Written by Ronan Bennet (Top Boy) and directed by J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed) Gunpowder, a three-part thriller based on the 17th century events that led to Guy Fawkes Day, stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as Robert Catesby, who was the driving force behind the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 London.
Originally presented on BBC One in the U.K., the series is produced by Kudos in association with Thriker Films. “Gunpowder has been hugely popular with BBC One audiences in the U.K.,” says Kudos CEO Diederick Santer. “We expect the drama to be unmissable viewing stateside.”
The story focuses on Catesby, a committed Catholic at a time when Protestant England persecuted Catholics relentlessly, as his refusal to abandon his religion brings him to the edge of financial, social and psychological ruin. Mark Gatiss (Game of Thrones, Sherlock) plays Robert Cecil, King James’ spymaster, who directs efforts to hunt down, torture and kill priests, while rank-and-file Catholics are subject to oppression and the loss of their property.
The miniseries chronicles the evolution of the plot, the selection of collaborators to carry it out, the gathering of resources and the obstacles to its execution — as Catesby’s team plays a deadly cat and mouse game with Cecil’s ruthless spy network.
The cast also features Peter Mullan (Cinemax’s Quarry) as the Jesuit Father Garnet, who advocates peaceful protestation, and Liv Tyler (The Leftovers) as Catesby’s astute and capable cousin, Anne Vaux, who becomes suspicious about his activities and fears the consequences will be the exact opposite of what Catesby intends.
Harington, who is a co-executive producer on the show, has a personal connection to Gunpowder: The actor is a descendant of Robert Catesby himself. “Three years ago, Daniel West and I began developing Gunpowder with Kudos and Ronan Bennett,” says Harington. “We are thrilled to share this unique story with the U.S. audience."