The Pillars of the Earth: "Redemption" Review Episode 3

As I said last week, Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite novels of all time. The characters are compelling. The story is complex. The time period is fraught with drama. And the writing is fantastic. I cannot say it strongly enough. Go. Buy. This. Book. And as much as I love what Starz is doing these days, I was worried that they might not give a mini-series as much time and effort as they do for a show like Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which is full of salaciousness and, well, breasts. But I was worried for nothing. Pillars had two fantastic opening episodes and the third was no different.

Well, that's not entirely true. We did venture into territory that Starz is more familiar with. There were more sex scenes and two naked women draped over our villain William Hamleigh (David Oakes). But it was never overdone. And really, who's complaining about salaciousness? In this episode, Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell) and Prior Philip (Matthew MacFadyen) are deprived of their access to stone for their cathedral by the machinations of Waleran (Ian McShane) and the Hamleighs (Robert Bathurst and Sarah Parish). But Regan Hamleigh has instilled such a fear of hell into her son (I'm sure the creepy, incestuous groping doesn't help) that Philip's plan couldn't fail. After being told they couldn't use the quarry and a duel that leaves Jack (Eddie Redmayne) with a crippled hand, the Prior dragged the monks out, singing hymns, in time for sunrise. As they cut stone in time with the music, Philip held up a shining golden cross in Williams face, blinding him with both the sun and his fear of eternal damnation. Needless to say, they get the quarry back.

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