Gunpowder

A plot that will become legend, and leave a mark on the country that will still be felt over 400 years later

Edward Holcroft (Thomas Wintour)

I was surprised at how brutal it was and how much oppression the Catholics were under - I didn’t realise quite the extent of it.Edward Holcroft
Date: 09.10.2017     Last updated: 09.10.2017 at 00.01
Category: BBC One; Drama

Tell us about your character.

Thomas Wintour is the cousin and best friend of Robert Catesby - a former soldier, now turned lawyer. He’s also like an extra uncle for the family - he has a close relationship with Robert’s son that perhaps Robert himself doesn’t have... and they are obviously a little uncomfortable with it. Certainly at the beginning, Thomas is like the glue of the family.

How did you prepare for the role?

I read up on it to try and understand the world at the time; the political climate, the social climate, the cultural climate, the economic climate… until those things hopefully turned from something objective to something subjective.

If you could say one thing to your character, Thomas Wintour, what would it be?

Thomas Wintour was a convert. I found out that he converted when I was reading up on him, but I could never find out a particular reason why - so I’d ask him that. For filming I made my own reasons up as to why he converted. It’s quite a big thing to convert to Catholicism and then become one of the plotters.

Did you discover anything about the Gunpowder Plot that particularly surprised you?

Not about the Plot, but I found out so much more about the world of the time. I was surprised at how brutal it was and how much oppression the Catholics were under - I didn’t realise quite the extent of it.

What was your most memorable moment on set?

The most memorable part of this whole thing was the fact that we managed to make a really wonderful series that people will be chuffed about - something that looks like cinema, on a television budget. It’s a great triumph and it shows that when one puts their mind to it, one can create wonders.