The Great Fire

Daniel Mays interview: The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail had a wonderful interview with Daniel Mays this past weekend about his experience with filming ITV’s The Great Fire earlier this year.
Danny stars in this epic miniseries event as diarist Samuel Pepys:
“The more research I did, the more he amazed me; his turbulent marriage, his eccentricities, his compassion for his city.’

The Great Fire begins this Thursday 16 October at 9PM on ITV!

Trailer

Episode One

The Great Fire BAFTA Preview 14 October

This evening is the BAFTA Preview for The Great Fire:

Followed by a Q&A with writer Tom Bradby, director Jon Jones, producer Gina Cronk and actors Charles Dance and Daniel Mays

In conversation with journalist Ben Preston

Join us for a preview of ITV’s new four-part drama starring Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, Garrow’s Law) as the humble baker Thomas Farriner. Inspired by the historical events of 1666 and with the decadent backdrop of King Charles II’s court, The Great Fire focuses on the circumstances which led to the catastrophic fire and will follow Thomas’ fabled involvement in it from his bakery in Pudding Lane.   

Also starring Jack Huston (Parade’s End) as King Charles II and Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs) as Diarist Samuel Pepys. The drama unfolds over four consecutive days as the fire indiscriminately takes hold of the city and the people desperately attempt to overcome the flames capturing the most prosperous city of its age as fire rages and engulfs dwellings and businesses like the bakery on Pudding Lane. Terrified and bewildered, the people are thrown into chaos, and with each day they become increasingly desperate to seek safety away from the city.  

Tom Bradby (Shadow Dancer – film/novel, Blood Money, The God of Chaos – novels) writes the first three episodes whilst episode four is co-written by Tom Bradby, Chris Hurford (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes) and Tom Butterworth (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes). 

With thanks to ITV

The Great Fire – Episode Two

The Great Fire continues Thursday 23 October with episode 2:

Episode two

The fire is gaining strength. Thomas bursts into sister-in-law Sarah Farriner’s lodgings to wake his family and lead them to safety. But Sarah is nowhere to be seen and their shouts for her in the street yield nothing. Thomas leads them through the crowds to the Thames. But they have no luck escaping by river, so instead make their way north towards Moorfields. 
 
Meanwhile, Sarah is being held in a private cell at Newgate Prison while Denton interrogates the Duke of Hanford’s Footman, Carter. Denton’s piecing together a theory about Hanford’s mysterious Spanish guest and believes a box the Spaniard keeps with him at all times contains the keys to a Catholic plot against the King. Soon it’s Sarah’s turn to be interrogated and when she refuses to cooperate, Denton throws her in Newgate’s general cell, crawling with crazed criminals. To her surprise she’s protected by Newgate’s most formidable criminal, Vincent. 
 
While she fights for her life, Sarah’s son David wanders the burning streets alone, searching for his mother. When he sees ‘Mr Wickes’, he thinks he’s found a friendly face – unaware that Wickes is simply one of many masks for Lord Denton. 
 
Pepys brings news of the fire’s spread to the King at the Palace of Whitehall and the subject is discussed at Council. While Hyde and Lord Ashley argue against it, encouraged by James and the Queen, the King follows Pepys’ advice to survey the damage for himself from the safety of the river. From this vantage point, the King is shocked into action, ordering his advisors to tear down buildings to create fire-breaks and to compensate the public for damage. But despite Pepys delivering this message to the Mayor himself, Hyde and Ashley undercut him by rescinding the promise to pay compensation. 
 
Elizabeth Pepys receives a visit from Mr Bagwell, the husband of the prostitute her husband has been visiting.  He is looking for work but makes it clear how Pepys knows his wife. Elizabeth is dismayed. Meanwhile, Sarah is taken back into interrogation with Denton, and remains strong until she sees he has captured David. 
 
Under great duress, Sarah agrees to retrieve the mysterious box from Catholic Romero’s chamber in Hanford’s house. Across the city, Hanford and Romero are meeting with someone in secret, clearly plotting something with a figure in the shadows, revealed to be the King’s own brother – James, the Duke of York. 
 
