Ken Follettâ€™s best-selling novel is brought to life in a star-studded and critically-acclaimed eight-part miniseries. Emerging from the war-torn shadows of Englandâ€™s Dark Ages, an idealistic mason, Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell, The Holiday) sets out on a quest of erecting a glorious Cathedral bathed in light. But when that light threatens to illuminate the dark secrets of ambitious Bishop Waleran Bigod (Ian McShane, 2005 Golden Globe Best Actor, TV's Deadwood) and the battling progeny of King Henry, Queen Maud (Alison Pill, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and King Stephen (Tony Curran, Ondine), theyâ€™ll stop at nothing to keep those secrets safe. The epic miniseries event also stars Matthew MacFadyen (Frost/Nixon) as Prior Philip, Hayley Atwell (Love Hate) as the beautiful noblewoman Aliena and Donald Sutherland (TV's Dirty Sexy Money) as Bartholomew.
The Pillars of the Earth Episode Summaries
Episode 1: â€œAnarchyâ€
The death of King Henryâ€™s heir ignites a battle between Queen Maud and King Stephen to become the successor to the throne. Monk Philip is enticed by an offer from Father Waleran Bigod; in return for his endorsement of Bigod to the appointment of Bishop, Philip will be elected Prior. Tom Builder travels the countryside in search of work.
Episode 2: â€œMaster Builderâ€
When a fire destroys Kingsbridge Church, Tom presents a plan to Prior Philip to construct a glorious new cathedral filled with light. As Philip politics for funds to aid in the churchâ€™s construction, he finds himself caught between Bishop Bigod and King Stephenâ€™s supporter, Earl Percy Hamleigh.
Episode 3: â€œRedemptionâ€
Prior Philip and Percyâ€™s son William find themselves in a political stalemate as they compete for access to valuable stone. Jack demonstrates amazing artistic prowess as he begins to carve a monument to St. Adolphus and the destroyed Kingsbridge Cathedral. â€
Episode 4: â€œBattlefieldâ€
William plans his way towards Earldom and soon discovers he is not alone in his ambition; a mysterious knight seeks the same appointment. The battle between Maud and Stephen rages, culminating in hostages from each side being seized. Philip is tortured into confessing to the betrayal of Earl Bartholomew.
Episode 5: â€œLegacyâ€
Tom attempts to mediate a camaraderie between Jack and his son, Alfred. However, their intense rivalry for the affection of Bartholomewâ€™s daughter, Aliena, proves too much of an obstacle. Waleran and Regan Hamleigh negotiate a hostage exchange while William mounts an attack on Kingsbridge in an effort to halt Alienaâ€™s pending success.
Episode 6: â€œWitchcraftâ€
Alienaâ€™s brother, Richard, is shocked as he emerges from the battlefield only to find his sister destitute and incapable of supporting his knighthood. Aliena is torn between honoring a promise made to her father, Bartholomew, and her love for Jack. A catastrophe in Kingsbridge paves the way for Waleran to orchestrate Philipâ€™s impeachment.
Episode 7: â€œNew Beginningsâ€
Jackâ€™s travels provide him with valuable information which will aid him in constructing his stepfatherâ€™s majestic dream cathedral. Aliena tracks Jack down using only her intuition and the warm trail left by his distinctive carvings. Bigod makes Philip an attractive offer, but itâ€™s one which carries an unattractive price.
Episode 8: â€œThe Work of Angelsâ€
Eight years have passed. Now completely obsessed with the notion of erecting Tomâ€™s cathedral, Jack is unable to focus on anything outside of his divine calling. Aliena remains fixated on securing her familyâ€™s right to the Earldom of Shiring and thus, fulfilling the promise she made to her father.