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Pillars of the Earth: entire mini-series thread (spoilers to date)

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by astrohip, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. markp99

    markp99 TakoKichi TCF Club

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    Nashua, NH
    We did a small Pillars marathon this weekend, consuming the first 7 episodes from Netflix via TiVo.

    I actually started this not knowing it was even a series. I had seen only bits of a promo on Starz a while back that I filed away as "interesting". Came up on my Netflix instant queue - started the first ep on the iPad.

    My wife read the book, I did not. I am enjoying the series very much.
     
  2. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Minneapolis
    Fun stuff.

    But, BOY, did they botch the history! :D

    I can't remember how much of it was them and how much Follett. I know Warren Hollister, my PhD adviser, was a historical consultant for the book, and was a little embarrassed.

    First, the plot to kill Prince William is just plain stupid. Stephen had NO expectation whatsoever in 1121 that he would ever be in the succession, much less heir, and William's death didn't change that at all. Henry still had plenty of time to have another son, and although that ended up not happening, nobody knew that in 1121. And when it became clear that he wasn't going to have another son, he made very solid arrangements for Matilda (Maud) to succeed him. And his plan would have worked, if not for a complicated and somewhat bizarre collision of events around the time of his death. Even then, when Henry was dead and nobody really wanted King Matilda, when they were arguing over who should be king Stephen* wasn't one of the names being mentioned. The only reason he was crowned (for one thing, he had an older brother who was much more popular and much more regal) was because he did perhaps the only clever thing in his entire career...while everybody else was arguing, Stephen raced to Winchester and got himself crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Once that holy oil hits your brow, there's not much anybody can do about it, and although nobody was terribly happy about it, Stephen was then king. But it wasn't any kind of elaborate plan; it was just a rash clever spur of the moment move.

    I was very surprised to see Robert of Gloucester killed in battle and beheaded, since he died in his bed after an illness. Stephen's son Eustace died while plundering church lands, not in battle with Henry. Stephen himself died years earlier than in the show, and the war ended by ink, not the sword (Matilda negotiated a deal with Stephen after Eustace's death whereby Stephen would reign for the rest of his life, and Henry would succeed him; Stephen only lived a short while longer).

    None of which are really quibbles. But what the hell, it's not a documentary.

    *Which reminds me of a cute story. I was checking out a biography of Stephen from the UCSB library, and it was a very, very slim book. The girl at the counter looked at it in great surprise, then laughed. "Oh, King Stephen! I thought it was awfully thin for Stephen King!" :D
     
  3. gossamer88

    gossamer88 HDTV Snob

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    Da boogie...
    For me and this show ignorance is bliss 'cause I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Loved the last shot of how the cathedral looks today...or was that CGI?
     
  4. ahartman

    ahartman Space for Rent

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    Cleveland, OH
    The mini-series deviated from the book quite a bit.

    Since we were invested by the halfway point, we stuck it out, but neither me nor my wife were sad to see the mini-series come to an end.

    I'm curious if there's a split opinion on the mini-series based on who read the book and who went into the series blank.

    I liked the book a lot and ended up disliking the series quite a bit.
     
  5. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Minneapolis
    One thing that REALLY surprised me is that Matilda/Maud was played by the woman who played Kim Pine (the drummer) in Scott Pilgrim!

    Nice range...
     
  6. Jstkiddn

    Jstkiddn Shutity up up up

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    I don't have Starz so I've been watching via Netflix. Yesterday I was expecting a two hour finale but there was only one hour and after watching it was definatly not the end.

    Has the finale aired on Starz?
     
  7. squint

    squint New Member

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I think it aired because part 8 is available on Usenet combined with part 7.

    I've been watching via Netflix.
     
  8. astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston &...
    Yes, Friday's showing was a two hour episode, and the conclusion.

    I read the book and watched the series. Enjoyed both. In all fairness, I read the book when it came out, so have very little working memory of the details. I consider the book to be one of my favorites of all time. Top five. The series was good, fun to watch, moved fast. Not as good as I remember the book, but didn't matter. Still enjoyed watching it.

    The little I remember of the book, the TV series deviated substantially.
     
  9. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    Dec 3, 2000
    Long...
  10. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Minneapolis
    That reminds me of perhaps the biggest historical inaccuracy of the book and series, which he hints at...when he was writing the book, he clearly didn't have a clue what a cathedral is.
     
  11. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    I cringe every time you say "historical inaccuracy" since it is a fictional story just borrowing pieces of history for inspiration. ;)
     
  12. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Minneapolis
    Yeah, but still, when an entire 900-page novel/8-hour miniseries is about building a cathedral, maybe they should, y'know, BUILD A CATHEDRAL.
     
  13. ahartman

    ahartman Space for Rent

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    I always thought of it more as a story about the corruption surrounding the building of a cathedral (or really establishing anything during that time period) rather than the building of a cathedral itself.
     
  14. KenDC

    KenDC Huggy Bear

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    Jun 18, 2001
    Fredericksbu...
    +1
     
  15. Jon J

    Jon J Curmudgeon

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    Music City USA
    I really enjoyed the final two hours. Though I had read the book many years ago I had forgotton how all the variouls intrigues were settled. Hooray for Tom, er Philip and Jack.

    The last scene of the aerial shot of the modern day Salisbury Cathedral was impressive. Brought back fond memories since I've got some pictures of the cathedral and particularly the "colored glass" windows that were new in Pillars. It's a fascinating place to visit.

    ;)
     
  16. KenDC

    KenDC Huggy Bear

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    Fredericksbu...
    Although I enjoyed the series a lot. I didn't really like part of the ending. I have a hard time thinking the mob would allow anyone to speak and then hang a different person. Then allow the Bishop to shuffle off? Even though this was somewhat of a soap opera, for some reason that is the only scene that really bothered me.

    It was cool to see them aged and the modern day cathedral as it could be.

    Overall it was well worth the time!
     
  17. Mr Flippant

    Mr Flippant Regular User

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    I felt the ending was very unsatisfying, like a made for tv movie ending. Poorly thought out and executed. Too bad because it was so good up to that point. Anyway, it was probably the best series of the summer. Glad I got to see it.
     
  18. philw1776

    philw1776 Active Member

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    My wife & I loved this series. Well acted. That said, sadly ignorance of history is bliss. As someone continually frustrated by the really bad science in most 'Sci-fi' I can now understand why so many oblivious to science enjoy those shows while I cringe. Oh well.

    Just watched the finale after returning home from our DVR less Cape Cod cottage (GFY Comcast). DVRs rock.
     
  19. betts4

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

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    A Galaxy...
    I am watching this now thru Netflix. I love the book and will reread it every couple years. I am finding the series to be fun, if not exactly what I expected. I do wish there was less of the court politics and such, but oh well.
     
  20. JohnB1000

    JohnB1000 Active Member

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    Dec 6, 2004
    Long time thread bump.

    I just watched this (Starz on Demand) and really enjoyed it. Some of it was obviously predictable (even the episode descriptions gave major spoilers away) but it did a good job as a GOT methadone.


    I've never read the book (and never can after I watch a TV show) but I have now got the World Without End and will go through his newer series later.
     

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