation of Christianity" with re-enacted flashback scenes of Biblical era as well as the usual round of interviews. We get Lynn Picknett on how the Church has lied to us for 2000 years, Bible scholar Dan Burstein on the Gnostic Gospels, HBHG co-author Richard Leigh on the Merovingians, Burstein on Pierre Plantard et al as right-wing intellectuals trying to create modern political myths, art critic Brian Sewell on the whole thing as a modern obsession where people see what they want, with the ‘Last Supper’ setup explained. Picknett, Burstein and Leigh tell us about the Templars, the 'Templar' link to Rosslyn Chapel link being slighted, with London’s Temple Church effigies used for a re-enactment with the 'Priory of Sion’ shown as cowled monks. After dismissing the novel's claims to fact as nonsense, the last section explains the appeal of the novel as a clever packaging-up of existing conspiracy theories.

The Da Vinci Code Tour (DVD 2006 )
Ilc Pink
On the work of Leonardo da Vinci, this seems, from its cover on Amazon, to be the UK version of Laura McKenzie's Da Vinci Code Tour [qv]

The Da Vinci Code: Where It All Began (DVD 2006)
Bfs Entertainment Georges Combe 124 mins
The title refers to Rennes le Chateau as the focus of this documentary.

Da Vinci Declassified (TV 2005)
Learning Channel
Interviewees include Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince, David Barrett, Henry Lincoln, Sharan Newman, Bill Putnam, Robert Brydon.

The Da Vinci Project: Seeking The Truth (DVD 2006)
Scanbox Entertainment UK 45 or 56 mins
Part of a multimedia package (DVD, book and CD), with the DVD evidently shot in ‘scope widescreen.

Da Vinci's Code / Da Vinci's Code Revealed * (TV / DVD 2006)
National Geographic Television 'Is It Real?' series 52 mins
Interviewees include Jean-Luc Chaumeil, Professor Martin Kemp, authors Richard Leigh, Sharan Newman, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince.
* Both titles seem to be used. A change of title may have occurred to avoid confusion with with the 3-DVD ‘Ultimate Collection - Da Vinci's Code’ box set from ILC in the UK and Highland Entertainment in the US, made up of Laura McKenzie's Da Vinci Code Tour [qv], Unlocking Da Vinci's Code [qv], and The Secret Life Of Leonard da Vinci. Also neither of these should be confused with the similarly titled The Da Vinci Code Revealed - Know The Truth, a 90-min video produced by the US Watchman Fellowship.

The DaVinci Code Movie Special (TV 2006)
Sony Pictures Presented by Mark Durden Smith 25 mins
Opening on London's Thames-side, this is the sort of familiar ‘behind-the-scenes’ docu which is really a promo, shown on the eve of a film’s release. It's the screen equivalent of a newspaper advertorial - an extended advert disguised as editorial content – so there are teaser clips from the film, glimpses of filming on location, and the actors praising the director or the project, with Hanks saying making the film was "one fabulous vacation adventure moment after the next".

Decoding Da Vinci (TV / DVD 2006)
Channel 4/ More-4 TV series Presented by Dan Rivers 152 mins
Also viewable online here.
A three part series: I Secret Societies, II The Sacred Feminine, III Codes and Symbols. “Dan penetrates the Freemasons, revealing for the first time on television just what the organisation's initiation rites involve. He pursues the Knights Templar and their present day descendants in Hertfordshire. In Rome he meets the head of a little known organisation which claims to be nothing less than a country and he questions members of a genuinely secret body which claims to have vetted Tony Blair before he become Prime Minister.” (The publicity as usual overstates the case - as an investigative journalist, Rivers is more penetrated than penetrating, happy to take the Freemasons' word they are harmless, despite their evasivenes and putting him through an intimidating initiation oath, and an interview with author Chris Mullin MP, who headed the Commons inquiry into Masonry.)

Did Jesus Die? (TV 2006)
BBC Four; Narrated by Bernard Hill
Interviewees include Elaine Pagels, Richard Andrews. Speculates on theory Jesus survived crucifixion and went to India or southern France.

Exploring The Da Vinci Code (DVD 2005)
Rykodisc 123 mins Presented by Henry Lincoln
A retitling/repackaging of the two hour documentary video/DVD Henry Lincoln's Guide To Rennes-le-Château, from the producer of Origins Of The Da Vinci Code.

Exposing The Da Vinci Code (DVD 2006)
Int. Licensing And Copyright Ltd. Narrator Paul Sharrett 60 mins
NY Times review: ‘The film explores how the book may be portraying an untrue and unflattering image of the Catholic church.’

The French Megaliths, Blue Apples (DVD-R,* no date)
CustomFlix 41 mins
The mystery of Rennes-le-Château’s megalithic ruins as one a lot older than Christianity (references to 'The Gates of Atlantis' and the ancient Phoenicians etc.)
* An ‘amateur’ production sold as a DVD-R, a version of this is available also for download here.

