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The Pillars of the Earth (DVD)

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The Pillars of the Earth (DVD)

A cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power, this Starz adaptation of Ken Follett's massive page-turner offers all the scheming and plotting of royal potboilers like Elizabeth and Showtime's The Tudors. The story takes place in the 12th century, when King Henry I loses his son at sea. After Henry's death, his nephew, Stephen (Tony Curran), assumes the throne, against the wishes of the Earl of Bartholomew (Donald Sutherland, star of Follett's Eye of the Needle) and Henry's daughter, Maud (Alison Pill, convincing as a Brit), which pits them against Bishop Waleran (Deadwood's Ian McShane) and Lady Hamleigh (Sarah Parish) and her bloodthirsty son, William (David Oakes). Tom (Rufus Sewell), a mason, and his apprentice, Jack (Savage Grace's Eddie Redmayne), enter the fray when they offer to construct a cathedral for Prior Philip (Matthew Macfadyen).