The Pillars of the Earth is set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tears lives and families apart. In that time, there rises a magnificent Cathedral in Kingsbridge. Against the backdrop, love-stories entwine: Tom, the master builder, Aliena, the noblewoman, the sadistic Lord William, Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge, Jack, the artist in stone work and Ellen, the woman from the forest who casts a curse. At once, this is a sensuous and enduring love story and an epic that shines with the fierce spirit of a passionate age. Follett masterfully weaves these stories through political turmoil of 12th century England, creating a relevant and viable world for today’s audience and for generations to come.
- Ian McShane as Waleran Bigod
- Rufus Sewell as Tom Builder
- Matthew Macfadyen as Prior Philip
- Eddie Redmayne as Jack Jackson
- Hayley Atwell as Aliena
- Donald Sutherland as Earl Bartholomew
Oh. My. God.
When I first heard of this show through a fansite for the actor Matthew MacFadyen, I was a bit blah about it. My preferred time period is the 18th and 19th century and this was a medieval drama. On top of that, it looked too gory for my taste.
So, a year went by… and my mother ended up buying it on DVD. She had watched the book and loved it and recommended the series to me. I wasn’t ecstatic but I thought why not? It was time I expanded my historical timeline. I also needed something to watch at that time so it seemed a perfect fit. So I popped it in my laptop and decided to be open-minded. Hey, at least I got to see Matthew MacFadyen again right?
Oh. My. God.
I couldn’t have imagined how much I would end up loving this show! I still cannot believe I discovered this show so late! Seriously, I cannot believe I deprived myself of the pleasure of this epic historical masterpiece!
The 8 hour show is set around the building of a fictional cathedral admidst a time of long drawn out war for the throne of England. But it’s not about the building so much as the lives of the people who are affected by it and the war for power. We are given multiple complex characters, some of whom are devoted to the building of the cathedral and others who are determined to see it fall.
From the first moment when it was announced the Prince was dead and there was no heir to the throne, I was hooked. And the plot didn’t let up for a minute. I was plunged into the lives of these people. I rooted for them, I cheered for them, I cried for them-I was totally, completely absorbed. That first night I was up until 4am to watching the first few episodes-The next night I abandoned all other plans to finish the whole thing up-it was just too addictive!
The plot was complex and I was in awe at the genius of the writer who came up with it! It unfolded so well and just worked on so many levels! It didn’t go right over the viewer’s head and you felt you were really seeing these people and living their lives. The acting was top-notch with some real great actors to be seen! Even the action scenes didn’t bother me as much as I thought they would. I got introduced to a new time in history which was fascinating although I definitely wouldn’t want to live in such a bloodthristy period.
This show really had it all-action, romance, passion, betrayal, murder, greed, ambition, sorrow, joy… I could go on! I don’t care if it’s 8 hours long! I’m definitely seeing this one again!
Historical Drama Rating: 5 stars out of 5!!!
Sexiness Rating: 5 out of 5
Ladies, we’ve got the delicious-voiced Matthew MacFadyen, the scruffy sexy Rufus Sewell and the-too-cute for words Eddie Redmayne who sports some seriously sexy red hair and plays a romantic lead. *Swooon*
Guys, Hayley Atwell is really too gorgeous for her own good and you’ll get to see more than her pretty face, wink wink