Gothic fix an epic
HERE’S one for those looking for a fix between series of Game of Thrones. Long before either readers or TV viewers cared about those sweeping adventures of once and future kingmaking set across the sprawling continents of Westeros and Essos, there was Pillars of the Earth.
Ken Follet’s bestseller of the late 1980s was the fable fantasy lovers turned to satisfy their liking for tales set against the backdrop of a social hierarchy, religion, civil war, sexuality, crime and punishment.
Located in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England, the time is mid-12th century during what was called the Anarchy, between the time of the sinking of the White Ship and the murder of Thomas Becket.
Rufus Sewell plays the visionary architect who is engaged to rebuild a ruined church as a cathedral.
Matthew MacFadyen is its idealistic new prior of a monastery while Ian McShane is the sinister cleric, Waleran Bigod.
Tracing the development of Gothic architecture which overthrew the Romanesque period, the story plays out against a backdrop of historical events of the time.
Other players include Donald Sutherland as Bartholomew, Natalia Worner as Ellen and Hayley Atwell as Aliena.
Fans of the book loved the series with its big lush look and real attention to detail of storylines which revolved around a family over 50 years.
The series has had a pay TV airing in Australia but this is its first free-to-air television airing.
Public broadcaster the ABC will screen it as a four-parter.