World Without End, the sequel to Pillars of the Earth, coming to the small screen
Medieval times are turning out to be the hottest TV trend this year. Following the success of The Pillars of the Earth, no fewer than three Middle Ages–set series are scheduled to premier in April: HBO’s A Game of Thrones and Canadian co-productions Camelot and The Borgias (okay, that’s late Middle Ages, but who’s counting?). Just added to the roster is an adaptation of Ken Follett’s bestselling book World Without End. The sequel to Pillars follows four lost souls in 14th-century England as they find themselves faced with bummers like the Hundred Years War, the Black Death and the French.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the eight-part, $43-million series will be co-produced by Canada’s Take 5, Scott Free Productions (founded by Ridley and Tony Scott) and Germany’s Tandem Communications. Eager to take advantage of this period piece revival, Shaw Media has already snatched up the Canadian broadcast rights. Michael Caton-Jones—whose mixed career has seen him direct This Boy’s Life, Rob Roy and Basic Instinct 2—will direct the soapy epic, which starts production in July.
As lovers of The Pillars of the Earth, we’re skeptical that a project so divorced from the original can capture our hearts the same way. Then again, if producers can manage to somehow incorporate Ian McShane’s devilish Bishop Waleran, we might be able to get on board.