Gunpowder BBC1

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Barbara Fan, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I caught up with this on BBC Iplayer, I love history and enjoyed it, although its a bit gory in parts especially executions/torture! And I dont think they had Liz Tylers botox and trout pout lips back then! I cant take my eyes off them!!

    Gunpowder, episode 1, review: Guy Fawkes tale gets the glossy, big-budget treatment
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    Gunpowder (BBC One) opened with two scenes of such tension and intensity as to make one wonder why the Guy Fawkes tale hasn’t been told more often. Between religious persecution, political intrigue, halberds and jerkins, the story has been crying out for a glossy, big-budget treatment.

    Now it has a three-part series courtesy of Game of Thrones star Kit Harington, who is co-creator, executive producer and plays the lead as Robert Catesby, the historical leader of a plot more commonly associated with Guy Fawkes. Harington could be forgiven for thinking he was born for the role: through his mother’s line, he is a direct descendant of Catesby’s.

    The curtain lifted on a stately home in Warwickshire in 1603. Mass was being taken but everyone expected the English inquisition. It duly arrived in the form of Sir William Wade (a growling Shaun Dooley). Wade’s search for the concealed clergy was given a full 15 agonising minutes. Whenever we thought our Pope-loving heroes were out of the woods, Wade would redouble his efforts.

    We might have guessed how the search would end, but we couldn’t have guessed at the gruesome peine forte et dure we would be shown next, to say nothing of the hanging, drawing and quartering. The character of Mary Sparrow (Vivienne Soan) was seemingly based on Margaret Clitherow, who historically died 20 years before the events of the film. Some will argue the torture was gratuitous, but it served a purpose. The Church of England was not always as cuddly as it is these days.

    After the gruelling half-hour, events settled into a more familiar rhythm. Plots were hatched in dark hallways and muddy streets. Sir Robert Cecil (Mark Gatiss, as ever, playing a crooked bureaucrat) sent a supple young man to persuade King James (Derek Riddell) of the Catholic threat. If the intrigue wasn’t quite as finessed as in Wolf Hall, say, it was much more fun. Perhaps the greatest testament to the writing and direction is that Liv Tyler, not the first actress who springs to mind when one thinks of the early-17th-century Midlands, didn’t look too out of place.

    Cruel as it feels to say this about his passion project, one weakness might be Harington. Over seven seasons of Game of Thrones his character Jon Snow has had greatness slowly thrust upon him. Harington’s mournful resting face, always on the verge of crumpling into tears, is a good fit. Here, we feared he couldn’t plot his way out of a phone box. As Catesby, he is obliged to take the initiative; Parliament won’t blow itself up. Perhaps the arrival of Guy Fawkes (Tom Cullen, to a preposterous Hans Zimmer-style score) will light the fireworks. We need bangs, not whimpers.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2017/...eview-guy-fawkes-tale-gets-glossy-big-budget/
     
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  2. Walford Boy

    Walford Boy Soap Chat Fan

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    The last episode of Gunpowder was very good. Although ofcourse we knew the ending i was rooting for them to succeed. Terrible to think what happened. And when you think we say "Penny for the Guy." It should have been Lord Cecil and Sir William Wade stuck on top of the bonfire along with James I. Kit Harrington was excellent as was Shaun Dooley. A stella cast and production. What a treat for a Saturday night and something different for those of us not interested in SCD or TXF.
     
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  3. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Gosh -it was gory!! Well acted too and a nice change from Reality TV nonsense.

    Ive never seen GOT and have no idea who Kit Harington is but he was good in his role and reminded me a little of actor who plays Poldark on BBC Aidan Turner.

    And they nearly did it! ie blow up Parliament.
     
  4. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Oh bless you BF, you don't venture far do you ?:D

    I thought it was pretty lame throughout and I didn't really find the characters that engaging. It did make me think that the cause Fawkes fought for wasn't as bad as I was led to believe. Hanging people in the name of religion, well they've been doing it since the days of Jesus and still do it today, they never learn...
     
  5. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont do or like Violence in films! Thought the hung drawn and quartered scene was horrible
    i have to look away sometimes.
    I dont have a strong stomach, work in a hospital and still cant watch someone take blood! Im queasy as Sue Ellen would say!
     
  6. Ome

    Ome Admin

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    Oh - I too have to look away and I can't watch The Walking Dead while I'm eating dinner.
     

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