At Moorefields Thomas tells Hannah to look after her sister because he must find Sarah and David. Exhausted and careworn, Thomas journeys back into the burning city.
Episode One

Daniel Mays Interview: Guardian

Lovely interview with Danny Mays in The Guardian
IMG_0145.JPG

Daniel Mays is telling me about the periwig. For his role as the diarist Samuel Pepys in a new four-part ITV drama, The Great Fire, based on the true events of the fire that swept through London in 1666, he wears an extraordinary Gaga-esque confection of auburn curls. “Oh man, this thing was waiting for me in the makeup truck,” he laughs. “It’s one of those things where you have to leave your vanity at the door and embrace it…

The Great Fire: Press Pack

The Great Fire Press Pack is now available.

Daniel Mays’ interview begins on page 19.

Tune in Thursday 16 October at 9pm on ITV to catch this amazing drama!

The story of humble baker Thomas Farriner and his fabled involvement in The Great Fire of London is coming to ITV this Autumn in new drama, The Great Fire. 

Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, Garrow’s Law, Nowhere Boy) plays the role of Thomas in the 4 x 60 minute drama, produced by the makers of Fleming and Mistresses, Ecosse Films, and written by successful novelist Tom Bradby, ITN’s Political Editor.

Inspired by the historical events of 1666 and with the decadent backdrop of King Charles II’s court, The Great Fire focuses on the circumstances which led to the catastrophic fire, Thomas Farriner’s family life at the bakery in Pudding Lane, the playboy King’s extravagant lifestyle, and Farriner’s complex relationship with his fictional sister in law, Sarah played by Rose Leslie (Utopia, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey).

Jack Huston (American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire, Parade’s End) plays the role of King Charles II and Diarist Samuel Pepys, a close confidante of the King who dared to tell him “he was consumed by the pursuit of pleasure”, is portrayed by Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs, Treasure Island, Public Enemies). Pepys wife Elizabeth is played by Perdita Weeks (The Invisible Woman, Flight of the Storks).

Also starring is Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Dracula, Mr Selfridge, World Without End) as the King’s brother, James Duke of York, Andrew Tiernan (Ripper Street, Foyle’s War, Prisoner’s Wives) as prisoner Vincent, a forgotten soul languishing in Newgate prison, and Antonia Clarke (Lightfields, A Mother’s Son) as Frances Stewart who famously captured the King’s heart.

The Great Fire will unfold over four consecutive days as the fire indiscriminately takes hold of the city and the people desperately attempt to overcome the flames. The episodes will capture the most prosperous city of its age as fire rages and engulfs dwellings and businesses like the bakery on Pudding Lane. Terrified and bewildered, the people are thrown into chaos, and with each day they become increasingly desperate to seek safety away from the city.

Other key roles include Lord Denton, an emissary of the King’s, played by Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Secret State, Strike Back) whilst the Duke of Hanford, the most powerful Catholic nobleman in the land is played by David Schofield (Da Vinci’s Demons, Land Girls, The Shadow Line) and Sonya Cassidy (Vera, The Paradise, Endeavour) stars as The Queen.

Douglas Rae (Fleming, Mistresses, My Boy Jack) and Lucy Bedford (Mistresses, All About George, Lie with Me) are the executive producers for Ecosse Films. The producer is Gina Cronk (The White Queen, Tracy Beaker Returns, Wolfblood) and the director is Jon Jones (Lawless, Rogue, Mr Selfridge).

“In 1666 London was the greatest city in the world with a population of 300,000. In just four days The Great Fire destroyed nearly half the city and threatened the monarchy. It’s a fascinating premise for a drama and creates the perfect backdrop for Tom Bradby to be at his most creative.” Said Douglas Rae.

Tom Bradby (Shadow Dancer – film/novel, Blood Money, The God of Chaos – novels) writes the first three episodes whilst episode four is co-written by Tom Bradby, Chris Hurford (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes) and Tom Butterworth (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes).

Filming took place in in Spring 2014 in Kent, Surrey, Oxfordshire and central London, when the sights and sounds of Europe’s greatest metropolis in the 17th Century, Pudding Lane, the Palace of Whitehall, Pepy’s dwelling, Fish Street Hill, Newgate Prison, Moorfields, and the River Thames were recreated for the drama. Pyrotechnics and special effects, as opposed to CGI, were used to create the fire sequences as London burns.

