The Pillars of the Earth: ''Anarchy/Master Builder'' Review Episode 1 & 2


I've read the novel The Pillars of the Earth a number of times, passed it on to friends and begged non-readers to try to get through five pages without being hooked. It's one of my favorite books of all time and when I heard Starz was making a mini-series, I couldn't stop grinning. I've been afraid for years that they would attempt to stuff this glorious piece of literature into a two hour movie or a TV movie on a major network, removing the sex and violence that gave it all it's dramatic tension.


If you're unfamiliar with the story...well, first of all, go out and get the book this very second. I guarantee you're going to want to read it after you watch. Second, here is the synopsis. In 12th century England, the royal family is in turmoil. Never bodes well for the common people, that. King Henry I has died with one heir dead in a mysterious boat fire and a daughter Maud (Alison Pill) who has just given birth to his grandson. His nephew Stephen (Tony Curran) has taken the throne and Maud is forming a rebellion. Against this royal backdrop is the struggle between the corrupt bishop Waleran (Ian McShane) the less powerful Prior Philip (Matthew Macfadyen), who has lost his church in a fire and wants to rebuild. But the core of the story is about Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell) who designs a cathedral like no one has ever seen.


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