|Genre|| Period drama |
|Directed by||J Blakeson|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||3 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Distributor||Endemol Shine UK|
|Picture format||16:9 1080p|
|Original release||21 October –|
4 November 2017
Gunpowder is a British historical drama television miniseries produced by Kudos and Kit Harington’s Thriker Films for BBC One. The three-part drama series premiered on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 21 October 2017 and on HBO in the United States on 18 December 2017.
It was developed by Ronan Bennett, Kit Harington and Daniel West and is based on the Gunpowder Plot in London in 1605. The series stars Harington, who is a direct descendant of his character Robert Catesby.J Blakeson directed the series.
In February 2017, the BBC ordered Gunpowder, then announced the three-part drama series was to be developed by Ronan Bennett, Kit Harington and Daniel West, written by Ronan Bennett and produced by Kudos. The series stars Kit Harington, Peter Mullan, Mark Gatiss, and Liv Tyler, and is directed by J Blakeson.Filming started in late February 2017.
Filming locations included the National Trust's East Riddlesden Hall and Fountains Abbey, alongside popular visitor attractions such as Oakwell Hall, Ripley Castle, Haddon Hall, Kirkstall Abbey, Bolton Abbey, Lendal Bridge in York City Centre and the famous Ilkley Moor. Beverley Minster depicted the regal splendour of the Palace of Westminster.
All three episodes were available on the BBC iPlayer following the terrestrial broadcast of the first episode.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers|
|1||"Episode 1"||J Blakeson||Ronan Bennett||21 October 2017||9.33|
|It is 1603, and as England wars with Spain and the bloody persecution of Catholics intensifies, a young nobleman resolves to avenge his kin and defend his faith by any means necessary.|
|2||"Episode 2"||J Blakeson||Ronan Bennett||28 October 2017||7.49|
|As the king's network of spies close in on them, Catesby and Wintour attempt to raise an army for their plot across mainland Europe. Returning to London with Guy Fawkes in tow, Catesby assembles his gang of plotters for the first time. They know they must act fast, and the plan is formed—they will strike next week, 5 November, at the opening of Parliament.|
|3||"Episode 3"||J Blakeson||Ronan Bennett||4 November 2017||5.25|
|On the eve of 5 November, Catesby, Fawkes and the plotters load the tunnels below Parliament with barrels of gunpowder. Across the city, Father Garnet is under pressure to reveal Catesby's plot for the good of the Catholic faith.|
Gunpowder premiered on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 21 October 2017.The series premiered in the United States on HBO on 18 December 2017.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 72% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 7.25/10.On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the series has a score 63 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favourable reviews".
The initial reaction to the first episode was mired with complaints from viewers about the depicted scenes of torture, nudity and disembowelment, despite the broadcast time being 10 minutes after the watershed of 9 pm. In response to complaints, the BBC said: "The scenes aired after 9.30pm with a clear warning given to viewers before the episode started. The methods depicted are grounded in historical fact and reflect what took place during the time of the gunpowder plot." It was described as 'a very good drama' by other viewers.
Guy Fawkes, also known as Guido Fawkes while fighting for the Spanish, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who was involved in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born and educated in York; his father died when Fawkes was eight years old, after which his mother married a recusant Catholic.
The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby who sought to restore the Catholic monarchy from the Church of England after decades of intolerance against Catholics.
Robert Catesby was the leader of a group of English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Francis Tresham, eldest son of Thomas Tresham and Merial Throckmorton, was a member of the group of English provincial Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a conspiracy to assassinate King James I of England.
Kudos is a British film and television production company. It has produced television series for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Amazon and Netflix and its productions include Tin Star, Humans, Broadchurch, The Tunnel, Grantchester, Apple Tree Yard, Utopia,Spooks (US:MI5), Hustle and Life on Mars. In 2007 it was voted Best Independent Production Company by Broadcast magazine. Formed in 1992, since 2007 it has been part of the Shine Group. In 2007 it also set up the film unit, Kudos Pictures. In 2011, the Shine Group was 100% acquired by News Corporation and was part of the 50-50 joint-venture Endemol Shine Group. On 3 July 2020, France-based Banijay Group bought the studio through former's acquisition of Endemol Shine Group.
Robert Wintour and Thomas Wintour, also spelt Winter, were members of the Gunpowder Plot, a failed conspiracy to assassinate King James I. Brothers, they were related to other conspirators, such as their cousin, Robert Catesby, and a half-brother, John Wintour, also joined them following the plot's failure. Thomas was an intelligent and educated man, fluent in several languages and trained as a lawyer, but chose instead to become a soldier, fighting for England in the Low Countries, France, and possibly in Central Europe. By 1600, however, he changed his mind and became a fervent Catholic. On several occasions he travelled to the continent and entreated Spain on behalf of England's oppressed Catholics, and suggested that with Spanish support a Catholic rebellion was likely.
