Monday, 21 January 2013

cliffhanger (although everyone else has probably seen it already)

Spies of Warsaw
There was some kind of quiz show on the telly a few days ago and it had a series of questions about spies. Worryingly, I got them all right.

So on Monday evening, after finishing work somewhat late, I decided to flop in front of the box and spotted that I'd recorded two episodes of something called 'Spies of Warsaw'.

It's based on an Alan Furst novel, adapted as straight drama by the mainly comedy writing duo of Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais.

Mysteriously the two episodes were recorded in reverse order, although when I realised and started watching Episode 1, I wondered if it was already part way through a longer series. I quite like things that plonk you into the middle of events, but there were a few extra factors to calibrate here.

Set in 1937 Poland, there's David Tennant playing a French version of a James Bond character, but with an even wider selection of outfits. There's plenty of other nationalities in the melting pot of Warsaw although only the Germans speak in subtitles.

Tennant's character Jean-Francois is a kind of action hero military attache. Never a dull moment for him in coffee houses, swish parties, bedrooms and train corridors between Warsaw and Paris.

It's the period when Germany was testing prototype Panzer IV tanks near to the Polish border. Tennant is obtaining their plans to send back to Paris.

So far he been remarkably lucky, with nearly everything thrown at him being readily resolved. He's smuggled the Russians, helped the plan-stealing mole escape, got the girl and explained his war wounds to a Countess.

Although, at the end of the first half he's been dinked on the head and bundled into a car by some men in black hats.

It's a good cliffhanger moment, and I'm quietly looking forward to Part II on Tuesday evening.

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