The Pillars of the Earth
About the Show
Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Hayley Atwell and Donald Sutherland star in this adaptation of Ken Follett's 12th-century story of love, war, religious strife and power struggles
Series 1 Summary
Set against a backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles in 12th-century England, this adaptation of Ken Follett's novel is an enduring love story entwined with political turmoil
A white ship sinks in suspicious circumstances, drowning King Henry's sole heir. His nephew Stephen takes the thone, triggering a power struggle and plunging England into anarchy.
Aliena's father the Earl is executed for supporting Maud. To prove her family's loyalty to King Stephen, she vows to fund her brother Richard's knighthood so that he can fight against Maud.
Prior Philip, Richard and Jack journey to Lincoln to seek justice from the King, but Queen Maud's forces attack, and in the ensuing battle each side's leader is taken hostage by the enemy
Prior Philip faces execution, Waleran and Regan struggle to convince Maud of their loyalty and Alfred and Jack's violent rivalry forces Tom Builder to make a harsh decision
King Steven defeats Maud while Alfred proposes marriage to Aliena, sparking a violent clash with Jack. William Hamleigh's fortunes seem to be improving, then disaster hits Kingsbridge.
In the final episode, Aliena takes her child to France, exiled after giving birth to Jack's illegitimate son. There, she finds her lover and tells him of the collapse of Kingsbridge.