Mercier escapes his German captors and travels to Czechoslovakia to meet the contact the elderly Rozens - whom he helped to defect - gave him,Professor Julius Halbach. Having being given money and a ...
Widowed Jean-Francois Mercier is a spy posing as a military atttache in the French embassy in Warsaw in 1937. Leading a double life he may escort League of Nations lawyer Anna Skarbek,girlfriend of ...
Alan and Tricia Hamilton are very happy. He's the head of a building firm and on top of his game. She's a part-time beautician and mother to their two sons. One day their perfect, if ... See full summary »
Andy De Emmony
Charming Brendan Block dates Miranda Cotton and gets seriously committed. But she dumps him, claiming he invaded her privacy. A few weeks later, Brendan gets engaged to Miranda's sister and... See full summary »
After his wife Rita's fatal car accident, Dave tries to raise his four children, helped by Rita's best friend Sarah. Things get complicated when mourning gives way to romantic feelings, while his kids remain sincere priority.
Bev is a downtrodden housewife who's failed her driving test eight times, having only been instructed by her impatient husband Ian. After registering with a driving school, she develops a crush on her instructor, Chris.
The RSC puts a modern spin on Shakespeare's Hamlet in this filmed-for-television version of their stage production. The Prince of Denmark seeks vengeance after his father is murdered and his mother marries the murderer.
A monarch ordained by God to lead his people. But he is also a man of very human weakness. A man whose vanity threatens to divide the great houses of England and drag his people into a dynastic civil war that will last 100 years.
[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.]
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As Jean-Francois is being abducted from the cemetery, Marek runs outside, draws his pistol, then lowers the pistol to chamber a round. The sound of the bolt chambering a round can be heard. However, Marek had just shot the hostile agent who was following Jean-Francois. So the pistol would have already had a round in the chamber. See more »
Spies of Warsaw (BBC Four) was probably meant for BBC1, but then someone at the BBC sat down and watched it.
As we know, it's not currently very fashionable for BBC executives to take an interest in BBC programmes, but on this occasion it's just as well one of them looked at it before making the mistake of showing it to a larger audience.
Adapted by the usually brilliant Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais from a novel by Alan Furst, the first episode was actually only about ninety minutes long. It felt, however, like it was on the air for about 12 weeks.
Even in the first ten minutes one could have timed the action by calendar. Sorry, did I use the word, "action"? Slip of the pen. At one point, near the end of the episode, I found myself asking the question, "Is this still on?"
It's difficult to say what happened, the plot being revealed at such a painfully leisurely pace.
The gist of it appeared to be that David Tennant – a French spy in bright red pantaloons with stripes down the side – fell very slowly in love with Janet Montgomery, the mistress of a dull, whiskered Russian exile.
Then we were very slowly introduced to a mysterious Countess, who very slowly turned out not to be a Countess, and was then very slowly strangled by some Nazis.
Oh, there was a brasserie with a bullet-hole in the mirror above table 14. I think this might have been significant in some way. Or maybe it wasn't.
There was certainly great attention to period detail, which helped to slow down the action even more. Then there was the usual confusion when it came to who should speak with which accent. The Nazis spoke in German with subtitles in English. The Polish spoke English with Polish accents. The French spoke English with 'Allo 'Allo accents. Everyone spoke very, very, slowly indeed.
Tennant was wasted as the enigmatic, complex and conflicted Mercier. He doesn't really do enigmatic and complex, does he? He does quirky and eccentric. About twenty minutes in, he had a stab at being deep and conflicted, but all we really wanted was to see him whip out his sonic screwdriver and pull one of his funny faces.
Did I mention that it was quite slow? I still have episode two of Spies of Warsaw on my TIVO. I think it's going to be there for a very, very long time.
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