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British activist Guy Fawkes and a group of provincial English Catholics plan to blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I in the early 17th century.
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Series cast summary:
Kit Harington ...  Robert Catesby 3 episodes, 2017
Liv Tyler ...  Anne Vaux 3 episodes, 2017
Edward Holcroft ...  Thomas Wintour 3 episodes, 2017
Shaun Dooley ...  Sir William Wade 3 episodes, 2017
Mark Gatiss ...  Lord Robert Cecil 3 episodes, 2017
Peter Mullan ...  Father Henry Garnet 3 episodes, 2017
Derek Riddell ...  King James I 3 episodes, 2017
Robert Emms ...  Father John Gerard 3 episodes, 2017
Luke Broughton Luke Broughton ...  Thomas Bates 3 episodes, 2017
Tom Cullen ...  Guy Fawkes 3 episodes, 2017
Luke Neal Luke Neal ...  Jack Wright 3 episodes, 2017
Hugh Alexander Hugh Alexander ...  Sir Philip Herbert 3 episodes, 2017
Tom Sweet Tom Sweet ...  Young Robert Catesby 3 episodes, 2017
David Bamber ...  Lord Northumberland 3 episodes, 2017
Richard Glover ...  Slater 3 episodes, 2017
Josh Moran Josh Moran ...  George Farwell 3 episodes, 2017
Simon Kunz ...  Lord Howard 3 episodes, 2017
Andy Lucas Andy Lucas ...  De Tassis 3 episodes, 2017
Pedro Casablanc ...  Constable of Castille 3 episodes, 2017
Daniel West ...  Thomas Percy 3 episodes, 2017
Philip Hill-Pearson ...  Sir Everard Digby 3 episodes, 2017
Karl Haynes Karl Haynes ...  Bald Drinker 3 episodes, 2017
Kate Wood Kate Wood ...  Susan Whinniard 3 episodes, 2017
Robert Gwyllim Robert Gwyllim ...  Sir William Stanley 3 episodes, 2017
Sean Rigby ...  Lord Monteagle 3 episodes, 2017
Andrew Jarvis Andrew Jarvis ...  Alford 2 episodes, 2017
Beatrice Comins Beatrice Comins ...  Elizabeth Catesby 2 episodes, 2017
Ewart James Walters Ewart James Walters ...  Kennan 2 episodes, 2017
Yolanda Calzado Gil Yolanda Calzado Gil ...  Spanish Heretic / ... 2 episodes, 2017
Fergus O'Donnell Fergus O'Donnell ...  Captain William Turner 2 episodes, 2017
Scott Berry Scott Berry ...  Wade's Underling 2 episodes, 2017


British activist Guy Fawkes and a group of provincial English Catholics plan to blow up the House of Lords and kill King James I in the early 17th century.

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Behind every plot is a mastermind.


Drama | History


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Release Date:

18 December 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gunpowder See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Lord Robert Cecil in real life had scoliosis and was hunchbacked, which explains his irregular posture in the show. He was was 5'4" tall but is played by Mark Gatiss who is 6'1" tall. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Krusty the Clown (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

Lost the plot
29 November 2017 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

This three-part BBC dramatisation of the events surrounding the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was something of a mixed bag. There was the expected attention to period detail in the sets and costumes and the acting too was good in almost every major part. However, historical accuracy was blown to smithereens in places and other aspects of the story were undoubtedly "sexed up" to make for presumably more exciting viewing in this day and age.

It was also a tough watch at times with graphic depictions of torture and execution, the latter in particular where in the first episode we see a middle-aged Catholic woman stripped naked and agonisingly crushed to death followed by a young priest hung, drawn and quartered, his entrails ripped from his still-living body, before his beheading and his severed head is stuck on a pike put on public display. All of this before a baying, bloodthirsty crowd of supposedly ordinary people.

The story centres on young Catholic nobleman Robert Catesby who becomes the centre of a Popish plot to strike back against the ever more repressive anti-Catholic legislation put before King James by his first lieutenant, the hunch-backed Robert Cecil and his hired muscle in the person of Sir William Wade. With his cohorts, Catesby, after failing to get support abroad for his plans, hatches the famous gunpowder plot to blow up the king and his ministers on the opening of Parliament which sees him meet up with one Guy Fawkes, a cold-bloodedly determined confederate.

Kit Harington, whose very name seems apt for the time portrayed, plays Catesby as the determined handsome hero, prepared to martyr himself to the cause. Peter Mullen is the priest whose commitment to the cause is racked by self-doubt but who in the end, inspired by Catesby's example, finds his own inner courage to match his convictions. Mark Gatiss plays the ruthless, scheming Cecil as almost a pantomime villain with Shaun Dooley more impressive as the brutal Wade, happy to follow orders no matter how violent they are. King James's homosexual tendencies are rather unsubtly highlighted as he plays up to his young lover at court, before his narrow escape frightens him back to his queen.

To me though the story was over-egged in that for example, nowhere have I read of Catesby freeing another young Catholic priest from the Tower Of London, shown here in almost medieval "Mission Impossible" style and as for the last stand of Catesby and his followers, his "Butch Cassidy" - type slow motion death seemed likewise over the top.

I just think that historically important stories like this should pay more attention to the truth and not make so many concessions to an audience it thinks needs cliff-hanging thrills and contrived action sequences in the name of entertainment. The Gunpowder Plot was a pivotal moment in British history and I think deserved a more factual retelling than it got here, no matter how well acted and re-enacted it otherwise was.

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