Slow Horses - Spy thriller on Apple +

Apple + is currently showing the new and excellent spy thriller Slow Horses, with Gary Oldman in the lead.

They are currently releasing a new one every friday, and so far there are four episodes, and they are bloody brilliant.

Oldman is really really gross, but also really, really much Smiley from the old spystories and movies like Tinker,Tailor , Soldier, Spy. Competent and focused.
The rest of the cast really works as well - this is much recommended!

I watched the first episode and didn’t hate it, but didn’t exactly love it either. It had a pretty exciting first 10 minutes or so and then it slowed down massively. Does it pick up again — or was the latter 3/4ths of the first episode more the normal pacing for the show?

Its more a classical spy thriller I’d say, in that there are a lot of talking and things going on, but not directly action-style, no.

I’d say the pacing is more in line with the rest of the episode yes. Also, its british drama, and for whatever opinion you can have off it, its very different from American drama. A lot more is inferred than actually shown. Also, people are more…well, like REAL people instead of action heroes.

For instance, there is carjacking, that is the most polite and ordered car-jacking I’ve ever seen, but…I really dig it.

“Thriller” might be a little bit of a stretch. It’s more of a procedural of the bureaucracy of spying more than, say, field operations.

Only watched the first episode so far and I wasn’t exactly blown away by it, but I did enjoy it. I was already a fan of the Mick Harron source novels, though, so I’m probably predisposed to like it. Definitely will be finishing this season at least.

Thus far, 4 episodes in, it’s been a fairly straightforward adaptation of the Mick Herron book, which is good b/c the source material is excellent IMO. I will say that I feel the performances, particularly Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas, do add to the show.

Been enjoying it a lot as well but I don’t get the LeCarre vibe that a lot of reviewers were quick to drop into their reviews. Oldman and Thomas are both great. Makes me want to check out some of the books to see what they’re all about.

Good short season, was surprised to see the trailer for season 2 at the end of it, apparently it’s finished filming so probably not too long between seasons. Unlike Severence though this was a complete story arc for season, no cliffhangers here.

For grognards of genres, the best way to break down the Slough House books (which I recommend) is this:

  • Take the basic DNA of Ec McBain’s 587th Precinct books: single physical location, various employees with different personalities, multiple plot threads for those characters, some with action, which intersect/coincide at the end. (Another example would be the Yellowthread Street books, if anyone knows those.)
  • Infuse with a slobs vs. snobs theme, which brings a somewhat comedic tone along with it.
  • Frost with a layer of LeCarre: the mundanity of most spywork, cold bureaucracies that destroy lives, long buried secrets, etc.

So there’s some LeCarre in there, but it’s somewhat decorative.

I could see the mundanity of spywork being more of a thing in the book. The TV show feels downright action packed in ways that I’ve never associated with LeCarre.

Very British and very enjoyable.

The Jagger intro song was a huge bonus.

Slow Horses popped up on the Apple TV+ recommendations and I figured I’d give it a shot, and it was…fine. If you’ve never seen a similar show before, it’s probably very good. The characters felt so stereotypical - the old crabbby guy, the earnest young agent in disgrace, the jerk hacker, the corrupt politician, etc, etc. Well executed, the actors generally pull it off, just…Gary Oldman making the next snarky comment loses something when you know it’s coming. Still, not a bad six episodes and you’ll probably find it above average if you don’t mind the predictability of the characterizations.

Renewed for season 3 and 4.

So Season 2 premiere released today. Wasn’t expecting that.

Finished S2, it had a few variations from the book but mostly for the better, and continued the strong pattern of S1. Oldman and and Saskia Reeves and Kristin Scott Thomas remain excellent. Jack Lowden is still good as the almost-competent-spy River Cartwright, and the rest of the cast remains strong. A good solid spy show, slow paced, but with excellent dry humor. I was initially not sold on the casting of Aimee Ffion Edwards as Shirley Dander (she’s much smaller than I imagined the character) but she made it work by bringing a lot of physical energy to the confrontations. Also, a nod to Rade Serbedjiza who was also good in a small role in The Old Man.

Enjoyable season. Good acting all around. I can’t believe season 3 has a preview already. They are really cranking these out.

Boris the bullet dodger!

Enjoyed Season 2 more than Season 1, and I really enjoyed season 1. Gary Oldman must be having the best time - Jackson Lamb must be a pleasure to play. I enjoyed the other performances and it felt like Sakia Reeves got more to do this season.

My enjoyment is enhanced by them resolutely placing Slough House geographically. It’s about 10 minutes walk from my flat so a lot of the shots are very familiar to me though the Chinese restaurant that he frequents doesn’t exist there.

I just started watching this. What an amazing ride.

Watching the third season of this and in the third episode sh_t’s getting real.

As in, not only is Standish hostage plus another guy, but Webb, the cocky obnoxious blond guy who got River sent to Slough House in the first place, is obviously dead.

I really like this show and I appreciate that the seasons are short. There’s very little filler content.

We got caught up on s3 last night - this season has been so much fun with Oldman and Scott-Thomas having so much fun nailing their characters with a strong supporting cast and writing.

Now we need to figure out what the episode drop day is for the next episode!