on Ken Folletts worldwide best-selling
novel, Channel 4s
critically-acclaimed eight-part epic
mini-series The Pillars Of The Earth
is a fascinating melting pot of romance,
political intrigue, war, power struggles,
envy and religious turmoil set in
12th Century England...
COMPELLING, ENTHRALLING AND SUPERBLY PRODUCED, The Pillars Of The Earth
is full of twists and turns that take you from castle halls to the street to
the construction of a magnificent cathedral that is at the centre of this historical
Emerging from the war-torn shadows of England's Dark Ages, Tom Builder (Rufus
Sewell: The Holiday) is an idealistic mason; a master craftsman who is
employed by Prior Phillip (Matthew Macfadyen: Robin Hood) to rebuild
a ruined church into a glorious cathedral bathed in light in the village of
Kingsbridge. But the light is about to fall onto the dark secrets of the sinister
and ruthlessly ambitious Bishop Waleran Bigod (Ian McShane: Television's Deadwood;
Sexy Beast), who has a violent and bloody past.
Mystery surrounds the sinking of a white ship, during which King Henry's sole
heir has drowned, throwing England into chaos. Henry's daughter Maud (Alison
Pill: Milk) and his bastard son Gloucester (Matt Devere) are bitter enemies
of the king's nephew Stephen (Tony Curran: Television's 24), who seizes
An enduring love story is played out against the violence and uncertainty of
12th Century England, where superstition is rife and danger lurks in every shadow
as Queen Maud and King Stephen fight for the ultimate power.
Denounced as a witch, former nun Ellen (Natalia Wörner) has seen her lover brutally
killed at the behest of three men who have something to hide and whom she has
cursed. Ellen and her son Jack Jackson (Eddie Redmayne: The Good Shepherd),
go to live with Tom Builder after the death of his wife and Tom discovers Jack's
However, it seems that bad luck dogs the family and when Jack meets Aliena (Hayley
Atwell: The Duchess), a noblewoman whose father, the Earl of Shiring,
was killed for supporting Maud, he falls in love with her. Lord William Hamleigh
(David Oakes) had forced himself on Aliena and she and her brother Richard (Sam
Claflin) fled to safety, losing everything they owned.
But even that love is ill-fated. Jack has become a monk and Aliena, whose fortunes
have changed for the better, is to marry Tom's son Alfred (Liam Garrigan). But
Alfred's resentment of Jack is set to boil over and to lead to a further tragedy.
William Hamleigh is now out of control and attacks Kingsbridge for a second
time. He has already married thirteen-year-old Countess Elizabeth (Skye Louri),
who then suffers his abuse, but he would appear to have friends in high places.
This is an England where loyalties are fickle and allegiances tested; where
nobody is safe from accusations and execution not even the good Prior.
In spite of many setbacks, can the cathedral be completed? Why is Waleran Bigod
so determined that Jack should die? And what is the dreadful secret that Ellen
carries with her?
Ken Follett's best-selling novel, The Pillars Of The Earth, was first
published in 1989 and sold more than 14 million copies worldwide having been
published in more than 30 languages. The pages are brought to life in this critically-acclaimed
mini-series that boasts an all-star cast. The Pillars Of The Earth is
a wonderful story; an epic, compelling mini-series with a talented and creative
The series also features: Sarah Paris (Merlin) as Regan Hamleigh; Anatole
Taubman as Remigius; Göts Otto as Walter; David Bark-Jones as Francis; Jody
Halse as Johnny Eightpence; John Pielmeier as Cuthbert; Skye Bennett as Martha;
Sidney Johnston as Little Brother Jonathan; Lisa Millet as Kate; Robert Bathurst
as Percy Hamleigh; Clive Wood as King Henry; Donald Sutherland (The Italian
Job) as Bartholomew; and Gordon Pinsent as The Archbishop.
Filmed in Hungary and Austria, The Pillars Of The Earth is Produced by:
Executive Producers are Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, David Rosemont, Jonas Bauer,
Tim Halkin, Michael Prupas, David W Zucker and Rola Bauer; Producers are Ron
Diamond, Howard Ellis, Adam Goodman and John Ryan; Co-Producer is Malcolm Reeve;
Series Original Music by Trevor Morris; Series Cinematography by Attila Szalay;
Series Writing Credits by Ken Follett and John Pielmeier; and Directed by three-time
DGA award-winning Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Television's Heroes).
* The Pillars Of The Earth battles its way to DVD with an all-star cast,
released on 22 November 2010. Certificate: 15 | Number of Discs: 3 | RRP: £29.99
| Running Time: Approximately 428 Minutes.
Includes All-New Featurettes: The Making Of The Pillars Of The Earth
| Visual Effects Progression | Main Titles Progression.
"The Pillars Of The Earth is a fascinating melting pot of romance, political
intrigue, war, power struggles, envy and religious turmoil set in 12th Century
Maggie Woods, MotorBar