Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TV GUIDE -

SOME­TIMES the mys­tery and magic can lie in the “what if?”

In the case of new UK drama se­ries the ques­tion posed – what if the Bat­tle of Bri­tain was lost? – is not only the unique jump­ing off point for the 1940s ac­tion, but the rea­son a cu­ri­ous Kate Bos­worth signed on to the ac­claimed BBC project.

In the “al­ter­na­tive facts” nar­ra­tive, the Nazis have taken over most of Eng­land, a Slid­ing Doors sce­nario the writ­ers ex­plore over five fas­ci­nat­ing episodes.

It is com­plex and com­pelling, fa­mil­iar in the style and set design of other WWII dra­mas, only with one ma­jor dra­matic twist. The Nazis have ex­e­cuted Churchill and cap­tured the King, while the Queen and princesses have fled to New Zealand and a bombed Buck­ing­ham Palace stands draped in swastikas.

“We know the his­tory, we know the tragedy, but what if his­tory had taken a slight turn?,” Bos­worth asks.

“We have this tragic his­tory of the Sec­ond World War. So the idea of ‘What if the Nazis had won and in­fil­trated Lon­don? What would that have been like?’ is fas­ci­nat­ing. When­ever you have sce­nar­ios like this, that are rooted in re­al­ity, it’s in­trigu­ing to peo­ple and ter­ri­fy­ing as well. I liken it to a bul­let whizzing by … you think, ‘How would that have played out?’”

Bos­worth plays Bar­bara Barga, a jour­nal­ist sent over by the pa­per to cover the story, who be­comes en­tan­gled with Archer (Sam Ri­ley), a Scot­land Yard de­tec­tive caught be­tween the Nazi regime and the Bri­tish re­sis­tance.

While the 34-year-old Amer­i­can re­searched the role and fash­ions of the era by watch­ing 1940s films star­ring siren Lau­ren Ba­call, her costar and the minis­eries’ lead­ing man de­scribed the noir style

as his “Humphrey Bog­art mo­ment”.

Pre­vi­ously averse to smallscreen jobs, Ri­ley loved his first foray into TV, adapted by the writ­ers of from a Len Deighton novel.

“When I read it I thought, ‘Hell, I’m in ev­ery scene – ooh great!’ My ego was elated,” Ri­ley re­calls with a laugh.

“Then after the first cou­ple of weeks I was like, ‘Holy s---, this is ac­tu­ally more like hard work. This isn’t the rea­son I wanted to be­come an ac­tor at all!’. It’s more de­mand­ing but I did love it. And it was nice, as my dad and my agent put it, to be in some­thing peo­ple might ac­tu­ally watch.”


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