Feb 15, 2014

Tradecraft: BBC Two Picks Up Tom Rob Smith Series London Spy

Deadline reports that BBC Two has picked up London Spy, a new 5-part espionage drama from Tom Rob Smith, bestselling author of Child 44, for which he won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award in 2008. According to the trade, London Spy focuses on "an innocent young man drawn into a dangerous world of espionage." Here's the official synopsis from BBC:
In the center of London is a street with the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service on one side and the headquarters of gay clubbing on the other. London Spy is the story of a chance romance between two people from opposite sides of that street.
Danny - gregarious, hedonistic, romantic and adrift, falls for the anti-social enigmatic and brilliant Alex. Just as the two of them realise that they're perfect for each other, Alex disappears.
Danny, utterly ill-equipped to take on the complex and codified world of British espionage, must decide whether he's prepared to fight for the truth.
Deadline reports that the series will shoot this year and air in 2015. No U.S. broadcaster has been announced yet. Smith is producing; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner executive produce for Working Title Television along with Juliette Howell, and Polly Hill exec produces for BBC Two. Hill added to the synopsis, saying, "This is a beautifully written love story, caught up in a spy thriller – a wonderfully complex and surprising story, of one man’s search for the truth.” Sounds great to me! I love that we're in the midst of a spy renaissance on British TV (particularly on the various BBC channels), what with this, Legacy (which has already aired in Britain), the previously announced Page Eight sequels, The Honourable Woman, and the especially intriguing Brian Cox series The Game, among others. (Not to mention the in-the-works adaptation of Len Deighton's Samson novels!) It's like the late Seventies all over again! I also particularly love the title London Spy.

While this is his first contemporary spy story, Tom Rob Smith is certainly no stranger to the genre. Child 44 (which is being adapted into a film by Safe House director Daniel Espinosa starring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace) is the first book in a successful and acclaimed trilogy of decades-spanning Cold War novels about KGB agent Leo Demidov. The other two are The Secret Speech and Agent 6.

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