Slow Horses ( TV+)

I watched the first two episodes of Slow Horses on Apple TV+. I reviewed the book back here, and said that I enjoyed it, but that the prose was not a match for Le Carré at his best. That said, it was an entertaining read and had enough plot to keep you turning the pages. The transition to TV seems to have kept everything intact, bringing the text to life in the manner of modern quality television drama.

It’s a good cast, including Kristin Scott Thomas and Jonathan Pryce. Gary Oldman (who once played Smiley) is Jackson Lamb, burnt out secret agent with gross personal habits, who has seen more than you could ever believe; Jack Lowden is the bitter tyro River Cartwright, who has been exiled to the so called Slough House because of a fuckup he does not accept was his fault. Kicked from his fast-track career in the Service down to the level of looking through peoples’ bins, River is itching to get back in the game, taking a series of decisions that will put himself and others at risk.

Meanwhile, a young British Asian comedy writer, Hassan (Antonio Aakeel) has been abducted by a domestic far right terror group who are threatening to live stream his beheading.

The first two episodes at least follow the plot of the book quite closely, and you can see the narrative threads beginning to entwine in a satisfactory way. Mick Jagger has supplied title music and the whole enterprise has a quality to it that makes you feel as if you are in safe hands. Best spy thing since The Night Manager

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