ABC1 screens the 2010 period miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, a Canadian-German co-production.
This has a top cast including Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell and Donald Sutherland, and has already aired in Australian on Pay TV.
ABC1 will air two eps each week in movie-length instalments.
The Pillars of the Earth, adapted from the Ken Follet novel, is a sweeping epic of good and evil, treachery and intrigue, violence and beauty. This is a four-part drama set in the 12th century against the backdrop of war, religious strife and power struggles which tear lives and families apart. The story revolves around the building of a cathedral in the fictional market town of Kingsbridge over 50 years.
A white ship sinks under suspicious circumstances, drowning King Henry’s sole heir. His nephew Stephen takes the throne, triggering a power struggle with Henry’s daughter Maud and bastard son Gloucester and plunging England into anarchy. Aliena, daughter of the Earl of Shiring, rejects William Hamleigh’s brutish proposal of marriage, sparking the young man’s bitter fury. Visionary mason Tom Builder and his family search for work in the English winter and meet tragedy on the road. Meanwhile in Kingsbridge, the monastery’s idealistic new prior Philip learns a dangerous secret and becomes obligated to ambitious, sinister cleric Waleran Bigod.
Tom Builder’s fortunes change when he is engaged by Prior Philip to rebuild Kingsbridge’s ruined church as a cathedral.
CAST: Waleran Bigod (Ian McShane), Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell), Prior Philip (Matthew Macfadyen), Ellen (Natalia WÖrner), Jack (Eddie Redmayne), Richard (Sam Claflin), Bartholomew (Donald Sutherland), Aliena (Hayley Atwell), Regan Hamleigh (Sarah Parrish), William Hamleigh (David Oakes) and Percy Hamleigh (Robert Bathurst).
8:39pm Sunday, 9 December ABC1.