Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Period Drama: Gunpowder


What It's About:

Remember, remember the fifth of November...
Guy Fawkes might be the name you think of when talking about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, but its story starts with Robert Catesby. This three part mini-series details the circumstances, plotting and planning from lead architect Catesby, and how he puts together perhaps the most famous royal assassination attempt in British history. 

Why You'll Love It:

  • If you love the series Wolf Hall, this has a similar feel and pacing. It deals with similar types of intrigue and plotting, however with less politics, and it is more graphic.
  • There is a strong cast, with well-knowns such as Kit Harington (Game of Thrones, Pompeii), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who), and Liv Tyler (Lord of the Rings, Armageddon), who all play their parts wonderfully. Liv Tyler especially seems like a different person!
  • It deals with a turbulent time in history, that is dramatic and fascinating. If you are interested in 16th-17th century politics and religion, especially the story surrounding Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, this is a must. 
  • The music is great. It perfectly sets the mood, and is appropriately dark, eerie and dramatic

Why You Might Want To Skip It:
  • In the first episode, there are two graphic torture and execution scenes. Even if you look away, these are extremely hard to listen to if you are the least bit sensitive to violent content. The victims are degraded and killed in horrible ways.
  • It's very slow burning (pun completely intentional). If you want a really fast-paced drama, this isn't it.
Final Thoughts

Can we just discuss that Kit Harington is actually a direct descendant (spoilers) of the character he plays, Robert Catesby? Because if that doesn't make this a million percent cooler, I don't know what does. I liked this drama well enough, but I wouldn't really recommend it in general unless you are a real fan of the time period. It's so slow that really, it drags. I don't have anything to point out as an official fault - the overall atmosphere of the piece was well done, but I didn't truly find it engaging. The production on it though is great. So, I would say give it a try if you are a huge fan of the Gunpowder Plot or late 16th century/early 17th century British history, but otherwise maybe give it a pass.

Is this a period in history you're interested in? Did you know anything about Catesby before (I sure didn't!), or did you only know about Guy Fawkes?

No comments:

Post a Comment