Gunpowder, Treason & Plot

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Gunpowder, Treason & Plot
Written byJimmy McGovern
Directed byGillies MacKinnon
StarringClémence Poésy
Kevin McKidd
Robert Carlyle
Tim McInnerny
Emilia Fox
Michael Fassbender
Music byJohn E. Keane
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
CinematographyNigel Willoughby
EditorPia Di Ciaula
Running time205 min (2 parts)
Original release
NetworkBBC Two
Release14 March (2004-03-14)[1] –
21 March 2004 (2004-03-21)

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot is a 2004 BBC miniseries based upon the lives of Mary, Queen of Scots and her son James VI of Scotland. Written by Jimmy McGovern, the series tells the story behind the Gunpowder Plot in two parts, each centred on one of the respective monarchs.[2][3] The first film dramatizes the relationship between Mary (Clémence Poésy) and her third husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell (Kevin McKidd). Scottish actor Robert Carlyle stars as James VI in the second part, which concentrates on the Gunpowder Plot, planned by Guy Fawkes, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in order to rid the nation of a Protestant monarch.


Episode 1 opens with Mary, Queen of Scots, who is in exile in France returning to Scotland in 1561. Mary's second husband is Lord Darnley who participates in the extrajudicial killing of David Rizzio. Mary's son, James I, was sired by Darnley. Mary's final husband is long-time paramour Bothwell.

The opening scene of episode 2 is in Scotland in 1587 showing James I saying, "I have every right to hate you [his mother Mary]."



Directed by Gillies MacKinnon, it was filmed in Romania with a Scottish crew. McGovern had previously covered the Plot in the one-hour play Traitors for BBC2's Screenplay strand, transmitted on 5 November 1990.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gunpowder Treason and Plot Begins | the Irish Film & Television Network".
  2. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Gunpowder, Treason and Plot".
  3. ^ "Gunpowder, Treason and Plot". 4 April 2004.
  4. ^ Michael Fassbender

External links[edit]