The Pillars of the Earth

Season 1 Episode 8

The Work of Angels

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Aug 27, 2010 on Starz
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Episode Summary

The Work of Angels
Ten years have passed and Jack has become obsessed with the idea of building the cathedral which leaves him little time or energy for anything else. Aliena, in turn, remains fixated about recovering her family's right over the distant Earldom of Shiring which has made her marry Alfred, despite she hates the man. Waleran and Alfred plot a plan to get rid of Jack once and for all; it is carried out successfully until some evidence surfaces and ends up fixing all wrongs.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (16)

    • Goof: When Jack is explaining to Philip why the wind is cracking the walls, he asks Philip to push against his hand. Then Philip removes his hand from Jack's only to still be pushing against it in the next take.

    • This episode covers a 14 years span as is indicated in captions along the episode from A.D. 1156 to A.D. 1170 and is set 10 years into the future from episode 1x07 New Beginnings.

    • This episode takes place in Anjou (France) and the UK.

    • Scenes from episodes 1x01 Anarchy, 1x02 Master Builder, 1x03 Redemption and 1x07 New Beginnings can be seen during this episode.

    • The voice of the man who gives indications to little Tommy as he flies his kite is not Eddie Redmayne's (Jack's).

    • Jack's father (Jacques Cherbourg) is also referred to as Jack Shareburg.

    • Goof: It is mentioned along the episode that England has been suffering 17 years of civil war (after his trial Jack mentions it's been 16 years) but actually it's been 18, from A.D. 1138 to A.D. 1156, when the first part of the episode takes place.

    • Goof: When Jack arrives to Shiring he walks over to Aliena and holds her hand. However, immediately afterwards, when Walter refuses to surrender the castle, Jack is behind Aliena and stepping towards the front again.

    • Richard finally gets revenge on Walter by cutting his ear off (Walter mutilated Richard under William orders in episode 1x02 Master Builder).

    • Prince Henry ends up killing his cousin Eustace in battle.

    • Alfred is referred to as 'Alfred Tomson' for the first time.

    • Goof: Aliena says in Jack's trial that she and Alfred haven't lived together as husband and wife for nearly 10 years. However, this episode is set 10 years in the future from the previous one so they haven't actually lived together as husband and wife for a bit longer than 10 years.

    • The gargoyle to which Waleran holds on to before falling is one of those Jack made resembling his father.

    • By the end of this episode Jack is 34 years old and married to Aliena; they have 2 other children apart from Tom.

    • Ellen's curse, as we learnt it in episode 1x02 Master Builder, becomes true at the end of this episode:
      -'Your church, dear Prior, shall burn to the ground.' Prior James' church was set on fire by Jack in episode 1x02 Master Builder so Tom would have work.
      -'Your children, My Lord, shall die on the gallows.' William, Lord Percy's son, is hanged in this episode.
      -'And you, good Father, the confessor whom I trusted, you shall one day climb very high, only to fall.' Waleran falls from the top of Kingsbridge cathedral (he has also climbed to Cardinal status).

    • This is the only episode (aside with 1x01 Anarchy's preface) that doesn't start off with a location map.

  • QUOTES (41)

    • Jack: We will finish this church while peace still reigns. Another war could stop us all together.

    • Eustace: I'm afraid, Father.
      King Stephen: Good God, Eustace! What can you possibly be afraid of?
      Eustace: I'll make a bad decision.
      King Stephen: Kings don't make bad decisions. Now, your advisers will advise you. But, if something goes wrong, it's their fault for not informing you fully.

    • King Stephen: Richard of Kingsbridge, welcome home. The crusade went well?
      Richard: It was a long journey, Your Majesty, with little result.
      King Stephen: You killed a lot of Jews, didn't you? That's what I was told.
      Richard: I came to believe the Jews were not necessarily our enemies, My Lord.
      King Stephen: Hmm, how odd.

