The Pillars of the Earth 1 Season 2009

Amazon Instant Video

Available on Prime
Season 1
Available on Prime
(416) IMDb 7.6/10

1. Anarchy AGES_15_AND_OVER

A white ship sinks under suspicious circumstances, drowning King Henry's sole heir. His nephew Stephen takes the throne, triggering a power struggle with Henry's daughter Maud and son Gloucester and plunging England into anarchy. Aliena, daughter of the Earl of Shiring, rejects William Hamleigh's brutish proposal of marriage, sparking the young man's bitter fury. Visionary mason Tom Builder and...

Starring:
Ian McShane,Rufus Sewell
Runtime:
56 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Season 1

Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Historical
Director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Starring Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell
Supporting actors Matthew MacFadyen, Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell, Sarah Parish, Natalia Wörner, Tony Curran, Donald Sutherland, Alison Pill
Network Tandem Communications
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Matt Taylor on 3 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I must admit when i saw the trailer for this tv series i was not that impressed and now i admit that my first impressions were entirely missleading. This production is fantastic especially since it has such a fantastic cast. Rufus Sewell and Donald Sutherland act really well in it making it pleasurable to view. The storyline was really intriguing thus making me finish the whole tv series in a night because *SPOILER* i just wanted to find out what the whole saga about the ring really meant.
I thought that the scenery was also really nice with all the numerous forests and castles. The fighting scenes were really well done but perhaps maybe a bit to bloody but hey, everyone needs different aspects to watch in a film.
What i liked about the tv series was it didn't just focus on the lives of the middle aged people but also went through the lives the young people during those times.
I highly reconmend this TV series t history fanatics because they can learn new facts especially about King Stephen who isn't really portrayed in the media. I must watch show which will forever remain amongst my beloved historical tv shows like Rome, The Tudors, The Borgias and Camelot.
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147 of 159 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD
Sometimes tv production companies excel themselves when making something, and this is a case in point. It is some years since I last read Ken Follett's novel, but I can still remember most of it. The idea in making this was to try to create something that was inspired by the book, but not necessarily a strict word for word adaptation. Lets face it there will always be differences between book and screen versions and it is a brave person who takes on the task of adapting something that has been enjoyed by many people.

Ken Follett himself I believed praised John Pielmeier for his screenplay, which is magnificent. To a lot of people this story has been so good because the production shows more than the novel did what life was like back in the period it was set, and what a major part politics and favour played, as well as the power of the Catholic Church throughout our history. Indeed any historical programme cannot leave out the machinations of church authorites in these most troubulous periods of our history.

With a fine cast of characters and sex and violence this is what a lot of people enjoy, and in this household it has been must see tv. Although as I have said, there is sex and violence here, this isn't done gratuiously, and where it appears is relevant to the storyline. Who knows, perhaps it may interest some people to want to know more about the times it portrays, which is very interesting. I know when I read the book it made me find out more about architecture and how churches were built, and builders learnt from each others mistakes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP on 23 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

"Pillars of the Earth" is one of Ken Follets most popular books. Originally published in 1989, it gained a cult following that snowballed around the globe.

The screen adaptation to my mind is a worthy salute to this great work, although many historical inaccuracies abound, still the makers of "Pillars of the Earth" succeeded in what seemed like an impossible challenge. They have followed the novel's plot entirely, making minor tweaks and changes for the sake of exposition and moving things along.

The special effects and art direction masterfully create the grimy, gritty world of 1100s England and the stark contrasts between privileges of royalty and serfs wallowing in the mud beside the hogs they keep. Public executions and dismembering are commonplace as one plot change involving the deposed Earl Bartholomew of Shiring (portrayed aristocratically by Donald Sutherland) tears at the heart.

While the novel relied on straightforward storytelling, the miniseries offers deftly executed, haunting flashbacks to establish the mysterious Ellen's role in the dirty laundry of Percy Hamleigh and Archbishop Waleran's past. Her husband had been mysteriously executed around the time the ship burned. Ellen's son Jack, who is portrayed as an artistic savant, becomes a force in building the cathedral.

King Stephen also plays a larger role in the miniseries. His father portrays a ghost in his dreams in a manner similar to Hamlet, creating a torturous tumult of inner conflict in him.
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121 of 139 people found the following review helpful By J. Duducu on 27 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD
This series is based on the 1,000 plus page epic of the same name by Ken Follett. As such there's a lot to cram into each episode. In brief for the lovers of the book, everything feels like it moves along a little too fast and for people new to the story then pay attention because you are in for a full speed tour of Medieval England.

The story is set mainly around the reign of King Stephen. It was a time of civil war as he usurped the throne from King Henry's daughter which led to more than a decade of sieges, ravaging the land and pitched battles. It's a great backdrop seldom used to set a drama. However rather than set the central characters around the court of the King (a story telling conceit used countless times) instead the main story is about the building of a new cathedral and all the politics and drama that kind of massive undertaking touches on. It's a great idea and was all set to be something a bit special.

One of the weird things is the fact that at times it is obviously really paying attention to historical accuracy, at others it couldn't be lazier if it tried - why does Henry 1st dies 3 years after he actually did? Why are breastplates and concentric castles being used well before their invention? My point here isn't it should be a history lecture (that would be dull) more the rather jarring effect of moving from something that feels authentic to something that feels like a pantomime. There are times where the fiction works really well- the white ship disaster was seen by contemporaries as an unfortunate accident, here it's a conspiracy- that's a nice idea.

The biggest problem here is the adaptation. The hero of the tale- Tom Builder played by Rufus Sewell is a great role and you warm to him instantly, he really breaths life into the character.
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