When you begin watching the new USA "event series" Dig, you're bound to find yourself asking questions. Beyond the plot-driven questions that we're all dying to know, there's a chance that the historical accuracy of the show could cross your mind. Well, you wouldn't be the first person to think about the importance of truth for a show that examines historical content of religion, conspiracy, archeology, and Jerusalem. In fact, the creators of the show, Gideon Raff and Tim Kring, of Homeland and Heroes respectively, also wanted to ensure that of the Dig content that was inspired by facts, that it was done to the best of their ability.
"We did extensive research on the subject of the show," Raff told Bustle at the world premiere of Dig. "Especially the conspiracy that we're unveiling."
If you want to really dig deep into the information that the two researched, you could go down a rabbit hole of research on "Red Heifers," which factor greatly into the show's mystery. The red heifer is significant in many different religions, and more importantly (with respect to Dig), the connection it has with conspiracies that suggest a red cow can fulfill a prophecy. Even South Park riffed on Red Heifer theories, so you know it's worth reading into.
"We also took some liberty to make it fun and dramatic, without being offensive," says Raff. Kring goes on to say that while the show uses facts as a starter kit — the "actual factual part is not a huge amount." So when you're watching the series, you're not going to be bombarded with a history lesson from 8th Grade, instead, you'll be driven by the characters' motivations and stories, with a peppering of truth that comes from the passing of time.
Because this show does involve historical events, theories, and concepts, some of the stars of the show found themselves doing research for their upcoming roles. Ori Pfeffer, who plays an Israeli detective, tells us of that research.
"You start digging into people's conceived ideas of what this world is like and you go, 'Are you out of your mind? Are you for real?' and it's just the more and more I dug, the more I was petrified. I couldn't believe how deep it runs," she said.
"If you're interested in digging deeper, then you can find what the reality is about," says Costabile says that the research he did for his character turned up to be a "fascinating story" and his research he went back and started to read the Bible again, so he could know what they were basing their thoughts on.
"There are people who are committed to the apocalypse, and the End of Days, that want that to be the solution to the world. That is a real thing, and they are unafraid to talk about it," David Costabile (who plays an religious cult leader) explains. "Trust me, it's crazy."
Lauren Ambrose, who plays a follower of Costabile's Tad Billingham, personally felt that her character Debbie's story was a "pretty universal thing, to find oneself under the influence of someone else, not living as authentically as you could." To help her understand, Ambrose says she watched a couple of documentaries and read up on cults before jumping into the character of Debbie.
So while the show isn't actually going to help you pass a history midterm, just know that the story isn't being pulled from thin air.
Images: Ronen Akerman/USA Network (2)