I finally got around to watching all of the Pillars of the Earth mini-series, based on the novel by Ken Follett. I was pleasantly surprised. I figured it would be average at best, but they did a much better job with it than I anticipated. They changed the story lines a bit, but not enough that it bothered me.
My biggest concern going in was how they were going to fit a 900 page book into the span of eight hours. I was impressed with the amount of information they crammed into such a short time period without really losing anything. Overall, I’d give the series a A- .
The casting was good for the most part. I did picture a different person in my mind for the character of Ellen, but by the end, I liked the actress they chose for that part. I also wasn’t sure about the choice for Jack, but the actor exceeded my expectations for him as well. The choice for Prior Phillip was great, as was the choice for Tom. William Hamleigh was certainly a bad guy in the mini-series, but Waleran and Hamleigh’s mother were two people I disliked more in the show than William, whereas in the book I disliked William far above anyone else. The show portrayed him more as a puppet of his mother, which he was, but the actor played him much less confident than he seemed in the novel. He was much more aggressive and cocky in the book than he was in the show. Also, I enjoyed the historical connection b/w his character and the murder of Thomas Beckett in the novel. I wish they had left that part in the series.
It’s certainly a mini-series I’d watch again or even own. If you saw it, what did you think about it?
*photo taken by Hans Musil, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Generic license