Months after word of the project first leaked, BBC One has officially given a green-light to a three-part gunpowder plot drama which was co-created by and will star Game Of Thrones alum Kit Harrington. Production is set to get underway later this month for a late 2017 premiere.
Gunpowder will explore the true story behind the legend, including the fact that it was not Guy Fawkes but Robert Catesby who devised the plot. This fast-paced 17th century thriller delves into the history behind the plot evolution, the selection of the team to carry it out, the gathering of the resources, and the obstacles they came up against.
Kit Harrington will play Robert Catesby, a 30-year old Warwickshire gentleman and committed Catholic who devises the gunpowder plot in response to the King’s persecution of Catholics. Other cast members include Peter Mullan (Top of the Lake) as Father Garnet, who urges Catesby not to follow through on his violent plan; Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as King James’s spymaster in Chief Robert Cecil, who directs the authorities to hunt down, torture and execute priests; and Liv Tyler (Lord Of The Rings) as Catesby’s cousin Anne Vaux, who becomes suspicious about his activities and fears the consequences will be the exact opposite of what Catesby intends.
Thre three-parter was developed for television by Ronan Bennett, Kit Harington and Daniel West and was penned by Top Boy scribe Ronan Bennett. Endemol Shine’s Kudos is producing in association with Thriker Films. It was commissioned for BBC One by Director Of Content Charlotte Moore and Controller Of Drama Commissioning Piers Wenger. The executive producers are Ollie Madden for Kudos and Stephen Wright for the BBC. Kit Harington and Daniel West are Co-Executive Producers for Thriker Films. Laurie Borg is producing, while J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) is attached to direct. Endemol Shine International is handling global sales.
“The Gunpowder Plot is one of the best known stories in Britain and most people are aware of the basic facts. But what Ronan has achieved with his page-turning script, and what I hope Kit and Peter and the rest of the magnificent cast will do, is to take the BBC One audience behind the story, into the people, the passion and the politics”, Diederick Santer, Chief Executive Officer of Kudos, said in a statement. “This will be a hugely engaging drama with a fascinating contemporary resonance, showing the consequences of what can happen when a religious minority is persecuted.”