From Jesus to Christ - The First Christians (TV 1998 / DVD 2004)
Paramount / PBS 'Frontline' series 4 x 1 hrs [240 mins]
A series made by the US Public Broadcasting System using re-enactment scenes, by the director who made the famous 1996 BBC 'Timewatch' expose. (See Timewatch: The History Of A Mystery .)

The Grail Trail: In Pursuit Of The Da Vinci Code (TV 2005)
Granada / ITV Narrated by Caroline Quentin approx 50 mins
Three young people travel to interview experts at different locations: Chateau Villette and Lyn Picknett, St Sulpice Church, an English forest and folklore professor Ronald Hutton, ‘The Last Supper’ in Milan and a Leonardo expert, Rome and a young Opus Dei rep, Roslyn Chapel and Nigel Bryant, author of Legend Of The Grail.

In Search of History: The Holy Grail (TV 2005)
History Channel 50 mins
Interviewees include Caitlin and John Matthews, and Laurence Gardner. “A revised version of the documentary The Quest for the Holy Grail, being part of The History Channel's Ancient Mysteries series, shown in August 1997.”

In Search Of The Holy Grail (TV 2003)
Learning Channel/Discovery Communications/New York Times
Filmed in various locations: Jerusalem, Glastonbury, Rosllyn etc. with interviewees including Andrew Sinclair and Michael Baigent.

Investigating History: The Holy Grail (TV 2004)
History Channel Presented by Bill Kurtis
Filmed at Rennes-le-Château. Interviewees include Michael Baigent.

Jesus, Mary And Da Vinci (TV 2003)
ABC TV News Productions Presented and Written by Elizabeth Vargas
A ‘special’ on ‘whether Jesus married Mary Magdalene.’ Interviewees include writers Dan Brown; Henry Lincoln; Andrew Sinclair; Umberto Eco Margaret Starbird, and various theology PhDs including the Rev Robin Griffith-Jones and Elaine Pagels.

Laura McKenzie's Da Vinci Code Tour (DVD 2006)
Highland Ent. 60 mins
Note: This seems to be the same work as The Da Vinci Code Tour, qv.

Legend Detectives: The Mystery Of Rennes-le-Château (TV 2005)
Discovery Channel TV Produced and Directed by Michael Hutchinson
The production credits indicate a number of French interviewees (which is unusual for English-language productions here).

Legend Hunters: The Holy Grail - The Real Story (TV 2003)
Discovery Travel Channel Producer Paul Compton
Evidently a US TV-series pilot-episode. With Henry Lincoln, Andrew Collins, Graham Phillips and others.

Legend Of The Holy Grail (DVD 2006)
Eureka Entertainment Ltd 456 mins
This two disc set explores the mystery of the Grail over the centuries, and attempts to establish the truth from the fiction, from Arthurian times, the Knights Templar and Adolf Hitler in the Second World War.

Man Behind The Da Vinci Code: Revealed, The - see Revealed... The Man Behind The Da Vinci Code

Odyssey in Rome (* 2005)
Filmmakers Entertainment Directed By Alex Grazioli
Behind-the-scenes Italian documentary on the making of Abel Ferrara's award-winning film Mary (about personal crises in the lives of the star and crew of a just-completed drama about Mary Magdalene).
* A cinema rather than a TV docu or a DVD production, with a Quicktime trailer online here.

Opus Dei & The Da Vinci Code (TV/DVD 2005)
Bfs Entertainment / Channel Four 120 mins
Issued back-to-back on DVD with The Da Vinci Code: Where It All Began [qv]

Origins Of The Da Vinci Code (DVD 2005)
The Disinformation Company / Rykodisc 170 mins
An ‘in-depth study of Henry Lincoln's story and the sacred geometry of Rennes-le-Chateau and Bornholm’. Apparently this covers not only the ‘geometrical anomalies’ Lincoln claims around Rennes-le-Chateau, but others on a Baltic isle he recently co-authored a book about. Review indicates widescreen filming and special-effects map-graphics to show the geometrical theory.

Quest for the Holy Grail, The - see In Search of History: The Holy Grail, q.v.

The Real Da Vinci Code (TV 2005 / DVD 2006)
Channel Four, Presented by Tony Robinson
2 hrs (shown in some countries in 2 x 1 hr parts)
Another ‘investigation’ documentary which goes from one location and one expert after another, dismissing each claim as a cue to move on, until there is nothing left at the end of the trail except the presenter’s own idea. For details, see my writeup of it as an armchair-travel event, here.

Rennes-le-Chateau (CD-ROM 2003-05)
Atelier Empreinte
CD-ROM, in English and French versions, with 18 AVI-format video sequences and 450 photos and documents, sold online by Rennes-le-Chateau Bookshop.

