Miniseries “The Pillars of the Earth” is a dry history lesson

This sword may be more interesting than the show.

The Details

The Pillars of the Earth
Two stars
Starz, Fridays, 10 p.m.

Following the success of the lurid Spartacus: Blood and Sand, premium-cable network Starz is clearly high on period epics. The channel’s latest original production: this eight-part miniseries based on Ken Follett’s popular 1989 novel. The nearly thousand-page book is adapted into a plodding, dreary, interminable saga, set during the 12th-century period in English history when a dispute over succession led two monarchs to compete for rights to the crown. The series follows both the tedious court intrigue and the plights of ordinary citizens who get caught up in the madness. Although the cast has a few bright spots (Ian McShane, Alison Pill, Hayley Atwell), the direction and writing are dull and workmanlike, and the pace is lugubrious. Spartacus at least has copious blood and nudity and a faint sense of its own absurdity; Pillars is just a dry history lesson with better production values.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

Get more Josh Bell

Previous Discussion:

  • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

  • The three-day event—which will showcase more than 50 short films, along with one feature—kicks off with a free night of films at Backstage Bar and ...

  • Returning to the Palms, LVFF 2018 offers talked-about indie films shorts programs, animation, student films, parties and more.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story