Downton Abbey's Tom Cullen to play Guy Fawkes in new BBC drama Gunpowder

(Image credit: PA Archive/PA Images)

Tom Cullen will join Game of Thrones' Kit Harrington and Sherlock's Mark Gattis in explosive new drama

Downton Abbey’s Tom Cullen is the latest star set to join the cast of new BBC drama Gunpowder.

Actor Tom, best known for his role as Lady Mary's unsuccessful suitor Viscount Gillingham in Downton, will play scheming villain Guy Fawkes in the new three part drama which follows the build up to the notorious Gunpowder Plot intended to blow up the Houses Of Parliament in 1605 and kill King James I.

He will star alongside Game of Thrones' Kit Harrington who has already been confirmed in the role of Robert Catesby, the mastermind behind the explosive 17th century  plot. Meanwhile Sherlock star Mark Gattis will play the Spymaster  Robert Cecil and Hollywood's Liv Tyler and star of Lord Of The Rings,  will play Ann Vaux.

Liv Tyler Photo by David Fisher/REX

Liv Tyler Photo by David Fisher/REX (Image credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

New Yorker Tyler, 39, who has a house in North London,  started filming  in Yorkshire last week and said, "I’m enjoying learning about the period, London in the 1600s, the Catholics and the Protestants. “Obviously I’ve heard people talk about Guy Fawkes and I was here this year for Bonfire Night, but I never really knew what it meant. There was so much more to the plot than just Guy Fawkes, but that’s the guy that everyone knows about."

ITV have confirmed that Broadchurch's Shaun Dooley and  Edward Holcroft who played George Boleyn in Wolf Hall will also be joining the cast. Shaun will play  Sir William Wade, Lieutenant of the Tower who became Cecil's right hand man while Edward stars as Thomas Wintour, Catesby's friend and co-conspirator.

Meanwhile EastEnders actress, Sian Webber, best known for playing Phil Mitchell's no-nonsense, silver-haired lawyer Ritchie, in the soap, will star as "devout and fearless" Lady Dorothy Dibdale and will be joined by Robert Emms (Happy Valley) who plays a  young priest who joins the plotters and Derek Riddell (The Missing) who will star as  King James.

Produced by Kudos (Apple Tree Yard, Broadchurch, Grantchester), filming is currently underway and Gunpowder is expected to be on screen this Autumn.


Tess Lamacraft
Senior Writer for What's On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite week,

Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.