The Great Fire

Series 1 - Episode 1



The first 30 minutes or so of this wig-tastic historical potboiler are so lumpily wordy you’ll be drumming your fingers, wishing that the Great Fire of London would jolly well hurry up and start.

When the blaze actually properly gets going, things slowly begin to take off as sweaty 17th-century Londoners try to avert one of the city’s great catastrophes.

The ever-splendid Andrew Buchan is baker Tom Farriner, who has premises in teeming, stinking, poverty-blighted Pudding Lane. He’s financially on his uppers, he supplies bread to the Navy, but the country is almost bankrupt and the government can’t afford to pay him. Even an appeal to Samuel Pepys (Daniel Mays) doesn’t work. Mind you, that priapic old goat is too busy rogering his way around London.

But – spoiler alert! – when a spark from the bakery fire ignites into a conflagration, money troubles pale into insignificance.


Drama detailing the stories of the people of London during the Great Fire of 1666. Widower and single father Thomas Farriner is the king's baker, currently providing the Navy with bread and biscuits from his Pudding Lane bakery. His sister-in-law Sarah often helps out at the shop - a distraction from the fact her wayward husband (Thomas's brother) has been missing at sea for months now. Thomas is dismayed to learn from Navy official Samuel Pepys that it's unlikely he'll be paid for his latest job, owing to the expense of the war against the Dutch. However, he instead sends the baker away with a letter that could be the key to Sarah's closure. Meanwhile, in the palace of Whitehall, the king attends a stately dance, where an attempt on his life is foiled. Later, Thomas returns to find the bakery ablaze, with his two daughters asleep upstairs. Starring Andrew Buchan, Rose Leslie and Jack Huston.

Cast & Crew

Thomas Farriner Andrew Buchan
Hannah Farriner Polly Dartford
Sarah Farriner Rose Leslie
David Farriner Joey Price
Mary Farriner Trixiebelle Harrowell
Sheridan Tim Steed
King Charles II Jack Huston
Frances Stewart Antonia Clarke
James, Duke of York Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Lord Hyde Richard McCabe
Lord Ashley-Cooper Richard Dixon
Lady Castlemaine Susannah Fielding
Queen Catherine Sonya Cassidy
Lord Denton Charles Dance
The Duke of Hanford David Schofield
Romero Uriel Emil
Richard Smith William Beck
Elizabeth Pepys Perdita Weeks
Samuel Pepys Daniel Mays
John Hobbs John Foster
Ruth Amy McAllister
Alfredo Will Kemp
Mayor Bludworth Nicholas Blane
Wilson Geoff Bell
Mr Bagwell Ben Crompton
Mrs Bagwell Jennie Gruner
Martinez Roger Nevares
Assassin Joe Wredden
Director Jon Jones
Executive Producer Lucy Bedford
Executive Producer Douglas Rae
Producer Gina Cronk
Writer Tom Bradby
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