Ambrose Rookwood was a member of the failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot, a conspiracy to replace the Protestant King James I with a Catholic sovereign. Rookwood was born into a wealthy family of Catholic recusants, and educated by Jesuits in Flanders. His older brother became a Franciscan, and his two younger brothers were ordained as Catholic priests. Rookwood became a horse-breeder. He married the Catholic Elizabeth Tyrwhitt, and had at least two sons.
Thomas Percy was a member of the group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. A tall, physically impressive man, little is known of his early life beyond his matriculation in 1579 at the University of Cambridge, and his marriage in 1591 to Martha Wright. In 1596 his second cousin once removed, Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, appointed him constable of Alnwick Castle and made him responsible for the Percy family's northern estates. He served the earl in the Low Countries in about 1600–1601, and in the years before 1603 was his intermediary in a series of confidential communications with King James VI of Scotland.
John (Jack) Wright, and Christopher (Kit) Wright, were members of the group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a conspiracy to assassinate King James I by blowing up the House of Lords. Their sister married another plotter, Thomas Percy. Educated at the same school in York, the Wrights had early links with Guy Fawkes, the man left in charge of the explosives stored in the undercroft beneath the House of Lords. As known recusants the brothers were on several occasions arrested for reasons of national security. Both were also members of the Earl of Essex's rebellion of 1601.
Robert Keyes was a member of the group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a conspiracy to assassinate King James I by blowing up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605. He was the sixth man to join the plot.
Gunpowder, Treason & Plot is a 2004 BBC miniseries based upon the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots and her son James VI of Scotland. The writer Jimmy McGovern tells the story behind the Gunpowder Plot in two parts, each centred on one of the monarchs.
Thomas Bates was a member of the group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
John Grant was a member of the failed Gunpowder Plot, a conspiracy to replace the Protestant King James I of England with a Catholic monarch. Grant was born around 1570, and lived at Norbrook in Warwickshire. He married the sister of another plotter, Thomas Wintour. Grant was enlisted by Robert Catesby, a religious zealot who had grown so impatient with James's lack of toleration for Catholics that he planned to kill him, by blowing up the House of Lords with gunpowder. Grant's role in the conspiracy was to provide supplies for a planned Midlands uprising, during which James's daughter, Princess Elizabeth, would be captured. However, on the eve of the planned explosion, Guy Fawkes was discovered guarding the explosives the plotters had positioned in the undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and arrested.
Liv Rundgren Tyler is an American actress, producer, singer and former model. She is best known for her portrayal of Arwen Undómiel in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003). Tyler began a career in modeling at age 14. She later decided to focus on acting and made her film debut in Silent Fall (1994); she went on to achieve critical recognition with starring roles in Heavy and Empire Records, as well as That Thing You Do! and Stealing Beauty. She then appeared in films such as Inventing the Abbotts (1997), Armageddon (1998), Cookie's Fortune and Onegin, Dr. T & the Women (2000) and One Night at McCool's (2001).
Sherlock is a British crime television series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. Thirteen episodes have been produced, with four three-part series airing from 2010 to 2017 and a special episode that aired on 1 January 2016. The series is set in the present day, while the one-off special features a Victorian period fantasy resembling the original Holmes stories. Sherlock is produced by the British network BBC, along with Hartswood Films, with Moffat, Gatiss, Sue Vertue and Rebecca Eaton serving as executive producers. The series is supported by the American station WGBH-TV Boston for its Masterpiece anthology series on PBS, where it also airs in the United States. The series is primarily filmed in Cardiff, Wales, with North Gower Street in London used for exterior shots of Holmes and Watson's 221B Baker Street residence.
Christopher Catesby "Kit" Harington is an English actor and producer. He studied at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and made his professional acting debut with the lead role of Albert Narracott in the critically acclaimed West End play War Horse at the National Theatre.
The Gunpowder Plot was a failed assassination attempt against King James VI of Scotland and I of England by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby. The conspirators' aim was to blow up the House of Lords at the State Opening of Parliament on 5 November 1605, while the king and many other important members of the aristocracy and nobility were inside. The conspirator who became most closely associated with the plot in the popular imagination was Guy Fawkes, who had been assigned the task of lighting the fuse to the explosives.
Rose Eleanor Arbuthnot-Leslie is a Scottish actress. After winning a Best Acting Performance for her role in New Town, she rose to fame as Gwen Dawson in the ITV drama series Downton Abbey and as Ygritte in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones. She starred as Maia Rindell for three seasons of the CBS All Access legal and political drama The Good Fight.
Robert Emms is an English film, stage and television actor, known for portraying Pythagoras in the BBC One fantasy-adventure series Atlantis, and Leonid Toptunov in HBO's Miniseries, Chernobyl.
Jonathan Blakeson is an English film director and screenwriter. His first feature film was The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009), a thriller starring Gemma Arterton, Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan, which he wrote and directed. His most recent film was I Care a Lot (2020).