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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Intrigue worth watching (No Spoilers)

7/10
Author: N0TY from United States
15 October 2004

This 6-part series centers on a male journalist and a female friend who are probing the loss of a British Fishing Trawler the "Mary Castor" with all hands on board. After interviewing the surviving family members and townspeople, the pair makes significant progress in piecing the puzzle together, only to find that things are not as they appear. They also begin to become a nuisance, and potential embarrassment to a group that would like to see their efforts fail. As their inquiries are hindered or blocked at every turn, the couple begins to understand the depth of the mystery, and are also terrified to find their lives are in danger.

I haven't seen this since it was shown in the early 80's. While it's not a great work, I remember it was quite enjoyable. As with most British fiction, it's a little slow in the beginning (by American standards), but gets rolling as the circumstances of the affair are discovered.

I also particularly like the opening song as well. It's a bit haunting, and reminds me of an old English ballad.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Comments on the BBC series "Spyship" broadcast in 1983

Author: gbm-5 from United Kingdom
17 April 2005

I saw this series when it was broadcast in 1983 and it was excellent, if a little slow to get started.The theme tune "A Cold Wind", was sung by the incomparable June Tabor and was released as a single in the year of broadcast.A haunting tune written for the series, it suited the series perfectly.The story of a trawler which went down in open sea with no apparent explanation.It was first thought to have been sunk by the Russians, then a journalist, with the aid of a female friend, started to find out otherwise.As the series progressed, the two found their lives were in danger and were being thwarted in their efforts to get to the bottom of the tragedy.It has a quite stunning finale and is well worth a viewing.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Ship or Island?

8/10
Author: blacknorth from Ireland
9 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spyship is one those those excellent cerebral thrillers which used to make every new season at the BBC a treat to look forward to. Sadly those days are long gone. In the meantime, we can remember.

Plot: Tom Wilksinson investigates the sinking of a British civilian vessel in the North sea. As his father was a seaman on board he has a very personal interest in the case, but he becomes drawn into the plight of the other families too. They want answers; later they don't. Not surprisingly, he meets with opposition and even violence from the powers-that-be in their attempts to cover up the truth.

The ending of the series was regarded as shocking at the time. Strangely, in our supposedly more civilised society, it seems less shocking now, probably because we've come to expect such things in the name of 'national security'. I won't give it away.

I found the title of the series - Spyship - curious. It's a spoiler in itself, but when I look back on the series as a whole and at a little distance, I don't think the title refers to a ship at all - I think it refers to Britain and so stands as a rather involving metaphor.

Solid production values and good performances all round, with a tense script. Directed for bleak suspense, and succeeds at it.

Highly recommended.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Disappointment

1/10
Author: montague-2 from Scarborough, Australia
17 December 2014

Tempted by the positive reviews, we decided to purchase the DVD. It did not live up to our expectations. The production was obviously dated but even making allowances in that area, it does not forgive the woeful acting. Most of the cast were well known at the time or have achieved some status since.Perhaps they were hamstrung by a thin script. They seemed unable to cope with the slow direction. For example, in the scene when the hero finds himself in the water, is he ever going to manage to get out as he crawls across the mud? And then we wait for ages to find out if he can ascend the ladder.Who were the various villains and what did they represent? It was never clear. One saving grace; the ending was quite unexpected; perhaps another half mark?

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