Guy Pringle and his new wife, Harriet, are members of the English community in Bucharest, Romania on the eve of World War II. After the war begins, they cross paths with diplomats, literary...
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September 1942. After fighting his first battle in the Western desert, Simon Boulderstone sets out in search of his brother, only to learn that he was killed in action. Guy returns from Alexandria to...
Two young men meet at Oxford. Charles Ryder, though of no family or money, becomes friends with Sebastian Flyte when Sebastian throws up in his college room through an open window. He then ... See full summary »
The murder of a Soviet defector forces his old handler, British spymaster George Smiley, out of retirement. His investigation leads to an old nemesis, the Soviet spymaster known only as Karla. This will be their final dance.
As WWII rages, DCS Foyle fights his own war on the home-front; investigating crime on the south coast of England. Later series, see the retired detective working as an MI5 agent in the aftermath of the war.
Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative... See full summary »
Guy Pringle and his new wife, Harriet, are members of the English community in Bucharest, Romania on the eve of World War II. After the war begins, they cross paths with diplomats, literary types, spies, penniless royals, gays and lesbians, as they flee before the advancing Germany armies to Athens and then to Cairo.Written by
Noble Bell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The three points are for the splendid production values. I have not read the novels but offer this point of view based solely on the TV series. Well acted by all means, but Fortunes of War is ultimately tedious and horrendously disjointed. It is like watching a Play for Today that goes on and on and on. While Plater's terse and character-obsessed style no doubt works for short TV drama and the stage, it is out of place in a lavish and lengthy production such as this. In the end there was no plot to speak of. I kept waiting for something to happen, but it never did. I kept waiting for some drama, some explosion of conflict between the seemingly endless numbers of characters but again there was nothing. Yes, we had a snapshot of Europe on the brink of war, of the British ex-pat community at play, desperately trying to ignore the gathering storm and looking to their own self interest. But so what? This theme has been done to death. The characters were quirky in some cases (and then only in an irritating way) but mostly they were extremely dull. I was unable to care about any of them. We are told that the story is about the break up of the Pringle marriage as it faces the stresses and strains of impending war. But the impending war never seemed to really threaten and the British ex-pats seemed almost unconcerned about it. The Thompson- Branagh relationship- if relationship is the right word- lacked any passion and from the start they seemed to be two dull people ideally suited to each other. There was never ever a 'relationship' to break up and so when it 'started' I really didn't feel anything at all. Branagh's character was the most disappointing, almost soporifically so. We are told he was a communist, feverishly against war, yet he expresses little outrage at the collapse of civilization (apart from the odd and very unconvincing 'war is an outrage' uttered over yet another glass of wine). Not such an outrage that it should interrupt his frankly absurd obsession with Shakespeare et al at a time when everything Shakespeare stood for was crashing down on his head. All the characters seemed to be thoroughly amoral. The only one I frankly cared for was the old man and the toy dog he dragged around. In the end that summed up this failed production for me. Nothing but a drag.
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