World Without End is an eight-episode 2012 television miniseries based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Ken Follett.
It is a sequel to the 2010 miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, also based on a Follett novel.
World Without End is set 150 years after The Pillars of the Earth and chronicles the experiences of the English town of Kingsbridge during the start of the Hundred Years’ War and the outbreak of the Black Death.
The cast is led by Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin, Peter Firth, Charlotte Riley, and Tom Weston-Jones. The miniseries varies significantly from the novel in both the plot and characterizations.
Set in England during the 14th century, the series chronicles the lives of ordinary citizens. Edward III leads the nation into the Hundred Years’ War with France, while Europe faced the Black Death. Caris (Charlotte Riley), a visionary woman, and her lover Merthin (Tom Weston-Jones) build a community that stands up to the crown and the church.
- Ben Chaplin as King Edward II/Sir Thomas Langley.
- Charlotte Riley as Caris Wooler.
- Nora von Waldstätten as Gwenda.
- Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Ralph Fitzgerald.
- Rupert Evans as Godwyn.
- Tom Weston-Jones as Merthin Fitzgerald.
- Cynthia Nixon as Petranilla.
- Tom Cullen as Wulfric.
- Blake Ritson as King Edward III.
- Hera Hilmar as Margery.
- Aure Atika as Queen Isabella.
- Tatiana Maslany as Sister Mair.
- Miranda Richardson as Mother Cecilia.
- Peter Firth as Earl Roland.
- Sarah Gadon as Lady Phillippa.
- Ian Pirie as Elfric.
- Carlo Rota as Edmund.
- Kostja Ullmann as Holger.
- David Bradley as Brother Joseph.
- Caroline Boulton as Sister Elizabeth.
- Megan Follows as Maud.
- Indira Varma as Mattie Wise.
- Dan Cade as Handsome Jim.
- Hannes Jaenicke as Roger Mortimer.
While acquiring the rights to The Pillars of the Earth from Ken Follett, Tandem Communications also secured a first right to negotiate a deal for World Without End, the sequel to the first novel. The project was announced in December 2010. The World Without End miniseries was co-produced by Tandem with Scott Free Productions, Canadian-based Take 5 Productions and Galafilm. John Pielmeier, who adapted The Pillars of the Earth, wrote the screenplay. Michael Caton-Jones signed on as director in March 2011.
Casting for the main roles was completed in June 2011, and filming began a month later in Europe. Shooting took place primarily in Hungary, where an entire medieval town was constructed on a 12,000-m2 backlot at Korda Studios west of Budapest. Additional location shoots took place in Slovakia and Austria.
World Without End has been acquired by Sat.1 in Germany, Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, Shaw Media in Canada, Cuatro in Spain, ORF in Austria, Sky Italia in Italy, DR in Denmark and TV2 in Hungary. In the United States, Starz, which aired The Pillars of the Earth, could not reach an agreement with Tandem to air the show. The series was acquired by ReelzChannel instead.
In Canada it premiered on 04 September 2012 on Showcase; and in Australia on 07 December 2014, as 90 minute combined episodes on ABC. In the US, four 2-hour episodes were aired, the first on 17 October 2012 on ReelzChannel.
The eight hours were similarly divided into four episodes when broadcast in Italy on Sky Movies between 11 November and 02 December 2012. The series was broadcast under the title of Mondo Senza Fine with a choice of Italian-dubbed audio or the original English audio.
World Without End was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on 04 December 2012 in DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats. The two-disc sets contain the featurette “The Making Of Ken Follett’s World Without End”.
- Merthin Fitzgerald is described in the novel as being of short stature and having bright red hair which he inherited from his ancestor, Jack Jackson – the main character from The Pillars of the Earth (2010).
- In the novel, Merthin and Ralph FitzGerald’s father was not Earl of Shiring. Sir Gerald was an ambitious but impoverished minor nobleman.
- Sir Roland did not gain the Earldom at Sir Gerald’s expense but was Earl from the start of the book.
- What Caris witnesses was not the battle of Crecy but skirmishes beforehand.
- Crecy is a fair few miles away from the somme River that was the focus of the action in the series.
- Edward had to cross that river first. In the battle of Crecy the French attacked the English positions not the other way round.
- Ben Chaplin and Aure Atika are both only about eight years older than their onscreen son played by Blake Ritson.
World Without End Series
- Episode 01: Knight.
- Episode 02: King.
- Episode 03: Prior.
- Episode 04: Check.
- Episode 05: Pawns.
- Episode 06: Rook.
- Episode 07: Queen.
- Episode 08: Checkmate.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Michael Caton-Jones.
- Jonas Bauer … executive producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Rola Bauer … executive producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Howard Ellis … producer: Hungary (8 episodes, 2012).
- Arnie Gelbart … co-producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Jim Gillespie … co-executive producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Tim Halkin … executive producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Christopher Monger … associate producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- John Pielmeier … consulting producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- John Ryan … consulting producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Ridley Scott … producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Tony Scott … producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- John Weber … executive producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- David W. Zucker … executive producer (8 episodes, 2012).
- Matthias Nitschke … associate producer (1 episode, 2012).
- Writer(s): Ken Follett and John Pielmeier.
- Music: Mychael Danna.
- Cinematography: Denis Crossan.
- Editor(s): Istavan Kiraly and Susan Maggi.
- Production: Tandem Communications, Scott Free Productions, Take 5 Productions, and Galafilm Productions.
- Tandem Communications (2012) (World-wide) (all media) (except Canada).
- GEM Entertainment (2012) (Non-US) (all media) (multi-territory).
- Best Film CO (2013) (Poland) (DVD).
- Canal+ Polska (2013) (Poland) (TV).
- Canal+ (2012) (France) (TV).
- Channel 4 Television Corporation (2013) (UK) (TV).
- Cuatro (2012) (Spain) (TV).
- Falcon Films (2013) (Lebanon) (all media) (Middle East).
- MTVA (2015) (Hungary) (TV) (Duna).
- Mediaset España (2013) (Spain) (DVD).
- Netflix (2013) (USA) (video) (online).
- ReelzChannel (2012) (USA) (TV).
- Sat.1 (2012) (Germany) (TV).
- Showcase (2012) (Canada) (TV).
- Sky Italia (2012) (Italy) (TV).
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2012) (USA) (DVD).
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2012) (USA) (Blu-ray) (DVD).
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2013) (France) (DVD).
- Universum Film (UFA) (2012) (Germany) (DVD).
- Visionary Thinking (2012) (Serbia) (TV).
- Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) (2012) (Austria) (TV) (ORF1).
- Release Date: 04 September 2012 to 23 October 2012.
- Running Time: 45 minutes (without adverts), 60 minutes (with adverts), and 428 minutes (total running time).
- Rating: TV-MA.
- Country: Canada, Germany, and Hungary.
- Language: English.