Nov 30, 2014

BBC Plots New Version of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent

The Guardian reports that the BBC will air a new 3-part adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 1907 novel The Secret Agent in 2015. Playwright Tony Marchant (The Whistleblowers, The Mark of Cain) is behind the new miniseries. Conrad's tale of a spy posing as a Soho shopkeeper ordered by his Russian handler to set off a bomb in order to provoke the British government into cracking down on anarchism is particularly relevant today. It's been adapted several times before, as a 1996 feature with Bob Hoskins, Christian Bale and Robin Williams, a 1992 miniseries with Peter Capaldi and David Suchet, a 1967 telefilm with Nigel Green, and of course Alfred Hitchcock's 1936 Sabotage (he'd already used Secret Agent as the title of his Ashenden adaptation) with Oskar Homolka, but not in the post-9/11 era when the turn-of-the-century tale of terrorism takes on new contemporary resonance. This commission comes in the same slate as the Len Deighton adaptation SSGB. No casting, airdate or U.S. broadcast partner have yet been announced.

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