Gothic fix an epic

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY TV -

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.

8.30pm, ABC1.


Ru­fus Sewell

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