The Pillars of the Earth (TV Mini-Series 2010)

TV Mini-Series   |  TV-MA   |    |  Drama, History, Romance

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The Pillars of the Earth (2010) Poster

Set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart.

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  • Rufus Sewell and Natalia Wörner in The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
  • Ian McShane in The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
  • Donald Sutherland in The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
  • Eddie Redmayne and Hayley Atwell in The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
  • Hayley Atwell in The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
  • Matthew Macfadyen and Eddie Redmayne in The Pillars of the Earth (2010)

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21 August 2010 | dave-sturm
| Epic novel brought grandly to the screen
I have read everything Ken Follett has written, but I pretty much had him pegged as a writer of extraordinarily readable suspense potboilers. Better than Stephen King, but no Cormac McCarthy. Then, in 1989 he unveiled "Pillars of the Earth" and I was stunned. Follett gave full rein to his incredibly vivid and compelling storytelling abilities. When I finished I was sad. I could no longer follow the adventures of these heroic and scheming English men and women in the the tumultuous 12th Century, a time of uncertainty over who should be on the throne.

I have now watched the first six episodes (available on Netflix for instant viewing) and am dying to see the final two when they come available. I didn't know what to expect, but I can declare myself fully satisfied.

What worried me most going in was the series was what the tone would be. Follett is a master of grand, operatic gestures. The mini-series captures that.

He also is far from shy about sex, barbarism and vulgarity. There's a scene when the monks put Ellen on trial as a witch that made my jaw drop. No F-bombs, but one startling c**t bomb. The incest theme between William and his mother is not explicitly shown, but very clear.

Occasionally, it's a bit "stagey" and the CGI is good, but not state of the art.

Still, "Pillars" is a triumph of epic storytelling.

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