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'Dig' Dug Itself a Giant Hole

05/08/2015 11:23 am ET | Updated May 08, 2016

Dig on the U.S.A. Network was a hot mess in the style of The DaVinci Code, and it was tremendous fun until the end, when it just fizzled out. Much like that thriller.

For those who missed it (SPOILERS AHEAD), it involved a multi-national conspiracy to bring about Armageddon by destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque and building the Third Temple. Or so it seemed, because it was never clear how that would happen if World War III broke out as various characters kept predicting. I mean, can anyone really work under those conditions? Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria?

It starred the gimlet-eyed British actor Jason Isaacs as an FBI agent and Anne Heche as an American Consulate official facing some real crazies including the American Ambassador (yes!), Christian nut jobs in the American Southwest, and Jewish fanatics in Jerusalem.

There was a lot of talk along the way of some "prophecy" that involved the red heifer from the Book of Numbers (check it out). The Christian wackos actually created a kid who was going to be the new High Priest who would sacrifice this cow and blah, blah, blah.

Why did I watch? For the sheer galloping lunacy, for the spectacular shots of Jerusalem at night, for Isaacs and his Israeli counterpart, actor Ori Pfeffer -- and the bristling interplay between them that verged on a bromance.

But occasionally even the enjoyable foolishness got too dumb to appreciate. Why would any Jew accept a non-Jewish High priest -- and a kid, no less? And why didn't the show ever attribute the prophecy to someone, anyone? And what was up with the rabbi reciting the Kaddish (prayer for the dead) when the cow was about to be ritually slaughtered? And why didn't we get more than a quick murky flash of the missing Temple treasure the show's slimy archeologist was after?

Oh, I left out that missing Temple treasure, and the search for the stones of the breastplate of the High Priest, and secret tunnels, and The Essenes. Yup, they're still around, kind of like the Medjai in The Mummy. Remember them?

So the pot kept boiling more and more wildly for nine episodes, with murder and kidnapping and shootings and one mad pursuit after another. And then it stopped. "Nothing happened," Anne Heche's character said at the end, gazing out over the gleaming city of Jerusalem.

Too right.

Lev Raphael is the author of 25 books in genres from suspense to memoir which you can find on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.