StoryWilliam Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) was born into an era when the British Empire dominated the globe. However, this was also an age when the rumblings of social discontent were emerging - yet reformers faced an uphill struggle to be heard.
As a good friend of England's youngest Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger (Benedict Cumberbatch), Wilberforce is elected to the House of Commons at the age of 21 and entrusted by Pitt with the cause for the Abolition of Slavery.
In spite of his preternatural political prowess, Wilberforce finds himself torn between his rising career and his desire to give it all up for a life of spirituality. He seeks the advice of friend and mentor John Newton (Albert Finney) - a former slave trader who turned to the Church in order to atone for his earlier life - who suggests that his best way for Wilberforce to serve God would be to fight injustice with his political influence.
Inspired by Newton, Wilberforce quickly becomes the rallying voice in Parliament for a fragmented group of like-minded people determined to to make the people of Britain, and ultimately the world, acknowledge the horror of the Slave Trade.