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Full Synopsis

Raised in the sanctuary of the French court, far from the dangers of her own country, nineteen-year-old Mary returns to her homeland of Scotland at the news of her mother’s death—and to rule as its queen. Possessing charm, beauty, and grace, the precocious Mary Queen of Scots (Clémence Poésy, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) must now explore her untapped abilities as a formidable Catholic ruler of a lawless land. But powerful forces are already poised to defeat her—not least of which is her own arrogant, jealous husband Lord Darnley (Paul Nicholls, EastEnders) and her politically ambitious half-brother Lord James (Steven Duffy, Tinsel Town), presently in the pay of Mary’s mortal enemy, Elizabeth I, the Protestant Queen of England (Catherine McCormack, Spy Game). Against all odds—both personal and political—Mary is determined to teach tolerance to her people and to rule as no one has before, or since…

So begins a historic drama about the struggle for power between the Catholic and Protestant factions, between husband and wife, and, in time, between Mary and her own son, King James I (Robert Carlyle, Trainspotting), raised by his mother’s wrathful foes. As a country’s wrenching and divisive political machinations unfold, so, too, does an intimate family drama of violent marital betrayal, bitter religious rivalry, far-reaching conspiracy, and cold-blooded murder in the name of God. But as Mary steers a precarious course through the unimaginable dangers of Scottish politics, she discovers that it is her own flesh and blood who will determine her unavoidable fate in a tenuous but vital reign. In its wake comes profound religious discontent and a plot against the Houses of Parliament that will culminate in one of the most scandalous events in Scottish history.

Featuring a prestigious international cast and filmed entirely on location in Romania with a key Scottish crew, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot is a gripping and sumptuously epic production, alive with characters infamous and beloved—an unforgettable ride through history directed by Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) and written by Jimmy McGovern (Cracker).

Programme Information

Aspect Ratio:
120 Mins
Year of Production:
Mini Series
Historical & Period Drama


Award Name
tv series and serials: screenplay
golden fipa
tv series and serials: actor
golden fipa
tv series and serials: actress
golden fipa
tv series and serials
golden fipa

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