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Old 08-16-2010, 03:09 PM   #1
astrohip
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Pillars of the Earth: entire mini-series thread (spoilers to date)

We need a thread for Pillars, so I'll jump in. This show is too good not to comment on.

Let's set a simple rule. Spoilers allowed up to whatever episode has aired on Starz.
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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I'll start. I'm liking this so far. I went in with low expectations, since almost every review was less than flattering. But it's been fun to watch.

I read the book when it came out, about 20 years ago. Loved it. There's no way the series will be as good as the book, but it is entertaining in its own right. Love the characters. Aliana (?) is a sensual delight. The machinations of the court are a hoot. And of course Bishop Swearingen... anything that CS does is worth watching.

General question: I remembered the book as being about the cathedral, and the town, and the market, and the politics of the Priory, and the people involved in all of that. I don't remember the court drama as being a major subject. If I had to guess (and remember, this is a 20 yr old memory), the book was 80% what I just said, and 20% court politics.

But this series is about 50-50, royal court vs local stuff. Have they changed it for TV, or is my memory faulty?
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:37 PM   #3
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You might also have a look here:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...d.php?t=452608
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:49 PM   #4
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I have a question: Am I just not paying close enough attention (entirely possible) or are they not clearly showing the passage of time? At the end of the current episode (5) a fair bit of the cathedral is built, and I'm pretty sure its not a quick process.

Z
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:53 PM   #5
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Ack. For as many times as I've seen that stupid promo, I didn't have this set to record. If only there were something like a popup "Press to record" thingamajig that would let me quickly schedule it when I saw the promo... *sigh*
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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Ack. For as many times as I've seen that stupid promo, I didn't have this set to record. If only there were something like a popup "Press to record" thingamajig that would let me quickly schedule it when I saw the promo... *sigh*
If you have a netflix subscription the episodes are available to stream the day after they air.

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Old 08-16-2010, 04:20 PM   #7
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Bye bye Tom Builder! Or maybe he will come back to life too!?
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:28 PM   #8
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That was weird.

They are showing the passage of time. Sometimes there is a caption saying that 6 months or some other time has passed.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:45 PM   #9
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No, that's titled "Pillars of the Earth - confusing episodes". Since it doesn't have an episode description or date, posting spoilers there would be against the rules. We needed a specific thread to be able to post in. So here it is.
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:52 PM   #10
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OK, I downloaded the first 5 episodes. And I simply could not stop watching. Just finished them. More. I need more. I WANT MORE! NOW!
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Old 08-17-2010, 05:54 AM   #11
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I'll start. I'm liking this so far. I went in with low expectations, since almost every review was less than flattering. But it's been fun to watch.
The reviews at tv.ign.com have been from "Great" to "Outstanding":
http://tv.ign.com/index/reviews.html

In the most recent episode "Legacy", WHY did Tom Builder just stand there (weaponless, no less!!) when William was coming at him with a sword??
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:15 AM   #12
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Bye bye Tom Builder! Or maybe he will come back to life too!?
Man, he was just plain stupid - standing up to a knight on a horse with a huge sword. How did he think that was going to end well? Hate to see the character go though - really liked him.

Red-headed kid was really, really stupid admitting he burned down the original church. He actually thought that would endear Tom to him???

Enjoy the show, but the characters really make a lot of stupid decisions...

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Old 08-17-2010, 08:25 AM   #13
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Red-headed kid was really, really stupid admitting he burned down the original church. He actually thought that would endear Tom to him???

Enjoy the show, but the characters really make a lot of stupid decisions...

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Old 08-22-2010, 12:21 AM   #14
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why does the bishop hurt himself? penance? so he would do evil things then do penance?
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:31 AM   #15
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why does the bishop hurt himself? penance? so he would do evil things then do penance?
Religions have a long history of self-inflicted pain

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle4628278.ece

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Studies of self-inflicted suffering in religious observance suggest that it has two main purposes. One is the hope of rooting out sexual desire or some other physical appetite, thereby achieving purity and self-mastery, and thus merit. The other, much the main purpose, is to induce an ecstatic or transcendent state often interpreted by believers as contact with the divine.

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Old 08-22-2010, 05:54 AM   #16
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In the most recent episode "Legacy", WHY did Tom Builder just stand there (weaponless, no less!!) when William was coming at him with a sword??
That's what TV characters do. And who can blame them? If the redheaded kid can come back to life, why shouldn't Tom Builder be impervious to the sword?

This show has been a real bright spot this summer -- I just wish there were more episodes each week.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:32 PM   #17
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This show has been a real bright spot this summer -- I just wish there were more episodes each week.
A real surprise for Starz. I am crazy happy I can watch it on Netflix as well. I hope they do something like this every summer.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:31 AM   #18
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So glad to have something to watch with my wife that isn't some Hallmark or Lifetime chick flick. Great series. Well acted. Loved the Archbishop's last scene.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:19 PM   #19
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Wow, my wife and I both read the book and we're irritated with the unnecessary changes they're making. I realize you can't be completely faithful to a 1000-page book and expect to get in all the details, but this show just isn't grabbing me like the book did.

We'll finish the series, but we're not big fans. Maybe if I hadn't read the book, I'd look at it differently.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:51 PM   #20
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We'll finish the series, but we're not big fans. Maybe if I hadn't read the book, I'd look at it differently.
I have not read the book but my wife has. We both eagerly anticipate the next episode. Kind of like Legend of the Seeker. I read all the books and even though the tv series heavily deviated from the book it was good weekly entertainment. I realize the screen version rarely can capture the depth, detail and grandeur a book can create, so I try to enjoy each on what they try to impart.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:14 AM   #21
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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.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:22 PM   #22
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Fun stuff.

But, BOY, did they botch the history!

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!"
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:26 PM   #23
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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?
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:31 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #25
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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...
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:44 PM   #26
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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 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?
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:17 PM   #27
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I think it aired because part 8 is available on Usenet combined with part 7.

I've been watching via Netflix.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:44 PM   #28
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Has the finale aired on Starz?
Yes, Friday's showing was a two hour episode, and the conclusion.

Quote:
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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.
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.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:56 PM   #29
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Loved the last shot of how the cathedral looks today...or was that CGI?
http://www.ken-follett.com/pote/kingsbridge.html
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:58 AM   #30
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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.
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