Pillars of the Earth, The (Starz 2010, Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell)

The Pillars of the Earth, based on the massive bestseller by Ken Follett, is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty, a sensuous, spirited story set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles in 12th Century England.

production details
USA | Starz | 8×60 minutes | Broadcast 23 July – 27 August 2010

Writer: John Pielmeier
Novel: Ken Follett

Robert Bathurst as Percy Hamleigh
Donald Sutherland as Earl Bartholomew
Matthew Macfadyen as Prior Phillip
Rufus Sewell as Tom Builder
Ian McShane as Waleran Bigod
Eddie Redmayne as Jack Jackson
Natalia Wörner as Ellen
Hayley Atwell as Aliena
David Oakes as William Hamleigh
Tony Curran as King Stephen
Alison Pill as Maud
Sarah Parish as Regan Hamleigh
Liam Garrigan as Alfred Builder
Götz Otto as Walter
Sam Claflin as Richard
Jody Halse
Anatole Taubman as Remigius
Skye Bennett as Young Martha
John Pielmeier as Cuthbert
Matt Devere
Gordon Pinsent as Archbishop
Ken Follett as Merchant
Féodor Atkine as Abbot Sugar
Virág Bárány as Young Woman Whore
Freddie Boath as Henry – 15 year
Barnabás Réti as Brother Paul
Molnár Piroska as Grandmama
Lisa Millett as Kate
Clive Woods as King Henry I
Richard Rifkin as Matthew
László Áron as Architect
Kelly Banlaki as Princess
David Bark-Jones as Francis
Tamás Baross as Gabriel
Tatiana Turner as Gabriel’s Mother
Michael Mehlmann as Prior James
Skye Lourie as Elisabeth
Peter Linka
Mark C Phelan as Otto
Douglas Booth as Eustace (15 years old)

andlt;bandgt;THE EPISODESandlt;/bandgt;
1 – Anarchy | Airdate: 2010-07-23
The succession to the crown of England is in doubt and causes King Henry’s daughter and nephew to compete for the throne. The Hamleigh family’s hope for an advantageous marriage for their son William falls apart. Tom Builder and his family search for work and encounter Ellen and her mysterious son Jack. Church politics see Philip, a monk, elected the new prior, which leaves him indebted to Deacon Waleran.

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2 – Master Builder | Airdate: 2010-07-23
A fire destroys Kingsbridge church, giving Tom, son Alfred and stepson Jack the chance to build a new cathedral. Prior Philip learns the power of politics when he gets caught between Bishop Waleran and the Hamleighs’ quest for Shiring Castle. Kingsbridge is rocked by the accusation of Ellen being a witch. William takes Aliena and Richard by surprise in a brutal attack. Aliena makes a promise to her father.

3 – Redemption | Airdate: 2010-07-30
Aliena protests her father’s imprisonment. Prior Philip and William find themselves in a standoff over access to stone in the Shiring quarry. Jack’s artistic talents take hold as he begins to carve a statue to honor the cathedral relic. King Stephen visits the cathedral work-site, but collapses in a fit of terror. Aliena starts a fleece business to help earn money for Richard’s chance to become a knight.

4 – Battlefield | Airdate: 2010-08-06
William applies to have his father’s title of Earl transferred to him, and discovers a mysterious knight is also a rival for the Earldom. King Stephen, frightened by Jack’s appearance, orders an assassin to kill him. The battle between King Stephen and Maud sees each side’s leader being taken hostage. Philip is tortured into a confession when Waleran tells Maud that he is the man who betrayed Earl Bartholomew.

5 – Legacy | Airdate: 2010-08-13
Waleran and Regan engineer the prisoner exchange so that they remain on the winning side of the war. Tom wants Jack and Alfred to be friends, but their rivalry over their work lives and Aliena is too intense. Meanwhile, William decides to attack Kingsbridge as a way to stop the fleece fair and Aliena’s success. The Hamleighs and Prior Philip are granted rights to Shiring land, but it comes with a price.

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6 – Witchcraft | Airdate: 2010-08-20
Richard returns from war to find his sister penniless, with no more money to support his knighthood. Alfred offers himself to Prior Philip as master-builder. Aliena has to choose between her love for Jack and her oath to her father. Regan forces Waleran to speak to the King about William’s long-delayed Earldom. A disaster at Kingsbridge becomes a way for Waleran to remove Prior Philip from his position.

7 – New Beginnings | Airdate: 2010-08-27
As a result of his journeys, Jack has learned how to fulfill Tom Builder’s dream of a cathedral filled with light. Aliena tracks Jack by following the trail of his carvings. Waleran offers Philip a new position, but it means that Philip must always obey Waleran. Kingsbridge becomes prosperous again which infuriates Regan and William, who plan an attack that is met with resistance from Richard, Jack and Philip.

8 – The Work of Angels | Airdate: 2010-08-27
Eight years later, Jack’s fixation with the cathedral leaves him little time or energy for anything else, while Aliena’s fixation with the distant Earldom of Shiring has married her to Alfred, a man she hates. Waleran and Alfred develop a plot to get rid of Jack for good and it seems to be working until evidence comes to light that makes all wrongs rectified.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.