Double and triple agents fool Nazis on invasion
THE story of the double agents who fooled the Nazis in the run-up to D-Day is being made into a big-budget TV series. The show, based on journalist Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book Double Cross, is the true story of how an eccentric group of spies tried to convince the Nazis the invasion of Europe would happen at Calais and not on the Normandy beaches. They were so successful large numbers of German troops were kept stationed near the port and away from the vital landing beaches. Macintyre says the appeal of the story is the ‘‘dodgy human material’’ at the heart of it. ‘‘There are double agents, triple agents, even one quadruple agent. It is a ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ job so we can make it very dramatic without departing from the truth. I mean, one of the main characters is a Peruvian bisexual playgirl with the unimprovable name of Elvira de la Fuente Chaudoir,’’ he says. The other spies include a Serbian businessman, a Polish soldier and a Spanish chicken farmer who created a vast network of fictional agents who fed false information to the Germans. The series, which is being developed by the UK production company behind The King’s Speech – is expected to include a cast from the US and Europe. Macintyre says casting has not begun, but he does have one star in mind. ‘‘I think Damian Lewis would be a fantastic . . . and I know he is very interested in this area of history,’’ he says. Macintyre says he inherited ‘‘a rather black-and-white view’’ of World War II ‘‘where we were on the right side and they were on the wrong side and this is a far more confused picture where good people do bad things for a good cause’’. There is a complexity to it that people like,’’ he says.
Double Cross: Coming soon; Homeland encores: Wednesdays, 8.30pm, One; Mondays and Tuesdays, various times FX.
Wanted man: Damian Lewis