Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Remember, remember the 5th of November... - BBC's Gunpowder review

When I first heard there was going to be a show about the Gunpowder Plot I got very excited, especially since Kit Harington was starring in it!, so naturally I just had to watch it when it aired this Autumn.

The 3 part drama features around the true mastermind and ringleader of the doomed Gunpowder Plot, Robert Catesby, with Harington, who as it turns out is a direct descendant, playing our main man. It highlights how Catholics were hunted and persecuted during the reign of James I and how Catesby, along with Thomas Wintour, John Wright, Thomas Percy and the infamous Guy Fawkes, plotted to murder the King, and his advisors, by blowing up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November 1605 and reinstate a catholic monarch.

I really wanted to love this show, and I did enjoy it, but what let it down for me was the production. The show was very flat with very little drama and no suspense at all, which is at no fault to the actors who were superb! I hoped that it was just a fluke with episode one, a way of setting the scene and introducing us to the characters and their circumstances, and that episodes two and three would be explosive (excuse the pun) but it just never happened. There was one scene that really stood out for me where Fawkes is underneath parliament with the Gunpowder about to be discovered and he's waiting for Cecil and his men to burst in. I really wanted to be on the edge of my seat while watching this scene and really feel the suspense and terror that Fawkes was feeling but it never came...

The story-line itself I cannot fault! It's historical, insightful, honest and gives you an in-depth look into the religious persecution of the period and a much better understanding as to why they did what they did. And there is just something oddly surreal about watching it over the Bonfire Night weekend with fireworks going off in the background...

Overall it was an interesting show and defiantly shone a new light onto such a huge historical event, I just wish there had been more of a spark to really ignite each episode (sorry couldn't resist another pun).

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