    • Richard: For many years now I have been asking that my father's title be restored to me, along with his castle and his land. I've served the king faithfully, first against Maud, now in the Holy Land.
      Eustace: Your title was given to William Hamleigh, was it not?
      Richard: Yes, My Lord. But he's continually changed sides in the war of succession and in addition, is a bad landlord with unpaid taxes. I will pay those taxes and serve you better than he once Shiring is mine.
      Eustace: Very well, it's yours.

    • King Stephen: Why can't Richard be named earl?
      Waleran: In order for him to claim his title, he has to take the castle by force, Majesty. And it is well armed, I believe. So, Richard has to raise his own army, and pay and feed and army then himself. Unless Your Majesty is willing to contribute.
      King Stephen: No. No, that's... that's impossible. We're poor as church mice.

    • Jack: A storm is coming. I'll go check the cathedral for cracks. You should take Tom back before he gets wet.
      Aliena: God forbid anything should happen to your precious cathedral.
      Jack: What did you say?
      Aliena: I said cathedral first, family second.
      Jack: That's not true. It's my work.
      Aliena: It's your life, Jack.

    • Aliena: Prior Philip gives you pittance for all the hours that you spend building his church, Jack. His, not yours. You're so tired when you come home you have little energy for anything else but sleep. I'm treated like a neglected mistress. I'm not even your wife! And you think an afternoon of kite flying and picnic is enough to make everything fine?
      Jack: You're not my wife because you chose to marry Alfred. I begged you not to, but Richard needed the money. And that is all that you care about, isn't it? Richard's precious title. Well, that was your naive promise, Aliena, not mine. Face the facts. Shiring is a dream, you will never win it back. Just as you will never be a princess again, only the merchant mistress of a common labourer.

    • Remigius: I was in love once. Love is a terrible thing. I know, it struck me dead.
      Ellen: Did she die?
      Remigius: He hanged himself. And I found him. I loved him and he loved me. How could it be a sin? But I confessed and my confessor made me denounce him to the others. And after he took his life, my confessor made me fix things so that I would never be able to sin like that again.
      Ellen: Is your confessor still alive?
      Remigius: Oh yes.
      Ellen: You should denounce him to the Church.
      Remigius: He is the Church.

    • Elizabeth: I was only 13 when he married me. The Church forbade him to touch me until I was... more mature. He cared nothing for rules. He came to me on my wedding night and hurt me so badly that I was unable, after that, to bear children.
      Aliena: You ran away.
      Elizabeth: Three days ago. God help me if he finds me.

    • Ellen: What would you do... to see justice done?
      Remigius: Anything.

    • Philip: Why is the ceiling cracking?
      Jack: I don't know, Prior! I do not know.
      Philip: Tom would know.
      Jack: I am not Tom.

    • Richard: You're holding in your arms, dear sister, the new Earl of Shiring. It's true. King Stephen made it official last week.
      (Both laugh)
      Aliena: Wonderful! Everything we worked for... all these years... finally, we did it.
      Richard: There is one minor complication. Before we move in, we have to move William out.

    • Richard: William Hamleigh is a tyrant! He's attacked Kingsbridge, murdered its citizens, yet freely walks among us whenever he wishes. King Stephen has seen fit to strip him of his title, but it is up to us to strip him of his lands. I have soldiers, friends from the crusade who will lead the charge and bear the brunt of the battle, but I need men to back them up. I will reward you with what gold we capture. William will be punished for the evil he has done, and the blood of your wives and children will be avenged!
      (Crowd murmurs)
      Man: There's not enough of us to take a castle! We'll never make it inside the gate.
      Aliena: Oh yes, we will. We have a friend who will help us.

    • Jack: I've been an ass and an idiot.
      Philip: Well, if that's a sin, we'll all burn in hell. What about?
      Jack: Aliena, the roof, everything that is important in my life.
      Philip: What you said this morning was right. You're right, you're not Tom. You're Jack, which is something much better. Tom was a dreamer with enough faith to give his dreams weight, but you... you have an exceptional gift. And you have determination instead of faith. We all need faith, Jack. It makes it easier for God to help us. And Aliena believes in you more than you do.
      (Jack scoffs)
      Philip: How much faith do you have in her?
      Jack: What do you mean, Prior?
      Philip: She left an hour ago with Richard and an army of men to retake Shiring.

