Gunpowder (TV series)
|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.
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.
- Kit Harington as Robert Catesby
- Peter Mullan as Henry Garnet
- Mark Gatiss as Sir Robert Cecil
- Liv Tyler as Anne Vaux
- Luke Broughton as Thomas Bates
- Philip Hill-Pearson as Sir Everard Digby
- Tom Cullen as Guy Fawkes
- Daniel West as Thomas Percy
- Joseph Ringwood as Ambrose Rookwood
- Martin Lindley as Francis Tresham
- Christopher T Johnson as Robert Wintour
- Edward Holcroft as Thomas Wintour
- Matthew Neal as Christopher Wright
- Luke Neal as John Wright
- Shaun Dooley as Sir William Wade
- Derek Riddell as James I
- Robert Emms as Father John Gerard
- Thom Ashley as Father Daniel Smith
- Sian Webber as Lady Dorothy Dibdale
- Pedro Casablanc as The Constable of Castile
- Andy Lucas as Juan de Tassis, 1st Count of Villamediana
- David Bamber as Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland
- Simon Kunz as Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk
- Hugh Alexander as Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke
- Sean Rigby as William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle
- Robert Gwyllim as Sir William Stanley
- Andrew Jarvis as Edward Alford
In February 2017, 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.|
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. Nonetheless, it was described as 'a very good drama' by other viewers.
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