Friday, July 23, 2010

Starz Brings Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" to TV Beginning Tonight

If I had a dollar for everytime somebody asked me if I'd read the book, and then insisted I should because I hadn't -- well, I'd be several dollars richer, that's for sure. Starz, and producers Tony and Ridley Scott, take on the enormous task of bringing Follett's enormous novel to the small screen. Headlined by actors Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland and Rufus Sewell, and also featuring many other capable internationally-known thespians in the huge cast, Pillars of the Earth aims to bring back the Middle Ages like they've never been brought back before.

Is this a series or a miniseries? Eight hours long, it's somewhere between the two, and will be unleashed in hour episodes every Friday night beginning tonight at 10pm. We'd recommend catching it either on-air, On Demand or on the Starz website -- two episodes are up there now -- if for no other reason than to honor your high school European History teacher for all their hard and possibly futile work trying to cram this era into your brain.

In a TV world where viewers are grooving like crazy on the getting-to-be-bit-much antics of HBO's TrueBlood and the vampire and werewolf denizens therein, surely there must be a few hours of our time available for something that's at least based in real historical fact.

I'm not guaranteeing I won't fall asleep watching it -- which might make the computer the best choice for me, say -- but if you've got a hankering for a juicy Medieval soap opera, it looks like Pillars of the Earth is a solid choice. Will it be as steamy as Starz' Spartacus, and equally as bloody? We think it will have to be to hold viewers, and at least the network can trot out the "historically accurate" defense if the TV do-gooders ever squawk.

Check out the Starz website for Pillars of the Earth for more information and all things behind-the-scenes.

(For an actual review of the series, you might like to read this from the L.A. Times, and it's always great to read one from the trades, like this one from The Hollywood Reporter.)

Would I really rather be watching another season of Starz' cancelled comedy Party Down instead of Pillars of the Earth?

Yeah, I would. But that's another story.


Jane said...

Thanks to the ridiculously expensive tiered pricing on Comcast, I don't even have access to Starz. If I did, I would surely give Pillars a shot, as I love Ian and most historical dramas. Thanks for the reminder of what I want but can't get! :(

Lisa said...

Check out the Starz website -- I think the shows are available on there, at least two eps on there now!