    • Elizabeth: I have come to bid you all goodbye. I am no longer your lady because my husband is no longer your earl.
      (Crowd murmurs)
      Elizabeth: King Stephen has awarded the title to Richard whose father once ruled here and whose sister, Aliena, some of you may remember. I am surrendering the castle to the rightful Earl of Shiring and command you all to lay down your weapons. There will be no bloodshed.

    • Walter: (After Richard cuts off his ear) Now we're even.
      Richard: (Stabs him dead) Now we're even.

    • William: She betrayed me, my own wife.
      Waleran: If you kick a dog... it may someday bite you. Your mother never learned that and now she burns in eternal fire.
      William: Nonsense, she is in heaven kneeling before the throne of God.
      Waleran: She's in hell, William, and rumour has it you put her there.

    • Waleran: I will want you to make an arrest for murder soon.
      William: Who? Who murdered whom?
      Waleran: No one's murdered anyone, yet.
      William: I don't follow.
      Waleran: No, I don't expect you to. Trust me, William. I'm laying a trap for a witch.

    • Jack: Why were you in the crypt?
      Ellen: I'm retrieving an old letter for a new friend. Trust me, Jack. I'm laying a trap for a bishop.

    • Waleran: I'm here to grant you a favour.
      Alfred: Is it the annulment? Will I be able to marry again?
      Waleran: Follow my wishes, you'll be able to do whatever you want.
      Alfred: What's that? A dagger? What?
      Waleran: I want you to provoke Jack Jackson into a fight.
      Alfred: You want me to kill him?

    • Henry: I'm returning to England to fight for my rightful crown. Our soldiers are returning from the crusade, Mother. They'll support me.
      Maud: Henry...
      Henry: Don't you dare forbid it!
      Maud: I would be ashamed if you didn't want this.

    • Jack: It's a taller buttress, at least 20 feet higher, but with these second half arches that leap across to the exterior wall near where those cracks are forming. So, it will brace the top half of the church and keep these walls rigid when the wind blows.
      Philip: But won't the higher buttresses appear rather naked?
      Jack: Well, if we try and hide them with more walls, we lose the light. What's wrong with them appearing naked so long as they're strong and elegant, like the bird's wing?

    • Alfred: Bastard stabbed me! Everyone, Jack Bastard stabbed me unprovoked!
      Jack: No, he attacked Aliena.
      Alfred: She's my wife! My wife, sister, look what Jack Bastard did to me.
      Jack: He scratched himself, Aliena. It was his own knife.
      Alfred: I've never seen it before in my life! Why should I stab myself? It's Aliena I wanna stab and not with a knife.
      (Crowd laughs. Suddenly Alfred grimaces.)
      Jack: What?
      Alfred: (Grunting) He tricked me!
      Jack: What?
      Alfred: It was poisoned (He dies)

    • Henry: Eustace! Eustace!
      Eustace: Yes?
      Henry: I'm Henry. Pleased to meet you, cousin (He kills him)

    • William: As newly appointed district sheriff, I've come to arrest Jack Jackson for the murder of Alfred Thomson.
      Philip: This cathedral stands on holy ground. No arrest can be made under the laws of sanctuary. Now take your men and your horses and leave.
      Waleran: Not so fast, good prior. The laws of sanctuary only apply to churches that have been dedicated and sanctified. You should know that. This church is not yet finished, so God's law has no power here. Seize him.

    • Jack: Your Church is a church of ambition, not of Christ.
      Waleran: Holy ambition which brings me closer to Christ.
      Jack: Is that why you burned my father?
      Waleran: The Church did. I just sentenced him.
      Jack: But Lord Percy and Prior James were under your orders, weren't they?

    • Jack: What did my father know? Was it something to do with the White Ship?
      Waleran: Gag him. Prepare for trial. Send for the executioner from Winchester.

    • Aliena: Alfred Thomson was drunk. He attacked me in the public square.
      Waleran: As his wife you publicly rejected him. His reaction was understandable.
      Aliena: We haven't lived together in nearly 10 years.
      Waleran: All the more reason, I would think, for his desperation, hmm?

