World Without End


World Without End

(TV miniseries, 2012)

Rating: 3/5

Reviewed by Dave Lancaster

Summary
: Compared with the other Ken Follett TV miniseries 'Pillars of the Earth', 'World Without End' feels like a shaky dress rehearsal by understudies.




After 'Pillars of the Earth' snagged three Golden Globe noms and top notch viewing figures in 2010, it was only natural that more of Ken Follett's epic historical novels would be mined for television.

The latest is 'World Without End', set around 150 years after 'Pillars of the Earth'  which places it at the start of the Hundred Years War and the Black Death outbreak - fertile soil for historical drama indeed.  



Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin, Peter Firth, Charlotte Riley and Tom Weston-Jones head up the cast list, but none manage to deliver a truly memorable performance. It's not for lack of trying, there just isn't enough juice to go around.

'World Without End' is hampered by a no-frills production and pedestrian direction from Michael Caton-Jones ('This Boy's Life' - good, 'Basic Instinct 2' - bad). Caton-Jones' lack of visual flourish and comfort in the TV medium isn't the real issue here; it's the script that really lets it down with unconvincing dialogue and a slow pace that seldom leads to anything spectacular.



But bear with it. After a while, the domino effect begins to pick up the pace as deception, affairs and social commentary take centre stage. It tells well over half of its epic run time for the Black Death to appear, but it makes for a cracking narrative device, drastically changing everything. And then there's a cracking twist in the last episode that helps you forget the slow trek of the first few episodes.

The theme of women taking on the all powerful church and the crown with new ideas about leadership, equality and medicine is intriguing and holds 'World Without End' together. Ultimately though, those interested in 1300s history will have a natural headstart, but 'World Without End' probably won't convert that many to the period's riches.

The Blu-ray contains a 24-minute making-of doc on the second disc.

Other film news

Jena Malone playing female Robin in 'Batman v Superman': Extra who leaked news could be fined $5m

According to an anonymous extra on the set of upcoming superhero epic 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', Jena Malone has been cast as a female version of Batman's sidekick Robin.

Robert Rodriguez sues financers of 'Sin City 2' and 'Machete Kills' over non-payment of $7.7 Million

'Desperado' filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is taking desperate measures against the financiers of most recently released movies 'Sin City 2' and 'Machete Kills'.

Neil Patrick Harris will host the 2015 Oscars

How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris will host the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony for the first time.

Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in Apple film

Oscar winner Christian Bale has been lined up to play Apple boss Steve Jobs in a new film penned by 'The Social Network' and 'West Wing' scribe Aaron Sorkin.

Watch here: The 'Friends: The Movie' trailer causing a stir online!

The film is "Coming in 2015" and reunites the core cast from the classic TV sitcom Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

See video announcement: David Lynch to return to TV with Twin Peaks follow-up

It's the news that David Lynch fans have been waiting decades for: 'Twin Peaks' is officially coming back.

First trailer for 'Tak3n' (aka 'Taken 3') sees wrongly accused Liam Neeson go on the run - watch here!

The 'Taken' franchise has undergone a reboot of sorts. Not only does the title of the third film ('Tak3n') not make any sense, the film series has now scrapped the key kidnapping plot hook that sustained the first two pictures in favour of an innocent-man-on-the-run story instead.

Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman set for 'Ted 2'

Action hero and oscar nominee Liam Neeson has signed on to Seth MacFarlane's 'Ted 2', the sequel to the massive comedy hit.

Colin Farrell confirms he's the lead in 'True Detective' Season 2

While lots of casting rumours turn out to be false, this one turned out true. Joining 'True Detective' for its highly anticipated second season is 'In Bruges' Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell.

'Outstanding' George Clooney to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Golden Globes

George Clooney's crowded trophy cabinet is set to see a new addition: the 'Syriana' and 'Argo' double Oscar winner is set to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globes at the 2015 ceremony.

Police responded to 'lying' Django Unchained actress after complaints of 'lewd acts' in car

'Django Unchained' co-star Daniele Watts made the headlines recently when she was pictured crying alongside a police officer having been detained. She and her partner claimed on their Facebook pages that the 'racist' LAPD assumed that she was a prostitute and he her client prompting them to demand her ID to which she refused as she deemed her right. However, the full story may have more to it...

Mark Ruffalo reveals he begged 'Star Wars Episode VIII' director for a role

'Avengers Assemble' star and Oscar nominated 'The Kids Are Alright' actor Mark Ruffalo has revealed that he has actively campaigned for a role in the new 'Star Wars' film - regardless of how minor the part may be.

'Fight Club' director David Fincher and 'L.A. Confidential' novellist James Ellroy team up for TV crime series

Oscar nominated director David Fincher is teaming up with one of crime fiction's most renowned writers - David Fincher - for a new HBO series.

George Clooney talks his decision direct celebrity phone hack scandal film 'Hack Attack'

Oscar winning actor and producer George Clooney will direct 'Hack Attack' - a film drama about the British phone hacking scandal that targeted celebrities, politicians and royalty.

Hollywood pays tribute to comic Joan Rivers

Carried to her grave in a mahogany casket by six pallbearers, Rivers was laid to rest in New York city - the place where he storied career took off.

Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leaked following iCloud hack on '100 A-listers'

Following a reported massive Apple iCloud attack, hackers have leaked numerous images of celebrities including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence.

Emmys 2014: The full list of winners and a rundown of the snubs and surprises

Television's biggest night, the Emmy Awards, was dominated by the swansong of 'Breaking Bad'. Stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn took home awards while the show itself won the big one for Best Drama Series. On the comedy side of things, 'Modern Family' won yet again.

'Gandhi' director and 'Brighton Rock' star Richard Attenborough dies at 90

Richard Attenborough, the multi-Oscar winning filmmaker and character actor, has died aged 90.

'Deathly Hallows' director returns for Harry Potter spin-off trilogy 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

Veteran 'Harry Potter' franchise director David Yates ('Order of the Phoenix', 'Half-Blood Prince' and both parts of the 'Deathly Hallows' finale) will return for the forthcoming spin-off trilogy.

'I pity the criminals today': Mr T reports for jury duty

Lawrence Tureaud, or as the world knows him: Mr T, recently reported for jury duty in Chicago.

Find Your Cinema

Cinemas Online supply showtimes for every cinema in the UK. To find out what's playing near you and to register for weekly showtimes updates from your local cinema, just enter your postcode:

Advertisement : content continues below
Advertisement : content continues below
Advertisement

| Privacy Policy | Contact Cinemas Online