Slow Horses - Spy thriller on Apple +

You’re going to love s3 then ;)

Jagger’s a big fan apparently:

Another high-profile fan of the books is Mick Jagger who co-wrote the theme song. “I really enjoyed creating the theme track for Slow Horses with Daniel Pemberton,” Jagger writes on Instagram. “I’ve read a lot of the books and was familiar with some of the more dark and unsavoury characters and knew the direction I wanted to take it…hope you enjoy it!”

Great. We’re saving it to binge during the Christmas break.

Final episode drops Wed 12/27 (had to check as we’re all caught up now and need to wait until next Wednesday for the next ep!)

Haven’t yet finished watching Episode 4, but as I surmised, Webb is “undeniably and reliably” dead. This morning I was thinking of the scene in the parking garage where Donovan inadvertently kills him and wondering how they could make it look so darn real. I mean, the punch is well-trod stagecraft plus Foley work but the whacking the head on the car glass part? No idea how. Maybe they just film the shot with very slow movement by the actor, then speed it up somehow, apply sound effects/digital blood splatter as needed? or do they do it at full speed with a very convincing fake head?

Season 3 Finale Plot Question:

Taverner (2nd Desk) set up Donovon to kidnap Standish, and recommended Webb to be hired by the tiger team so that Webb could set up River to infiltrate MI5. This is so that Tearney (1st Desk) will resign. But then, her plot was spoilt when the Home Secretary used the situation to his advantage by not accepting 1st Desk’s resignation and instead, put the tiger team as a 3rd party consultant. Did I get this part right?

Yet, somehow, 1st Desk figured out that it was 2nd Desk’s doing and was able to twist this to her advantage by exposing Taverner. Although I am not sure how that can be an advantage. Aside from their 1-1 conversation (great TV there imo), there was no way for her to implicate 2nd Desk and force 2nd Desk out, is there?

Another great season, and another long wait until the next one.

I hated this season.
Two and a half episodes consisting of three different mediocre and stupid action gunfights is not what I was hoping for.

I want more Tinker Tailor, less James Bond.

Well, the violent content comes right from the source, though it’s true they spiced it up quite a bit for a TV audience.

I think the key thing is that 2nd Desk found dirty deeds by 1st Desk, and everything after that is just 2nd Desk finding multiple, plausibly deniable routes to get that dirt revealed.

I don’t think the plot was spoilt exactly, it’s more like the first prong of the plan did not go through. 2nd Desk still had Donovan as part of the Tiger Team and working to reveal the information in the Archives, so the campaign to reveal the dirt was still active.

I don’t think 2nd Desk was exposed, more like 1st Desk realized who was the probable architect of her misfortunes. I don’t think 1st Desk had any concrete evidence of 2nd Desk’s actions.

This is one of the enduring mysteries of the show for me, whether it is intended to be straight faced, or whether it is supposed to be a satire of the intelligence agencies. So far in the show literally none of the characters have ever done anything useful; they are all entirely caught up in wasting money and lives in futile internecine conflicts. It’s captivating TV and I love the actors, but again I can’t tell if they’re on board with Le Carre’s message of “the security services are the real threat” or if they’re doing this as a Bond-adjacent adventure story.

Question: Near the end of the finale, we saw River meeting up with his grandfather and showing him the file that Donovan had gone into the repository to find, which file revealed a lot of dirty dealings by some in MI5. River’s grandfather tosses it into the fire, but can we assume that the document on the passenger’s seat when River returns to his car was the original?

I hope Standish comes back, despite Jackson’s less than diplomatic revelation of her late husband’s treason (and [Jackson’s] general obnoxiousness).

I enjoyed the third season.

Trailer for fourth season seemed like a lot of season 4 is already filmed. I would like more of Jackson Lamb showing his extreme competency.

My take on the books is that they’re pretty much an indictment of the security services. Like all institutions — and leaders thereof — they inevitably become preoccupied with their own status and power, and since they (sometimes) wield deadly force, that’s not going to lead anywhere very good.

The show is mostly capturing that tone for me. I thought the running gunfight here was a bit much — in the book the private security guys were mostly armed with blunt instruments and tear gas rather than guns — but the results were just as deadly for some characters.

So even if Duffy came out first in the final showdown, there is nothing 1st Desk can do towards 2nd Desk except to put her further down into cold storage. It’s does not seem like she can get her to resign.

Overall, it was a good season. I am surprised that the girl (I forgot her name) was able to take out at least 5 armed goons where as Marcus, with his arsenal of guns did not do any thing! That part where he accused the girl of not doing anything and was rebuked was funny!!!

I’ve started reading Slow Horses before I watch the show, and I’m liking it. Should I plan to read them all or are some more essential than others?

Well, this show has been near perfect from the outset, especially with its season endings, so I don’t understand how it got so lazy and scatterbrained in the last half of this season. Not only the pointless and boring firefight at the facility, or Jackson Lamb playing Home Alone, but with Jonathan Pryce’s character having dementia out of the blue, and the undercooked comeuppance for Tierney. It’s been kind of brilliant how they folded so many Slough House agents into the plots in previous seasons. This time they seemed unsure how to manage it all.

Still looking forward to S4; hopefully they can return to old form. Plus I will now watch anything with Saskia Reeves.

Thus far each season has been based on each book in order, and the trailer for next season indicates that the fourth season will indeed be base on the fourth book. And there are goos reasons to read them in order, as there are some plot lines that span across multiple books.

Note I’m talking about the full novels here. There are some novellas / short stories that have been squeezed in between some of the novels, but I think they’re largely irrelevant to the main stream.

@Nightgaunt , the development with David Cartwright is straight from the books. Maybe they missed foreshadowing it a bit in the (necessarily) abbreviated TV form, but it’s a necessary development for next season’s plot.

They did make some interesting choices here WRT characters vs. the novel. Some people who ought to be dead are not dead, or (in one case) maybe not dead?

Just watched the first episode of the first season to get into the new price-er Apple TV+ a bit more and I’ve a question (didn’t see it asked/answered above, but may have missed): is the series called ‘Slow Horses’ some sort of play on the ‘Slough House’ name? I had to turn on the subtitles to see if the actors were supposed to be saying ‘Slow Horse’ or if they really were saying ‘Slough House’ but since it was the latter, I don’t understand the title of the show.

Is that something that makes sense later or is it supposed to make sense to me now, or do the two phrases mean the same thing and I didn’t get it?

It’s a good character-driven show based on the first episode. I’m sticking. Sounds like it only gets better.

I think at some point characters talk about the agents of Slough House as slow horses. I the idea is just that they’re the ones who can’t keep up and get put out to pasture, as it were.

Okay then! That makes sense, thought maybe I was a bit slow on the uptake.

And shortly into the second episode, Cartwright refers to the group as “slow horses.” So there I have it.