    • Waleran: Did Jack Jackson stab Alfred Thomson?
      Aliena: The wound was not fatal. It barely nicked his skin.
      Waleran: Oh, not fatal? Perhaps your late husband should testify to that.

    • Waleran: The facts are clear. Alfred Thomson died from a stab wound administered by Jack Jackson, who is hereby condemned to be hanged by the neck until dead. And may God have mercy on his soul.

    • Ellen: I have evidence!
      Waleran: There is no need for more evidence. The prisoner has been condemned.
      Ellen: Evidence of the murder of a future king... of regicide.
      (Crowd murmurs)
      Woman: What is she talking about?
      Waleran: She's a madwoman! She's lying to save her son. That woman was condemned as a witch years ago and has evaded the law ever since. So, we'll have 2 hangings today.
      Jack: Mother, run. Run!
      Ellen: No. There's been too much running from the law in Kingsbridge. I have the evidence here.
      Philip: Quiet! Let her speak!
      Ellen: Evidence of treason. The chalice was planted on Jacques Cherbourg at the request of Prior James of Kingsbridge. He was tortured and burned. An innocent man!

    • Ellen: 35 years ago, I found a man... Jack Jackson's father, near drowned on a beach. He held a secret for the king. And before he was taken by his enemies, he asked me for quill, paper, ink and sealing wax. I never saw his letter until a few days ago. When he was brought here and stripped for torture, one of the monks discovered it hidden in his clothing. This monk concealed what he found certain that, if anyone knew what he had read, he too would be eliminated.

    • Ellen: This… is Jacques Cherbourg's story (She reads the letter) 'Your Majesty, I was a jongleur hired by young Prince William to sail with him to England. The ship was set ablaze and people were drowning. Being the only good swimmer, I managed to stay afloat and saw the prince and his bride save themselves in a rowboat, along with Father Waleran and Lord and Lady Hamleigh. I was about to call to the prince for help when the unthinkable happened (Flashback to Regan killing the prince and his bride) I tried to save him, but it was too late. His ring, however, slipped off into my hand. Your Majesty, your son's ring is the proof of what I saw. I swear to the truth of these words on my immortal soul. Jacques Cherbourg.'

    • Waleran: There is no proof this is anything but a forgery.
      Ellen: He sealed it with the lost prince's ring.
      Waleran: Another forgery, another lie.
      Ellen: He gave me the ring for safekeeping and I gave it to Jack.
      Jack: And Alfred stole it!
      Waleran: So, there is no ring. There is no ring! Pity, it might have given a glint of truth to your story. Proceed with the execution.
      Aliena No! No!
      Martha: It's here!
      Jack: (Surprised) Martha.

    • Martha: (About Jack's ring) I took it from Jack years ago because he said it was worthless and I thought it was pretty. He accused Alfred of stealing it. When I tried to tell him differently, I grew afraid. I kept it, Jack... because you loved Aliena so and... I wanted a little bit of you for myself.

    • Aliena: The citizens of Kingsbridge have been used unlawfully by Bishop Waleran and William Hamleigh. You've attacked this town twice, killing our husbands, our wives, our children. And now you attack again by murdering the one man that has brought this town back to life.

    • William: It's not me! It's the bishop! It's Waleran! He set me on to it.
      Philip: Silence! Silence! Allow him to be heard.
      William: He was Prince William's confessor and Stephen's. He went to Stephen and made a bargain. With Prince William dead, Stephen would be in direct line to the throne. He recruited my parents to help. And together, they scuttled the ship and murdered the prince and his wife. For this, my parents were given land and position, but he did it for power. But I did nothing. As God is my witness, I did nothing. I don't want to die!

    • Waleran: Citizens of Kingsbridge... you have brought the wrath of God upon yourselves. You harbour liars, witches, sodomites and thieves.
      Jack: And unholy priests! Because of your treachery, England has been steeped in blood for 16 years. Soldiers have died, wives mourned, sons grown fatherless into manhood and then gone themselves to fight and to die. This town has been burned, its citizens slaughtered... and yet, still we survive. We build a cathedral like none has ever seen before in praise of God and our abilities and our faith in some peaceful tomorrow. And in spite of you, Waleran Bigod, the people of Kingsbridge will find that peace.

