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March 1, 2016 at 11:06 am #368074
I didn’t see a thread for this, but has anyone watched this show????
Ben Whishaw stars as Danny, a recovering adddict who falls in love Alex, an emotionally distant, yet brilliant agent in Intelligence. Danny’s world is turned upside down when he suddenly discovers Alex dead in his apartment. The series follows Danny as he tries to uncover the cause of Alex’s death, all the while facing threats from a number of mysterious outside forces.
I was hooked on this from episode one. The love story between Danny and Alex is tense and awkward, but completely believable in a relatively short time frame. Wheras most series would pack in action and intrigue, London Spy manages to be completely engrossing while focusing more on the emotional mystery. What was Alex hiding? Did Danny ever REALLY know him? Is Danny just replacing his old addictions with another? The series answers these question, all the time leaving just enough information to propel the narrative forward, and it does all of this without ever resorting to cheap cliches or gimmicks.
Even though I highly doubt this show will get any Emmy attention, the performances are all first rate. Whishaw is already a well-regarded stage and screen actor in Britian, and he’s the perfect anchor to the show. He gives Danny a naivete that makes Danny’s determination believable, and yet invests him with a damaged quality that makes even the most questionable choices understandable.
But two veterans practically steal the entire series. Jim Broadbent is just about perfect as Scotty, an older gay man whose unrequited feelings for Danny have morphed in those of a loving father figure. IN many ways, Broadbent is the emotional anchor of the series, and he has several powerhouse moments in Episode 4 that are among the finest pieces of acting you’ll see this year.
And watch out for Charlotte Rampling, who makes brief appearances as Alex’s mother, a shadowy, intimidating figure determined to keep her son’s secrets. Rampling dominates Episode 5, and her brilliance in that episode makes you long to see what would happened if she teamed up with Jean Smart’s mob boss mom from Fargo.
Is anyone else watching this? If you aren’t, please seek it out. It’s flat out brilliant.March 1, 2016 at 12:28 pm #368076
Ben Whishaw for everything! Really, he can just play the garbage guy and I will still be hooked to the TV.
Subject matter looks interesting. And Rampling, too? I will watch it and share my thoughts. Thanks for letting me notice.March 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm #368077
Rampling is only in Episode 2 and 5, but she packs a whallop in Episode 5. My jaw was on the floor…she was THAT good.
Broadbent is an actor I’ve always admired, but he really just broke my heart throughout this series. He’s a loving and devoted father figure, but he also has a dark past and his vulnerability really shines through in every seen. His scenes with Whishaw are the highlights of the series.
In related news, apparently the BBC asked for a second season, but the creator, Tom Rob Smith, is reluctant to do a second season; he feels that the central question of the love story is resolved.March 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm #368079
Oh Nick…you hard-hearted wonderful one.
Yes, I have always loved Broadbent. I admit that I was skeptical that he would be convincing as an gay former spy. But he just devastated me, particularly in Episode 4. He also has a fantastic scene in episode 2 where he completely eviscerates Whishaw’s character.March 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm #368080
I really enjoyed this and was bummed to learn it was only a miniseries. Everyone was really wonderful on this series and I wanted more!March 5, 2016 at 6:21 am #368081
I was fantastic miniseries. I want Ben Whishaw to get nominated. He’s so good. As for Lady Charlotte, she absolutely killed it in 5th episode and honestly if she wins Emmy for it I’ll shut up about her being robbed of an Oscar for some time. I’ll take that Emmy as consolation prize.March 5, 2016 at 6:55 am #368082
shit, love me some Whishaw, he was always fantastic in “The Hour” but there is too much going on now, tempted to get into this but currently I guess I will finish “The Night Manager” first.March 6, 2016 at 12:28 am #368083
I loved this miniseries as well. I really hope that Wishaw, Rampling and Broadbent get some Emmy attention too.March 14, 2016 at 5:02 pm #368084
Just finished it last night. Thanks for the head up on this. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Never seen Ben Whishaw in anything before, that I know of, but now I may have to look into The Hours. He was really great. Loved Rampling, as usual, too. Sigh… so many good British shows, so little time.
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