I must confess to enjoying the odd alternative reality crime story or thriller (CJ Sansom’s Dominion is highly recommended) and bloody love Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels set in war-time Berlin. Len Deighton, on the other hand, is regarded by many as one of the top spy novelists of all time, and his stories – like The Ipcress File – went onto become huge film hits. Now another one of his novels, SS-GB, has been turned into a glossy BBC drama series, and we now know when it will be transmitted.
The six-part series stars Sam Riley as Detective Douglas Archer, and a cast that includes Kate Bosworth, James Cosmo, Maeve Dermody, Aneurin Barnard, Rainer Bock, Lars Eidinger, Christina Cole, Louis Serkis, Kit Connor and James Northcote.
A pretty starry cast.
The story goes like this: We first meet Archer in 1941, with the vast majority of England and Wales are under Nazi occupation after losing the Battle of Britain. Pockets of resistance continue to show their defiance against the occupying German forces, but after a German pilot is murdered by a British Resistance fighter, tensions in London could not be higher.
When investigating what appears to be a simple black market murder, Archer is dragged into a much darker and more treacherous world where the stakes are as high as the ultimate outcome of the war. The elusive American journalist Barbara Barga may hold the key – but can he trust her? And when his lover Sylvia endangers her life by bravely making a stand against the oppressive regime, Archer is forced to confront a deeper dilemma. Can he carry out his duty to defend law and order when he is working for the wrong side? What is he willing to risk in the fight against fascism?
So when’s it on? Look out for it on Sunday 19th February, 9pm, BBC1.