Airdate: The Pillars of the Earth

ABC1 screens the 2010 period miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, a Canadian-German co-production.

This has a top cast including Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell and Donald Sutherland, and has already aired in Australian on Pay TV.

ABC1 will air two eps each week in movie-length instalments.

The Pillars of the Earth, adapted from the Ken Follet novel, is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty. This is a four-part drama set in the 12th century against the backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tear lives and families apart. The story revolves around the building of a cathedral in the fictional market town of Kingsbridge over 50 years.

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 bastard 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 his family search for work in the English winter and meet tragedy on the road. Meanwhile in Kingsbridge, the monastery’s idealistic new prior Philip learns a dangerous secret and becomes obligated to ambitious, sinister cleric Waleran Bigod.

Tom Builder’s fortunes change when he is engaged by Prior Philip to rebuild Kingsbridge’s ruined church as a cathedral.

CAST: Waleran Bigod (Ian McShane), Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell), Prior Philip (Matthew Macfadyen), Ellen (Natalia WÖrner), Jack (Eddie Redmayne), Richard (Sam Claflin), Bartholomew (Donald Sutherland), Aliena (Hayley Atwell), Regan Hamleigh (Sarah Parrish), William Hamleigh (David Oakes) and Percy Hamleigh (Robert Bathurst).

8:39pm Sunday, 9 December ABC1.


  1. I watched 15 minutes before I went went and read a book.

    The story is a melodrama driven by coincidence and it just jumped all over the place randomly. The characters were one dimensional, historically inaccurate and totally unbelievable. The dialogue was so bad it made you wince. The direction was clumsy and intrusive and it managed to make top actors look like amateurs. And the costumes and hairdos were just ridiculous.

    I’d much rather watch Game of Thrones or even the Tudors again than this rubbish.

  2. Must agree with you 2paw, and have written to the ABC to complain. Received response, apparently ABC viewers are just as dumb as other viewers and need frequent reminding when programs are on. Similar for the irritating and mood-breaking “next”, towards the end of a program, and the ugly watermark poorly placed is to prevent piracy! Joke.
    I’m glad I watched Pillars on Foxtel (8x1hr), and will be looking for the follow-up (World Without End, also 8x1hr) there too.
    The ABC has gone downhill (downmarket) so much the last few years, it’s hardly worth watching.

  3. I know this isn’t the right place, but I am currently so cross with The ABC, they keep squashing the end credits of programmes and then showing a promo and talking. It just drives me mad.

  4. When SBS showed Boardwalk Empire they played the credits between episodes, but in the final ad break of the first episode they advertised that a second episode was going to be played right afterwards, hopefully ABC will do the same with this show.

  5. Will ABC be showing the credits between the 2 eps?

    Good on them for showing this on FTA but I really hate when they cut the credits. I know it’s to stop people wandering off to other channels but as long as they promote it as 2 eps people will know there is more to come.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.