sun 16/12/2018

spies

Mrs Wilson finale, BBC One review - stranger than fiction

As the priest said, "Understanding comes first, then forgiveness". Thus the rather enjoyable (if slightly overstretched) Mrs Wilson came to a not exactly happy, but certainly forgiving, ending. Ruth Wilson held the screen over three episodes of this...

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention. Assassination Nation ★★★★ Social media witch-hunt faced down by...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, series finale review - Le Carré drama comes to the boil at last

Was The Little Drummer Girl commissioned by algorithm? Those who liked The Night Manager might reasonably have been supposed to enjoy another le Carré adaptation. The two dramas had DNA in common. Both steered away from the Cold War, and told of a...

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Mrs Wilson, BBC One review - real-life secrets and lies

In which the titular Mrs Wilson is played by her real-life granddaughter Ruth Wilson, in an intriguing tale of subterfuge both personal and professional. The curtain rose over suburban west London in the 1960s, where Alison Wilson was married to...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, review - latest Le Carré just passes audition

When after six novels John Le Carré turned away from the Cold War, he turned towards another simmering post-war conflict, between Israel and Islam. The Little Drummer Girl was published in 1983, and filmed a year later with Diane Keaton and Klaus...

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Berlin Station, More 4 review - spooks in Euroland

It’s eight years since Richard Armitage’s character Lucas North died in Spooks, but now Armitage is back undercover as CIA agent Daniel Miller in Berlin Station. Mind you, it’s already been touch and go – Miller was shot in in Berlin’s Potzdamer...

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Pack of Lies, Menier Chocolate Factory review - suburban spy story

We do love our spy stories, don't we? The idea of betrayal, both political and personal, seems to be a strong part of our national identity. And so is telling stories based on real events. Playwright Hugh Whitemore, who died in July, based his Pack...

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The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, ITV review - the ludicrous in search of the preposterous

Belatedly picking up from where series 2 of The Bletchley Circle left off in 2014, this comeback version has a go at transporting a couple of the original characters to the Californian West Coast, where they embroil themselves in the hunt for that...

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Frank Gardner: Ultimatum review - topical terrorism

The journalist Frank Gardner has turned to fiction to illuminate with imagination the world that he knows inside out from years of reporting. His biographical trajectory, from scholar of the Middle East and the Arab world, through BBC correspondent...

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Describe the Night, Hampstead Theatre review - epic take on the mythology of Putin

Five years ago, when New York playwright Rajiv Joseph started on his fantasy disquisition on truth, lies and the recent history of Russia, no one was talking about a new Cold War and trump was still a thing you did in a game of cards. Now, at the...

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Homeland, Series 7 Finale, Channel 4 review - Russian roulette

In a manner uncannily reminiscent of last year’s Season 6, this latest edition of Homeland spent at least half the series trying to get warmed up for the dash to the tape over the final furlongs. Viewers finding themselves slipping into a catatonic...

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Red Sparrow review - from Russia with lust

As it turns out, the slashed-to-the-hip Versace dress with which Jennifer Lawrence provoked controversy (synthetic or otherwise) on a freezing London rooftop was an accurate barometer of what to expect from Red Sparrow. It has the nostalgic...

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