Medieval Archives Podcast: Episode 11 – The Pillars of the Earth Episode 1

Pillars of the Earth series
We are back an ready for 2011! Our first podcast of the year is a recap/review of the Starz Original series The Pillars of the Earth. Set in the the 12th century The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of King Stephen’s reign over England and the 19 year period of Anarchy.

This epic tale of passion and greed begins when a mysterious secret disrupts the succession to the English crown and an unlikely member of King Henry’s family takes the throne. A power struggle between Henry’s daughter, Maud, and nephew, Stephen, causes England to be torn by war as battles rage for the rightful heir. Meanwhile, Bishop Waleran Bigod and the Hamleigh family manipulate the conflict to satisfy their own ruthless ambitions. Within this tumultuous setting, Prior Philip fights insurmountable obstacles to keep Kingsbridge and his dream of building a magnificent cathedral alive. The task is daunting, but master-mason Tom Builder, his gifted stepson, Jack, and noblewoman Aliena work together to achieve their dreams. And in the process, the long-hidden secret is revealed.

Episode 1 is title ‘The Anarchy” and sets the stage for this epic series. The death of Prince William puts the line of succession in jeopardy as the only remaining heir to King Henry I is his daughter Maud. King Henry’s nephew Stephen also has ambitions for the throne and will not be stopped. Meanwhile the monk Philip and Archdeacon Waleran are in the midst of the dirty side of church politics. In the middle of it all is Tom Builder. Tom, a simple mason and family man is trying to secure work so he can provide for his family and ends up being a central figure to everyone involved.



Cast of Characters:

  • Ian McShane as Waleran Bigod
  • Donald Sutherland as Earl Bartholomew
  • Rufus Sewell as Tom Builder
  • Matthew Macfadyen as Prior Philip
  • Tony Curran as King Stephen
  • Alison Pill as Princess Maude
  • Sarah Parish as Regan Hamleigh
  • Robert Bathurst as Percy Hamleigh
  • David Oakes as William Hamleigh
  • Goetz Otto as Walter
  • Hayley Atwell as Aliena
  • Sam Claflin as Richard
  • Liam Garrigan as Alfred Builder
  • Skye Bennett as Martha Builder
  • Gordon Pinsent as the Archbishop
  • Eddie Redmayne as Jack Jackson
  • Natalia Wörner as Ellen
  • Anatole Taubman as Remigius

You can listen to the episode below. Or download the MP3 and listen to it on your favorite MP3 player. Subscribe to the feed so you do not miss a single episode.

The music was provided by Tim Rayburn. It is available at Magnatune.com

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