Kit Harington’s many fans will be relieved.
While they sit it out until the return of ‘Game of Thrones’ later in the year, their favourite tousle-haired actor is set to star in the BBC’s brand new drama giving a fresh perspective on the notorious Gunpowder Plot, the infamous act of treason that nearly finished off the British King and his Parliament in 1605.
Every year on 5 November, we mark the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot in London in 1605 with bonfires and fireworks. It is invariably called Guy Fawkes Day because many people believe – erroneously – that the plot was devised by Guy Fawkes.
However, while Fawkes played a pivotal role, the man who dreamed up the plot and was its driving force was Robert Catesby (Harington), a 30-year old Warwickshire gentleman.
Catesby was a committed Catholic at a time when Protestant England persecuted Catholics relentlessly. The authorities directed by King James’s spymaster in Chief Robert Cecil (Gatiss), hunted down, tortured and executed priests while lay Catholics were subject to oppression and the loss of their property. They had to practise their religion in secret, risking imprisonment, fines, harassment and even death.
Catesby’s refusal to abandon his religion brought him to the edge of financial, social and psychological ruin. His wife and father had both recently died, leaving him to bring up a young son in an increasingly hostile world. Unable to stand by while his co-religionists suffer, and despite the peaceful protestations of head Jesuit Father Garnet (Mullan), doing nothing was not an option.
He started to recruit friends and relatives, swearing them to secrecy as he devised an audacious plan.
This fast-paced 17th century thriller delves into the history behind the plot evolution, the selection of the team to carry it out, the gathering of the resources, and the obstacles they came up against.
Filming will start this month.