Spies like us

AS A MA­JOR NEW TV DRAMA EX­PLORES THE MURKY WORLD OF ES­PI­ONAGE, CARY GEE WON­DERS WHY GAY MEN MAKE SUCH PER­FECT SPIES

Pride Life Magazine - - FEATURE -

When a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion, known by the acro­nym STENCH (So­ci­ety for the To­tal Ex­tinc­tion of Non­Con­form­ing Hu­mans), steals a se­cret for­mula which it plans to un­leash upon a un­sus­pect­ing world there is only one man who can stop it: se­cret agent Des­mond Simp­kins.

Simp­kins, aided by dou­ble agent Lila, who works for SNOG (So­ci­ety for Neu­tral­is­ing of Germs), suc­cess­fully blows STENCH, which turns out to be a rogue el­e­ment of the Bri­tish se­cret ser­vices, to smithereens. Non­con­formists are free to pursue their aber­rant life­styles and Simkins (Ken­neth Wil­liams) sur­vives to make many more Carry On films with equally im­plau­si­ble plots.

A more re­al­is­tic drama­ti­sa­tion of the murky world of es­pi­onage comes to BBC 2 this au­tumn. Lon­don Spy de­tails the ro­mance be­tween the bril­liant, enig­matic Alex (Ed­ward Hol­croft), an agent with the Se­cret In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice, and Danny, a beau­ti­ful, he­do­nis­tic pillpop­ping club­ber played by gay heart-throb Ben Whishaw. So far, so good. And then Alex dis­ap­pears. And the real drama be­gins. Does Danny have what it takes to pen­e­trate the com­plex and cod­i­fied world of Bri­tish es­pi­onage and dis­cover the truth about his lover’s dis­ap­pear­ance?

Over five hour-long episodes nat­tily-dressed chaps will ex­change lin­ger­ing glances filled with am­biva­lence, meet be­hind closed doors and on street cor­ners, tell lies to their friends and fam­ily and con­verse in code while keep­ing one hand firmly on their hol­sters. All of which

BEN WHISHAW IN LON­DON SPY © BBC

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