Press Centre

The Great Fire

  • Episode: 

    3 of 4

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 30 Oct 2014
  • TX Confirmed: 

    No
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 44 2014 : Sat 25 Oct - Fri 31 Oct
  • Channel: 

    ITV
The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press, online and social media use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 21 October 2014.
 
Episode three
 
Thomas returns to the city in search of Sarah to see the fire spreading with alarming speed across the capital. In Whitehall the King’s angry to learn his orders to create fire-breaks have been ignored by his advisors. 
 
Meanwhile, Sarah stealthily sneaks back into Hanford’s house and retrieves the mysterious box from Señor Romero’s room. Heading back out to meet with Denton, and thinking she’s home free, she comes face-to-face with Thomas. Under Denton’s watchful eye she tries to warn him away, quietly begging him to retrieve David from Newgate. She leaves Thomas confused and hurt. 
 
When Sarah delivers the box to Denton, he’s disappointed – it merely contains letters from the King’s mother to her Priest. He’s convinced it’s the wrong box and sends her back to retrieve the correct one. This time, when she enters Romero’s room, he and Hanford catch her in the act. Sarah begs for mercy, explaining Denton coerced her into this act – that he has her son. 
 
Denton reads the letters from the box and realises James is the mastermind behind an assassination of his brother by Señor Romero. He marches on the Duke’s house only to see Sarah escaping, and – when they become embroiled in a tussle – stabs Hanford to death. 
 
At Newgate, the fire is upon them and Thomas manages to free David and the other prisoners. Thomas asks Vincent to escort David to Moorfields, so he can save Sarah.
 
Denton is on the move towards the palace, where he interrupts a meeting between the King, Romero and James, and levels his accusation of treason against them. James denies there is any such assassination plot and instead reveals he was orchestrating a move to convert the King to Catholicism – Romero is merely a priest. Denton drags Romero away for interrogation, now fixated on Sarah’s involvement in a Catholic conspiracy. He strangles the Spaniard to death before he can clear her name. 
 
When the King and his brother James are alone, James attests that he is only guilty of trying to make his brother a better king. He gives his brother an ultimatum: serve your people on the streets fighting this fire or he will. But it is James who rides out of the palace to fight the fire. 
 
Elizabeth confronts Pepys about his infidelity, in the wake of Mr Bagwell’s visit to their home, but Pepys pleads ignorance. In retaliation Elizabeth visits Alfredo her dance teacher, but when things get passionate she realises she cannot consummate an affair. Meanwhile, Thomas finally finds Sarah on the streets, hiding from Denton’s men. Together they find shelter. She is overwhelmed to hear that David is safe. And tells Thomas she knows of her husbands death. The pair fall passionately into each other’s arms.  
 
 
Series overview
 
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. 
 
ITV Studios Global Entertainment will distribute The Great Fire worldwide.