Elizabeth I ruled for over 40 years, during one of the most unstable and dangerous periods of history.

England was a lonely Protestant island amid a Catholic Europe that desperately wanted the queen off the throne.

There were 14 attempts on her life, and this new series looks at how she kept the Papist conspirators from succeeding in their mission to kill her.

Her secret weapon was William Cecil, a spymaster who organised a huge network of loyal agents in every part of society.

This first episode leads up to the death of Mary, Queen of Scots, how Cecil’s undercover agents learnt of Mary’s plot to kill Elizabeth and how he ultimately orchestrated her execution.