The Great Fire Begins Thursday 16 October at 9PM on ITV

The Great Fire begins on ITV at 9PM Thursday 16 October.

Episode one:

It’s the summer of 1666. Thomas Farriner is the King’s baker, supplying bread and biscuit for the Navy, who are currently at war. A widower and single-father, Thomas works alongside his daughters Mary and Hannah, with a little help from his sister-in-law, Sarah Farriner, in his Pudding Lane bakery. 

 
Times are hard and Sarah’s wayward husband (and Thomas’ brother) has been missing at sea for many months. Although she’s unable to move on, there’s no denying the crackle between Thomas and Sarah as she departs to prepare for the return of her employer, the Duke of Hanford. 
 
Thomas heads off with the Navy delivery and when he arrives at the Navy yards, it quickly becomes clear he’s not going to be paid for all the work he’s done. Thomas discusses his lack of payment with Navy official Samuel Pepys and is dismayed to learn there is no hope of payment due to the expense of the war. However, Pepys is able to help Thomas in another way and he sends him away with a letter confirming the fate of Will Farriner.
 
Across the city in the palace of Whitehall, the King is at a stately dance, enjoying his many spoils and women in full view of his wife, the Queen. Amidst the reverie a terrifying assassination attempt is foiled by the King’s Intelligence Officer, Lord Denton. Under interrogation, the assassin reveals he’s a Catholic fanatic and a former employee of Sarah’s boss, the Duke of Hanford, who Denton has under surveillance. Is there some kind of larger Catholic plot in the works? The King registers concern but surprisingly his brother, James Duke of York, stands up for Hanford. 
 
Samuel Pepys enjoy a game of Pall Mall with the King but returns home to find his wife Elizabeth with her dance teacher. Jealous and hurt, he slips away to visit a prostitute. 
 
At the bakery, a troubled Thomas leaves his daughter Hannah in charge and heads to his sister-in-law with a heavy heart. Meanwhile, Sarah is visited by a ‘Mr Wickes’, supposedly a kindly man from church, but who reveals himself to be Lord Denton. He asks that she act as an informant on her employer, Hanford. And gives her a couple of hours to decide. Seeing Denton from afar, Thomas assumes Sarah is courting the so-called ‘Mr Wickes’ and decides against delivering her the letter from Pepys. 
 
Thomas returns home to Pudding Lane to find the bakery ablaze and his two daughters asleep upstairs, blissfully unaware of the fire below. Thomas scrabbles to get the girls out, only just escaping the flames by climbing across the roof, before his home is completely consumed. He sends the girls to Sarah’s lodgings while he attempts to contain the fire. But upon receiving them, Sarah goes to look for Thomas. Out on the street, she is snatched by Denton’s men and thrown in the back of a prison carriage…

BAFTA Preview: The Great Fire

Tickets are now available for the BAFTA Preview of ITV’s The Great Fire on Tuesday 14 October.

Join us for a preview of ITV’s new four-part drama starring Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, Garrow’s Law) as the humble baker Thomas Farriner. Inspired by the historical events of 1666 and with the decadent backdrop of King Charles II’s court, The Great Fire focuses on the circumstances which led to the catastrophic fire and will follow Thomas’ fabled involvement in it from his bakery in Pudding Lane.
Also starring Jack Huston (Parade’s End) as King Charles II and Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs) as Diarist Samuel Pepys. The drama unfolds over four consecutive days as the fire indiscriminately takes hold of the city and the people desperately attempt to overcome the flames capturing the most prosperous city of its age as fire rages and engulfs dwellings and businesses like the bakery on Pudding Lane. Terrified and bewildered, the people are thrown into chaos, and with each day they become increasingly desperate to seek safety away from the city.
Tom Bradby (Shadow Dancer – film/novel, Blood Money, The God of Chaos – novels) writes the first three episodes whilst episode four is co-written by Tom Bradby, Chris Hurford (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes) and Tom Butterworth (Doc Martin, Ashes to Ashes).
With thanks to ITV.

Book here: https://bafta.ticketsolve.com/shows/873521664/events?show_id=873521664

Team DM