Gunpowder, BBC One, 21 October 2017

BBC Logo


We received complaints from people who were unhappy about the portrayal of violence in this historical drama, and in particular the execution scenes in episode one.


The gunpowder plot is one of the best known stories in Britain and this drama looks at the history behind it.  The execution scenes served to establish the motives behind the plot. We felt it was important to understand the prevalence and the brutality of religious persecution at that time in order to comprehend the murderous acts envisaged by the plotters. The methods depicted are grounded in historical fact, and we sought to portray them accurately and realistically.

However, we appreciate that some scenes might upset viewers despite the historical accuracy so we took care with scheduling and we included a clear warning before episode one started. The starkest sequence in the first episode came after 9.30pm, with earlier scenes having set the tone and given viewers a sense of what was to follow.