Rebellion (miniseries)

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Rebellion RTÉ 2016.png
GenreHistorical fiction
Written byColin Teevan
Directed byAku Louhimies
StarringNiamh Cusack
Brian Gleeson
Charlie Murphy
Sarah Greene
Ruth Bradley
Gus McDonagh
Michelle Fairley
Country of originIreland
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes5
Executive producer(s)Catherine Magee
Clare Alan
Colin Teevan
Production location(s)Dublin
Editor(s)Ben Mercer
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time52 minutes per episode
Production company(s)RTÉ
Budget6 million
Original networkRTÉ One
Picture format1080i 16:9
Audio formatStereo
Original release3 January (2016-01-03) –
31 January 2016 (2016-01-31)
Followed byResistance
External links

Rebellion is a 2016 television miniseries produced by Irish broadcaster RTÉ, dramatising the events surrounding the 1916 Easter Rising.

It was followed in 2019 by a sequel miniseries, Resistance.


The series was directed by Finnish director Aku Louhimies[1] and written by Colin Teevan, with executive producers Catherine Magee, Clare Alan, Colin Teevan.

RTÉ secured €400,000 in funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in 2014.[2] In May 2015, RTÉ confirmed it would produce a drama series commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Rising; the show was filmed during summer 2015 in Dublin. [3] In December 2015, RTÉ Television confirmed the series would premiere early January on Irish television.[4][5] The series, which cost 6 million, is the most expensive drama series produced by the public broadcaster.[6] RTÉ and Zodiac Media, the production company that made Rebellion, then confirmed they would produce a sequel series, titled Rebellion: Two States, set during the War of Independence.[7]


RTÉ's five-part television mini-series depicts fictional characters in Dublin during the 1916 Rising. [8]The commemorative drama begins with the outbreak of World War I. As expectations of a short and glorious campaign are dashed, social stability is eroded, and Irish nationalism comes to the fore. The tumultuous events that follow are seen through the eyes of a group of friends from Dublin, Belfast, and London as they play vital and conflicting roles in the narrative of Ireland's independence.


Episode list[edit]

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Young Guns"January 3, 2016 (2016-01-03)
As Irish nationalists plot to overthrow British rule, friends May, Frances and Elizabeth follow separate paths in order to do their bit.
2"To Arms"January 10, 2016 (2016-01-10)
On Easter Monday a few hundred rebels launch their attack taking the authorities and holidaying Dubliners by surprise. Lover is pitted against lover, friend against friend and brother against brother as the rebellion takes hold.
3"Under Siege"January 17, 2016 (2016-01-17)
Three days into a siege the rebels seek international recognition for Irish independence but the British forces are closing in. Elizabeth, Frances and Jimmy are caught up in the action at the GPO.
4"Surrender"January 24, 2016 (2016-01-24)
In the face of overwhelming British reinforcements, the rebels surrender. Swift military court martials and executions follow. Meanwhile, tragedy strikes the Mahon family as their young son Peter is shot and killed.
5"The Reckoning"January 31, 2016 (2016-01-31)
As the dust settles from the rebellion, May, Elizabeth and Frances deal with the consequences of their actions.

International broadcast[edit]

The series premiered on SundanceTV in the US, on April 24, 2016 and on YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Service), on June 1, 2016. Sundance has combined episodes into pairs and titled them: "To Arms" S1E1+S1E2, "Under Siege" S1E3+S1E4, and "The Reckoning" S1E5.

The series is available on Netflix worldwide, except in Ireland and Finland.[9]


Following its first broadcast, episode 1 held a strong audience of 619,000. 41% of the available audience tuned in to RTÉ One to watch the opening episode of the five-part series, with an additional 45,000 people catching it on RTÉ One +1 and more than 9,000 people viewing it on the RTÉ Player.[10]

The Irish Times gave the first episode a favourable review.[6] The Irish Mirror claimed that the series was "destined to court controversy".[1] Dr. Shane Kenna, a historian and lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin, criticised the series for its "poor ahistorical script with no educational benefit".[11] The series was slated on social media, with many viewers criticising its historical inaccuracies.[12] Pat Stacey, writing in the Irish Independent, wrote negatively about the dialogue, stating: "the characters didn’t so much converse as chuck out egregiously stilted slabs of text which hung in the air for a moment, before crashing to the floor", concluding: "It’s not historical accuracy the Rebellion has to worry about; it's plain, old-fashioned bad writing, allied with dismally flat direction." [13]


  1. ^ a b Ward, James (January 3, 2016). "RTE 1916 drama Rebellion makes debut and is perhaps destined to court controversy". irishmirror. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Rebellion - The Irish Film & Television Network". Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Brosnan, Seán (May 21, 2015). "RTÉ announces new Irish drama series 'Rebellion'". Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  4. ^ Brosnan, Seán (December 21, 2015). "RTÉ launch new five part series 'Rebellion'". Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  5. ^ "RTÉ Unveils First Episode of Rebellion as Part of RTÉ 1916". December 21, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Rebellion review: RTÉ fires first salvo in 1916 centenary schedule". The Irish Times. January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "RTÉ to make follow-up to 1916 Rising drama Rebellion (Sound and Vision Fund backs Rebellion: Two States, to be set during War of Independence)". The Irish Times. July 12, 2016.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Rebellion". Netflix. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Rebellion draws impressive viewing figures". January 4, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  11. ^ "Dr Shane Kenna". Twitter.
  12. ^ "RTE's Rebellion SLATED on social media for historical inaccuracies". Breaking News. 1 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Pat Stacey: Historical howlers are the least of the things wrong with RTE's Rebellion drama".

External links[edit]