TV review Spy tale marches to the beat of a different drum
SUNDAY night dramas have distinguished themselves with fine acting, intriguing stories and the odd bare rear (as opposed to Sir David
Attenborough’s forthcoming Dynasties, which promises the lovelier prospect of bear rears).
There is one area, however, where they have been lacking: big screen stars. The BBC has not yet attracted a Hollywood actor of the calibre of, say, Amy Adams (Sharp Objects) or Brian Cox (Succession). That changed this week with The Little Drummer Girl (BBC1, Sunday, 9pm), the latest John le Carre adaptation to grace the small screen.
The big cheese in question was twice Oscar-nominated Michael Shannon, who played Israeli agent Martin Kurtz. Called in after a terrorist atrocity in West Germany in 1979, Kurtz duly set about finding the culprits. Young English actress Charlie Ross (Florence Pugh) will form part of his plans, though she was blissfully unaware of that. For now, Charlie only knew that she had met a mysterious stranger called Gadi (Alexander Skarsgard) who was keen to introduce her to some friends of his.
Drummer Girl was as lavishly shot as le Carre’s The Night Manager, with oodles of exotic locations. Then there was Shannon, who proved surprisingly hard to get used to as the larger-than-life Kurtz. Perhaps it was because he usually plays men of few words, or maybe he really was chewing the scenery. It may simply be a case of settling in with the character. I’ll keep you posted.
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the duo behind Inside No 9 (Sunday, 10pm, BBC2), were back with a live special, which is usually the kind of stunt a soap opera pulls when ratings are flagging. You could see why a live
a solider blinded by mustard gas and a document that was part of the political process to bring the war to an end. Plus, the stories of an Indian army surgeon and a volunteer nurse and ambulance driver who became the first woman to earn the Military Medal for bravery.
We Will Remember Them with Huw Edwards (BBC4, 8pm)
Huw Edwards travels from Wales to the Western Front, revealing the untold story behind war memorials, military cemeteries and commemorative events that honour the fallen soldiers of Britain and the empire. In March 1915, to avoid the unsanitary transportation of war casualties, the British government issued a ban on the exhumation and