Revealed... The Da Vinci Code Myth (TV/ DVD 2005)
Channel Five TV Narrated by Mark Halliley
With Lynn Picknett, Dan Burstein, Margaret Starbird, Dr Karen Ralls, Richard Leigh, Jean-Luc Chaumeil, Brian Sewell etc.
Reportedly an updated British version of the 1997 History Channel documentary Beyond The Da Vinci Code. The blurb for the original claimed it examines ‘how much truth there was behind this work of fiction‘ – apparently this includes the 4 nonfiction books the novel cites as well as his ‘Fact’ claim. Thus it covers Rosslyn, the Templars, the Gnostic Gospels, Les Dossiers Secrets, Da Vinci, Opus Dei, and of course “the Priory of Scion” (sic). Various ‘experts in religion and art’ are interviewed, including Richard Leigh, Dr Karen Ralls, Dan Burstein, Margaret Starbird, and Plantard debunker Jean-Luc Chaumeil.

Revealed... The Man Behind The Da Vinci Code (TV 2006)
Channel Five Narrated by John Shrapnel
Interviewees include Henry Lincoln, Sharan Newman, Erling Haagensen.
I’m assuming this is the same as Channel Five’s The Man Behind The Da Vinci Code: Revealed, on the theories of Henry Lincoln, re ‘sacred pentagonal patterns’ in France and the Baltic.

Richard Hammond And The Holy Grail (TV 2006)
BBC One Presented by Richard Hammond
Interviewees include the Reverend Robin Griffith-Jones, Geoffrey Ashe, Richard Barber, and Simon Cox. (As this came from the BBC and was getting a lot of press coverage, I reviewed it on the blog, here. )

The Rosslyn Enigma (DVD 2006)
VisitScotland / Scottish Screen
This is the DVD of a £30,000 promotional documentary shown at trade fairs across North America, with Flash trailer online here.

The Secret Bible: Knights Templar - Warriors of God (TV 2006)
National Geographic Channel Narrated by Enn Reitel
Interviewees include Timothy Wallace-Murphy, Dr Karen Ralls, Reverend Robin Griffith-Jones.

Secret of the Holy Grail (DVD 2005)
Bfs Entertainment [USA] 146 minutes
A 2-DVD set:‘Trace the centuries-long quest for a treasure promising incredible power to the meek, and destruction to the unworthy, in this definitive examination of an elusive, controversial mystery.’

‘The Secret Of The Priory of Sion’ (TV 2006)
CBS News 60 Minutes series Presented by Ed Bradley
Expose of theories, shown a few weeks before TDVC film premiere, done for CBS-TV’s long-running flagship investigative-journalism series. Interviewees include Henry Lincoln, Jonathan Riley-Smith, Bill Putnam, and Jean-Luc Chaumeil (Dan Brown declining to appear).

The Secrets Of The Holy Grail (2006)
Spearhead Films Presented by Steven Thomas 85 minutes
The blurb suggests an outline of the history of the Grail as a quest prize, from early Christian times through the Arthurian Romances, the Crusades, and the modern link to the sacred-bloodline concept.

Secrets To The Code (TV 2005)
NBC TV Presented by Stone Phillips
Interviewees include writers Margaret Starbird, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, and Bill Putnam, and a number of PhDs including Bart D Ehrman and Elaine Pagels.

The Source Of The Da Vinci Code (DVD 2005?)
Illuminated Word Ltd
An earlier work from the producer of Origins Of The Da Vinci Code, a look at Rennes-le-Château' with Henry Lincoln.

The Templar Code (TV 2005)
History Channel “Decoding the Past” series Narrated by Timothy Watson
I. Crusade of Secrecy II. The Quest For Templar Treasure
A two part documentary on various claims about Templar secrets – the Temple of Solomon, Rosslyn, their mysterious head idol, Templars in North America and the Oak Island ‘Money Pit’ etc.

Timewatch: ‘The History Of A Mystery’ (TV 1996)
InVision Productions for BBC 2 Timewatch series; written and directed by William Cran
The now-famous, or infamous, ‘ambush’ documentary describing and then attacking the theories of the authors of The Tomb Of God, confronting them with the evidence supplied by ex-Plantard associate Jean-Luc Chaumeil, of the Priory of Sion documents as a hoax. With co-authors Paul Schellenberger and Richard Andrews, plus Robert McCrum, Professor Martin Kemp, Gérard de Sède, and debunker Jean-Luc Chaumeil. Includes BBC footage of the proto-HBHG 1970s Pierre Plantard interviews, made back when BBC was making documentaries less critical of RLC ‘sacred geometry’ theories. (The author threatened to sue, but the BBC put out a blunt statement the programme was a 'demolition of the book and other myths on the same subject.')

Unlocking DaVinci's Code: Mystery Or Conspiracy? (2004)
Hanover House / ILC Ltd. Narrated by Patrick McNee 60 mins
Has interviews with ‘art critics and historians’ on ‘the legacy linking Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci.’
Note- this may be an updated version of Behind The Mysteries: Unlocking Da Vinci's Code - The Full Story, q.v.

The WatchWord Bible (DVD* 2006)
WatchWord Productions producer James Fitzgerald 26 hrs
According to a press story, this is a ‘reproduction’ of all 260 chapters of the New Testament, produced ‘over a 10-year period for $3 million,’ and ‘imprinting the text over thousands of images, accompanied by sound effects and 130 original music compositions’ as ‘the world's first video book’.
* Issued as a ‘10-disk DVD package, as individual DVDs, or on tape.’

 

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