    • Waleran: I claim sanctuary! I am your bishop and this is holy ground.
      Jack: There is no sanctuary, you said so yourself.

    • Philip: When we began work on the Kingsbridge Cathedral, King Stephen was newly crowned and the Princess Maud fled to France with her newborn son, Henry. For years, England was torn by war and great suffering. King Stephen is since dead and Maud's son now rules as King Henry II of England. Now we have peace and hope for a bright tomorrow. And for these gifts and our beautiful church, I thank God, our king, the people of Kingsbridge and several generations
      of tireless workers. But the cathedral is not finished and nor will it ever be. just as human perfection is something we all strive for and can never attain, so this church will forever be changing, growing, crumbling at times... an ongoing legacy of our feeble efforts to touch God. A cathedral, my friends, is... is neither stone nor statues nor even a place of prayer. It is... a continuum of creation... beautiful work that, pray God, will never end.

    • Philip: Jack has finished the... windows with, whoever heard of it, coloured glass.
      (Crowd laughs)
      Philip: He filled this world with light. God be praised.

  • NOTES (10)

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

    • Ken Follet found himself moved to tears when he witnessed as they filmed the scene in which Elizabeth tells the story of how her husband William Hamleigh has beaten and abused her over the years.

    • The fight between Richard and Walter at the gates of Shiring Castle features several deft manoeuvres taken straight from the pages of period fight-manuals.

    • Most of the cathedral set was made of plaster, wood and polystyrene but a considerable part was real stone. Modern power-tools were used in rough shaping for the sake of speed but a big part of it was hand finished real stone made by a Budapest firm of stonemasons, Reneszansz Plc., who carry out maintenance and restoration on real historical buildings.

    • According to Ken Follet, the fictional Kingsbridge Cathedral was partly inspired by Salisbury Cathedral (was built in just 38 years in the 13th Century, less than 100 years after the fictional Kingsbridge Cathedral was built in a similarly rapid timescale) as it can be seen in its architectural features such as the Gothic arches and the rows of narrow, pointed lancet windows. They provide an instant visual contrast with the squat construction of the previous tumbledown Kingsbridge cathedral church and the dim, shadowy interiors of even King Stephen's royal apartments.

    • The director of The Pillars Of The Earth, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, visited Salisbury Cathedral in 2008. Later on, parts of Salisbury's architecture were filmed in October 2009 by special effects photographers to be later on reproduced in Kingsbridge Cathedral.
      David Oakes, who plays William Hamleigh, was educated at Bishop Wordsworth School in the Salisbury Cathedral Close and is son of a current Canon of Salisbury Cathedral, Jeremy Oakes.

    • This episode aired together with 1x07 New Beginnings as a two hour finale.

    • Broadcast:
      Friday, August 27th at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Saturday, August 28th at 12:00am on Starz Edge.
      Saturday, August 28th at 10:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Sunday, August 29th at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Monday, August 30th at 12:00am on Starz Edge.
      Monday, August 30th at 09:00pm on Starz In Black.
      Tuesday, August 31st at 12:25am on Starz In Black.
      Tuesday, August 31st at 10:50pm on Starz Edge.
      Wednesday, September 1st at 10:00pm on Starz.
      Thursday, September 2nd at 09:00pm on Starz Edge.
      Thursday, September 2nd at 11:00pm on Starz In Black.

    • International Air Dates:
      Canada: August 27th, 2010 on Movie Central.
      Canada: August 27th, 2010 on The Movie Network.
      Spain: October 12th, 2010 on Cuatro.
      USA: August 27th, 2010 on Starz.

    • Filming locations:
      Burg Kreuzenstein, Leobendorf, Lower Austria, Austria.
      Votivkirche, Vienna, Austria.
      Fót Studios, Budapest, Hungary.
      Ócsa, Pest, Budapest, Hungary.