Daniel is the eighth and chronological final story in the Testament series. It is unique in that it features a framing device of a mother and son in a contemporary setting.
Two refugees, a mother and son, flee from their home, the son lamenting their difficult situation. To comfort him, the mother tells the story of Daniel, a refugee himself, who was taken from Jerusalem by the Babylonians and forced to work as a Magi under King Nebuchadnezzar alongside his fellow princes. They gain the trust of the Prince Royal, Belshazzar, and are appointed full Magi in a short time, which earns them the ire of the Chaldean Chief Magus.
One night, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream which he demands be interpreted, but he first asks that he be told the dream to prove the Magi really have the powers they claim. Faced with execution, Daniel is shown the dream by God, a great tree (representing the King) is torn down by a holy watcher due to having risen too high, and Daniel interprets this as meaing Nebuchadnezzar will soon be transfigured into a beast for seven years. Nebuchadnezzar is impressed Daniel was able to relay his dream, though he laughs at the interpretation. However, some time later, the King is indeed turned into a great beast, and though Daniel helps him be restored, Belshazzar seizes the throne and refuses to return power to his father, sparing Daniel's life only due to their former friendship.
Under Belshazzar's reign the court becomes decadent, the King ruled by the word of the Chief Magus, holding feasts every night. He is terrified however, when a hand writes a message on his wall which Daniel interprets as "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin", namely that Belshazzar, having been weighed in the balance and found wanting will be destroyed and his kingdom divided by the Medes and Persians. As before, this prophecy comes to pass, and the Babylonian court is destroyed, save for a few including the Chief Magus, who is appointed advisor to Darius the Mede, and Daniel, who becomes Governor of the Provinces.
Darius and Daniel enter a friendly relationship, though Darius informs Daniel that he cannot release the Israelites or the empire would collapse. He has no objection however to Daniel worshipping God, which he does everyday by praying to Jerusalem. This is noted by the jealous Maguses, who trap Daniel by claiming the sacrifices from the temple declare that no God, only the King may be petitioned for the next month, or else they will be trown into the lion's den. When Daniel still prays that day, Darius regretfully has him arrested and thrown into the pit.
All night, Darius prays to Daniel's God, and when he returns in the morning, finds an angel calmed the lions and prevented them from devouring Daniel. Vengefully, Darius arrests the Magi, charging them with the crime of false accusation and declaring that the next day they will feed the lions, despite Daniel's protests.
The mother concludes the story by stating that it was not long after that Daniel's people were freed and able to return to Jerusalem, and that they themselves must not give up hope.
- Philip Franks - Daniel
- Clive Merrison - Darius the Mede
- Steve Hodson - Nebuchadnezzar II
- Bill Nighy - Belshazzar
- Roger Allam - Chief Magus
- Brian Hibbard - Arioch
- Sion Probert - Ashpenaz
- Richard Pearce - Hananiah
- Carolyn Pickles - Woman
- Stephen Lord - Son