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
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