REVIEW Slow Horses (S1 E4/6)

This adaptation of Mick Herron’s first Slough House novel has been utterly fun and fantastic with a pleasingly dark undertone so far. Gary Oldman feels the like perfect Jackson Lamb – the Falstaff of the espionage world – which is the crucial component that this series had to get right. And it has.

But we find Lamb and his ragtag team of misfits in a spot of bother. We saw at the end of episode three that he agreed for his team to be the first on the scene at the house where the British-Asian teen was being held hostage was being held. However, they found that Regent Park’s inside man had had his head chopped off and the gang – and their abductee – nowhere to be seen.

Knowing that they were in deep trouble, and that Diana Tavener would be fitting them up for the crime, Lamb and the team dispersed with orders to bring everyone in and meet at a safe house.

So this episode was more of a cat-and-mouse game, with Lamb and his team members being chased all over London by Regent Park and Tavener, who sensed this was her moment to not only absolve herself of all blame but to also finally get rid of Lamb.

Lamb, of course, had his own tricks up his sleeve, and it was very cool to see this greasy, belching man way past his prime spring into action and reflexively revert to his wily ways. We knew he had it in him.

However fun as this was – and it was – it really did feel like a bridge episode. The type that every series needs or builds into its structure. This was a necessary transition, one that marks a new phase in the drama – with nutcases in charge of the hostages and Lamb and co dispersed but now back together again, Slow Horses can settle back down again for the final stretch.

It’s anyone’s guess whether the abductee will survive, or whose reputation will survive. I’m betting on Lamb, but who knows?

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.



Slow Horses streams on Apple TV+ in the UK

Walter Presents announced transmission date for The Nordic Murders

The Nordic Murders – the German series – is coming back to More4 thanks to Walter Presents.

After the death of her daughter, former prosecutor Karin Lossow and her new partner-in-crime, homicide detective Ellen Norgaard, are back on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom.

It’s tourist season at the Kaiserbad – and this year’s season brings plenty of 16-year olds out of their minds on drugs – that is, until one of them is found dead in a sauna. The party that started it and then escalated quickly was thrown by Ben, Karin Lossow’s great-nephew. Karin has not seen Ben’s father Rainer for a while, so when the Munich police officer arrives, things get dicey. He immediately starts to second guess Ellen Norgaard’s investigation, in which his son has become a suspect. Apparently no one from the party can remember what happened, but luckily for Karin and Ellen an elderly neighbour witnessed the commotion. Did Ben kill his friend? And can Karin find out before anyone else gets hurt?

Look out for it from Friday 13th May.

Walter Presents announces transmission date for The King Of Warsaw

Walter Presents has announced the transmission date for a series dubbed as “the Polish Peaky Blinders.

The King Of Warsaw is set in 1937 as fascism hangs over the Polish capital The Jewish mafia rules the city before the outbreak of World War II under the leadership of Buddy Kaplica, a Polish gangster-socialist with connections in high places. His right-hand man is a ruthless Jewish boxer, Jakub Szapiro, adored by women and envied and feared by men. Deep down, Jakub dreams about taking over Buddy’s position and becoming the king of the mafia. Torn between loyalty to his boss and a chance to fulfil his own ambitions, Jakub will rise to a decisive fight for power in the streets and will be absorbed by the relentless world of sex and violence causing a mob war, which could determine the fate of Warsaw and the entire country.

The King Of Warsaw is set to premiere on More4 in August.

BBC announces ‘unconventional thriller’ The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies

The BBC has announced a new five-part “unconventional thriller”, The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies.

It says it will tell the story of two very different women (Alice Newman and Cheryl Harker) and the conman (Dr Rob Chance) they have in common.

Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Alistair Petrie and Rebekah Staton lead the cast as Cheryl, Rob and Alice respectively.

Cheryl (Baptiste) is a bestselling fantasy fiction author who, recently bereaved, now lives alone with her poodle, Goblin. Alice (Staton) is a formidable PA, a mother, and a lifelong Madonna fan. Rob (Petrie) is an eccentric and celebrated ecopreneur (allegedly). Three apparent strangers with nothing in common… except Rob’s dupes, deceptions and delusions.

This is a story about lies and artifice, about our weakness for self-deception, and about the rapid ascent of the modern fraudster. Asking why do ‘respectable’ psychopaths rise to the top? Why does a posh man in a suit still seem so plausible next to a working-class mum in a pink cape? And if you can’t beat them, is joining them really so bad?

Above all, this is also the story of an unexpected friendship between two very different women and the power they’ll discover when they raise their voices in joyous rage. As they finally find the courage and self-belief to take charge, the con is on to try and take a predator down.

Joining the formidable trio are Romola Garai who plays Juno Fish, Alice’s boss and a prominent designer who is famous for her unique brand of idiosyncratic floral patterns and products, Derek Jacobi who plays Sir Ralph Unwin who may or may not be being scammed by Rob, Julian Barratt who plays Alice’s painfully predictable, deeply kind, magician husband Benjy, Karl Johnson who plays Bill, Alice’s father and confidant, and Ellie Haddington who plays Diane, Alice’s long-suffering, insufferable mother.

ITV announces The Hunt For Raoul Moat

ITV has announced another adaptation of a true crime story.

The Hunt For Raoul Moat will “shine a light on the human tragedies that lay behind Britain’s biggest manhunt, told through the eyes of those who sought to bring a violent killer to justice.”

The drama focuses on the innocent victims of Moat’s killing spree in 2010 – Christopher Brown, Samantha Stobbart and PC David Rathband; the police officers who put themselves in the firing line in their quest to apprehend Moat; and the local journalist who sought to tell Moat’s real story in a landscape of sensationalist reporting and social media provocation.

Furthermore, the channel has announced that Lee Ingleby will play Neil Adamson, a senior Northumbria Police Officer leading the race against time to apprehend Moat, Sonya Cassidy as local journalist Diane Barnwell, Vineeta Rishi as Nisha Roberts, Sally Messham as Samantha Stobbart, Matt Stokoe as Raoul Moat and Josef Davis as Christopher Brown.

ITV says that the series will begin with Moat’s ex-partner Samantha piecing her life back together following Moat’s imprisonment for an assault. He is then released from HMP Durham after serving a four-month sentence. Sam has a new boyfriend, Chris, and she is terrified of Moat’s return.

Despite making serious threats against Sam from inside prison, the former Newcastle doorman is hellbent on rekindling their relationship. When he realises that isn’t going to happen, Moat equips himself with a shotgun to confront Sam and her new partner.

The series has begun filming.