Review: SS-GB (S1 E5/5), Sunday 19th March, BBC1

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(C) Sid Gentle Films Ltd – Photographer: Laurie Sparham

IĀ approached the finale of SS-GB, the good-looking conspiracy thriller, with some optimism just about intact. There had been flickers of life in this stodgy tale of alternative history, but so often when things threatened to spark they petered out and sunk into drudgery. Gorgeous-looking drudgery, mind. Still, it was the finale and there seemed to be a lot to fit in: would Archer and Harry manage to escort the infirm King out of the country? How would Britain rid themselves of the occupying Nazis?

NB: Spoilers inside Continue reading

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Review: SS-GB (S1 E4/5), Sunday 12th March, BBC1

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(C) Sid Gentle Films Ltd – Photographer: Screen Grab

SS-GB has been shedding viewers by the week and has been taking a pasting on Twitter (too mumbly, too whispery and too ‘what on earth is going on?’). I can kind of see why people haven’t warmed to this because it is slow and sludgy, and highly convoluted with a labyrinthine plot, all played out at a snail’s pace and in dark rooms with lots of men whispering. At least at the end of episode three there was at least an exterior piece of action – that of a Resistance bomb at Highgate Cemetery during an exhumation of Marx’s tomb. Now it was retribution and revenge on the Nazi’s part.

NB: Spoilers Continue reading

Review: SS-GB (S1 E3/5), Sunday 5th March, BBC1

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Programme Name: SS-GB - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 3) - Picture Shows: Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer (SAM RILEY) - (C) Sid Gentle Films Ltd - Photographer: Laurie Sparham

(C) Sid Gentle Films Ltd – Photographer: Laurie Sparham

After last week’s episode finale, where young PC Jimmy Dunn was found dead in Archer’s old family house, murdered by the Resistance, it was clear that our dashing detective of The Yard was being severely tested. On the one hand he was working closely with ruthless SS man Huth and was expected to report to him on any developments in the Spode murder case, while on the other the Resistance also wanted Archer on their side. And they were willing to kill to ensure his loyalty. So Archer was slap-bang in the middle of two ruthless factions, not sure where to turn and not liking one bit of it.

NB: Spoilers inside
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Interview: Kate Bosworth, SS-GB

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624As if you didn’t know, the next big, BBC1, Sunday-night drama is a four-part adaptation of Len Deighton’s SS-GB, which presents a classic noir set in 1940s Britain, where the Nazis defeated the Allies and now occupy the country. Sam Riley plays Detective Douglas Archer, while American actress Kate Bosworth plays a classic femme fatale – a mysterious US journalist who may or may not be what she seems. We managed to get hold of an interview with Bosworth, which you can read after the jump. Continue reading

BBC confirms SS-GB transmission date

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624I 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. Continue reading