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  • Premiered: 
    October 21, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: BBC1
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Historical
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

GUNPOWDER is a three-hour thriller based on the real-life 17th century events that led to Guy Fawkes Day, which the English celebrate every year on November 5 to mark the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot in London in 1605 with bonfires and fireworks. Though known as Guy Fawkes Day because many people believe Fawkes devised the plot, the actual driving force was Robert Catesby, a 30-year-old Warwickshire gentleman. GUNPOWDER chronicles the evolution of the plot, the selection of collaborators to carry it out, the gathering of resources and the obstacles to its execution, even as Catesby's team plays a deadly cat-and-mouse game with the ruthless spy network of Robert Cecil, King James' spymaster. HBO aired the U.S. premiere of GUNPOWDER on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT, and debuted the rest of the episodes at 10pm on consecutive nights: Tuesday, December 19 and Wednesday, December 20. The series is co-executive produced by GAME OF THRONES' Kit Harrington, who is a descendant of Robert Catesby, the central figure in the story, and portrays him in this series.

Episode 1 (U.S. premiere: Monday, December 18, 2017 at 10pm): England, 1603: After the death of Elizabeth I, English Catholics are persecuted and mass is forbidden under the rule of King James I. In Warwickshire, a small, secret ceremony is interrupted by the King's men, who are searching for a young Jesuit priest. When the priest and the lady of the house, Dorothy Dibdale, are captured and gruesomely executed, a young nobleman, Robert Catesby, resolves to avenge his kin and defend his faith by any means necessary. Meanwhile, in London, Secretary of State Lord Robert Cecil advises the King to bring down a heavy hand on the papists, ordering William Wade, lieutenant of the Tower of London, to hunt down Catesby and Father Henry Garnet, the head Catholic in England.

Episode 2 (U.S. premiere: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 10pm): Catesby and his close friend Thomas Wintour travel to mainland Europe to seek the assistance of the Catholic King of Spain, but the brutal actions of the King's representative, the Constable of Castile, force Catesby to find allegiances in his own country. In England, Lord Cecil enlists a spy, and puts pressure on Catesby's cousin, Anne Vaux, in hopes of determining his whereabouts. In Flanders, Catesby and Wintour are introduced to Guy Fawkes, whose expertise in logistics and explosives could prove helpful. Returning to England, Catesby and his supporters work out the logistics for a bold plan to overthrow King James.

Episode 3 (U.S. premiere: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 10pm): As Catesby and his men load 6,000 pounds of gunpowder into a secret cellar underneath Parliament, Father Garnet is visited by the Constable of Castile, who pressures him to reveal details of Catesby's plot. An unwitting revelation allows the King to catch wind of the plan, with Lord Cecil tasked to root out the conspirators. Anne implores Catesby to flee the country for the sake of his young son, as Cecil and his henchmen close in.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Kudos Film and Television
  • In association with Thriker Films