When one thinks of the Gunpowder Plot, one can’t help but think of Guy Fawkes.
After all, it was he who was immortalised in that infamous ‘remember, remember’ poem. In addition, the fifth of November is known by many as ‘Guy Fawkes Night’.
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However, in the history of the Jesuit Treason of 1605, Guy Fawkes did not play such a crucial role as one might think.
If anything, Fawkes naught but a monkey. The real organ-grinder of the whole plot was Robert Catesby. Catesby was a devout Catholic who hoped to blow up Parliament to assassinate King James VI, his nearest relatives and members of the Privy Council.
Additionally, senior judges, most of the Protestant aristocracy, and Church of England bishops would also be caught in the blast.
Catesby invented the plot after King James VI proved less friendly to Catholics than supporters thought he’d be.
All this will be the subject of a new BBC One drama series, Gunpowder. Fans of Game Of Thrones will be pleased to learn that Kit Harrington will star as Catesby.
Kit Harrington in Gunpowder – what is it about?
Well, the truth is that Gunpowder is kind of about all that.
Given that Catesby is the main character, rather than Guy Fawkes, we can probably expect things to kick off before the part of the story we all know.
Considering it’s a three part drama, one might expect the story to take similar structure.
Episode one featuring the build-up to the plot. Episode two featuring the attempt to actually carry out the Gunpowder Plot. And finally, episode three detailing the aftermath of the failed attempt.
We know that Kit Harrington’s Robert Catesby will be the main character.
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In addition, Sherlock‘s Mark Gatiss will play the villain of the series, Sir Robert Cecil, King James’ spymaster, in charge of hunting Catholics down.
Meanwhile, Trainspotting‘s Peter Mullan will play Father Henry Garnet, a Catholic priest advocating peaceful protest.
The final main character will be Anne Vaux, played by Liv Tyler, the woman thought to have revealed the plot to the authorities.
In addition, Tom Cullen will be a recurring actor as Guy Fawkes himself.
The series was actually co-developed by Kit Harrington himself who is directly descended from Robert Catesby on his mother’s side.
When will Gunpowder be on?
So far, it’s anyone’s guess. The BBC has yet to announce an official release date for the series. However, it doesn’t exactly take a genius to work out when the series will air. It’s a series based around the 5 November Gunpowder Plot: it’s probably going to air sometime around 5th November.
This year 5th November falls on a Sunday. The BBC does have a solid track record with Sunday releases, Sherlock being an obvious case-in-point.
However, the trouble with releasing the series on 5th November would be that the majority of the target audience will probably be out, y’know, enjoying Bonfire Night. So maybe it’s not such a sensible release-date after all.
Instead, we’d suggest that Saturday 4th November will probably see the BBC airing an episode of the show. Perhaps the most obvious thing would be to have the series finale air on 4th November.
However, if the series is broken down into the build-up, event, aftermath structure we referenced before, perhaps the middle episode would be better placed to air on 4th November.
The first episode, which will almost certainly be about the build-up to the plot, seems unlikely to air so close to the big day.
These estimations would mean that the series should begin on either 21 October or 28 October. Not long to go then!