ENTERTAINMENT

‘Gunpowder’ Series: When Does It Start? Who’s In The Cast? Everything You Need To Know…

The series starts this weekend.

19/10/2017 16:49 BST

Following on from the success ‘Taboo’, the BBC have decided that Kit Harington’s new drama ‘Gunpowder’ will be perfect Saturday night viewing - and we couldn’t agree more.

The series has been one of the most hotly-anticipated BBC offerings of the year and there’s officially not long to wait until the first episode airs.

But what’s it about exactly? And who else is in the cast? Here’s everything you need to know…

When does it start?

BBC / Kudos

This one’s easy: Saturday 21 October at 9pm. The series is made up of three parts, so the finale will air the evening before Bonfire Night, on Saturday 4 November.

Who’s in it?

The cast is jam-packed with plenty of A-listers, familiar faces and standout newcomers. Of course, the lead actor is ‘Game Of Thrones’ star Kit (who was also an executive producer) who plays Robert Catesby - the driving force behind the gunpowder plot.

Liv Tyler plays his cousin Ann Vaux; Mark Gatiss is Robert Cecil; Edward Holcroft plays Thomas Wintour, Catesby’s friend and co-conspirator; and Shaun Dooley (‘Broadchurch’) is Sir William Wade, Lieutenant of The Tower and Cecil’s right-hand man.

Guy Fawkes is portrayed by Tom Cullen (‘Downton Abbey’), with Robert Emms (‘Happy Valley’) as Father John Gerard - the priest who joined the plotters - and Derek Riddell (‘The Missing’) is their target, King James.

Other stars who pop up in the series include Sian Webber (‘EastEnders’), David Bamber (‘Tina And Bobby’) and Kevin Eldon (‘The Halcyon’).

BBC / Kudos

Is it true that one of Kit Harington’s ancestors was part of the gunpowder plot?

Bizarrely, yes. Robert Catesby - who Kit plays - is one of his distant relatives and speaking at a recent screening, he shared his thoughts on what Catesby might have been like.

“I think he inspired a lot of loyalty in people,” he mused. “You don’t get that many people to commit treason without being some sort of charismatic man. But I think deep down he was tortured.”

What’s the story?

Well, as the name might suggest, ‘Gunpowder’ tells the story of the run-up to 5 November 1605, when a group of conspirators smuggled tonnes of the stuff into the basement of the House Of Lords, the plan being that they would explode the building and kill King James.

Don’t we already know the story of the 5th November?

Not completely. While Guy Fawkes is often thought of as the leader of the plot, it was actually Catesby who devised the plans. ‘Gunpowder’ tells his story rather than Guy Fawkes’, explaining how he recruited a team of rebels and attempted to assassinate the King.

BBC / Kudos

Is it all super-complicated?

We’ve had a sneak peek and can confirm that you don’t need to be a history expert to understand what’s going on.

How did they film the show?

Given that it’s all set in the 17th century, temporarily taking over some city streets was not an option.

Production designer Grant Montgomery was in charge of bringing 17th century London back to life, and Kit previously explained: ”He built all the sets… It’s not easy to build a period piece and he did it incredibly. I’ve really enjoyed watching the set grow. I always said the day I walked onto the set would be a magical moment, and it really was.

“Whenever I’m on another TV or film set I have to remind myself that what I’m seeing all came out of an idea and so many contributions in order to create the final product. 

BBC / Kudos

“It has been an eye opening experience working as an executive producer, as I have been across that different side of things. As an actor you don’t usually get to meet the set designer or see the planning.”

‘Taboo’ was pretty gory… Is this going to be the same?

Without giving too much away, we can confirm that the first episode features some pretty gruesome scenes, but compared to ‘Taboo’ - in which Tom Hardy played the flesh-eating(!), murderous lead character John Delaney - this is a total walk in the park.

‘Gunpowder’ starts on Saturday 21 October.