Despite Being Anti-English, Republican Propaganda, Gunpowder Is Absolutely Gripping

What upset James Delingpole far more this week was the miscarriage of justice in Netflix’s The Confession Tapes.

Gunpowder
Gunpowder’s Robert Catesby (Kit Harington), Thomas Winter (Edward Holcroft) and Faulkes (Tom Cullen)

The opening of Gunpowder (BBC1, Saturdays) was just about the most knuckle-gnawingly tense ten minutes I’ve ever seen on TV.

It’s 1603 and James I is on the throne. At the Warwickshire great house of Baddesley Clinton, a group of aristocratic Catholics, including Robert Catesby (Kit Harington) and Anne Vaux (Liv Tyler), are celebrating Mass illicitly when a party of armed men begins hammering at the door.

Quickly, the various guerrilla priests — a senior Jesuit Henry Garnet and two young acolytes — are bundled into hiding, two in a priest hole set behind some panelling, one in a chest. The search party enters, led by an implacable witchfinder-general type who pursues his task with sadistic relish and grim efficiency. As the priests cower, their terror palpable, the search party sets about measuring the house within and without to see if there is any discrepancy in the dimensions.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

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