Mark Gatiss and Liv Tyler to join Kit Harington in BBC One’s Gunpowder
Sherlock‘s Mark Gatiss and The Lord of the Rings‘ Liv Tyler will join Kit Harington in the new BBC One Guy Fawkes drama Gunpowder.
The new drama, and Harington’s involvement as actor, writer and producer, was first announced last October. Harington will portray conspirator Robert Catesby, his real-life ancestor, in the series about the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
Guy Fawkes and a group of fellow Catholics, including Catesby, planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament. However, their plans were foiled after an anonymous letter tipped the British government off. Despite failing to achieve their aims, the anniversary of the failed plot is marked every year with fireworks in the UK.
Broadcast reports that Tyler will play Catesby’s cousin Anne Vaux, who has doubts about whether the plot will achieve their intended aim even if successful. Meanwhile, Gatiss will put his Mycroft skills to good used by playing King James’ top spymaster Robert Cecil, who famously discovered the Gunpowder Plot. However, academics debate over at what point he discovered the plot and whether he acted as an agent provocateur.
Top Boy‘s Ronan Bennett is the main writer for the series, which was developed in collaboration with Harington and his friend Daniel West. The Disappearance of Alice Creed’s J Blakeson will direct the three-part series. It is to be produced by Kudos in association with Harington’s production company Thriker Films.
Kudos Chief Executive Diederick Santer said Gunpowder would delve into the “people, the passion and the politics” behind the famous assassination plot.
He said: “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.”