Vogue: Apple TV+ series ‘Slow Horses’ is TV’s new spy thriller to beat

The new Apple TV+ series “Slow Horses” is a darkly funny espionage drama that follows a team of British intelligence agents who serve in a dumping ground department of MI5 due to their career-ending mistakes. Led by their brilliant but irascible leader, the notorious Jackson Lamb (Academy Award winner Gary Oldman), they navigate the espionage world’s smoke and mirrors to defend England from sinister forces.

“Slow Horses” premiered globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, April 1st.
“Slow Horses” premiered globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, April 1st.

Taylor Antrim for Vogue:

Le Carré lite? A thinking person’s Homeland? I kept trying to situate the tone and mood of the terrific new espionage thriller on Apple TV+, Slow Horses, which is zippy, mordant, a little silly, bracingly violent in places, and extremely British in its celebration of irascibility, rainy London streets, geopolitical decline, and governing class contemptibility. I loved these six episodes – especially the scenes with the series’s Grade-A stars, Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas, as MI5 grandees – one good one bad – and gave a little cheer at the end of the finale when the show teased its already-filmed second season. Can I have it now, please?

In fact, you can’t binge Slow Horses… (I watched ahead via critic’s screeners). Apple TV+ is doling out these episodes weekly through April (the first two appeared last Friday), a strategy that seems intended to keep Slow Horses, along with its current prestige-y Apple TV+ siblings, Pachinko and Severance, in the conversation. Probably a good thing. This brilliantly filmed show exudes quality–shot on location in London, the actual Mick Jagger singing the theme song–and streaming TV has reached flood stage volume right now. We should want something like Slow Horses to rise to the top.

Each episode is popcorn-light but beautifully done and just sophisticated enough to feel like an evening well spent. April is a crowded month for new TV… but so far Slow Horses is the setting the pace.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re already in, thanks to Gary Oldman, but this review will make us finally get around to watching the first episodes ASAP!

Here’s Apple’s trailer:

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  1. Now this sounds worthwhile. No one does real spy drama or procedural police stories better than the Brits. I’ll definitely be checking this one out.

    That title though. Because of Apple’s normal picks I quite innocently assumed this was about actual slow horses.

  2. The Joe Cole version of the Ipcress File may well prove to be of the same enduring quality as the epic Harry Saltzman version starring Michael Caine. In a way though it is a shame that the film industry is producing yet another remake of a classic thriller. If success is to breed success the film industry must not polish old gems but mine for new ones. In the espionage genre, an example of such a new gem is Beyond Enkription, the first fact based spy thriller in The Burlington Files series. I only mention that because, coincidentally, some critics have likened its protagonist to a “posh Harry Palmer” and the first novel in the series is indisputably Deightonesque. It’s worth checking out this enigmatic and elusive thriller. Not being a remake it may have eluded you.

    1. I’m confused by the reference to the Ipcress File… Pretty sure this is NOT a remake of that classic film, although it shares its British spy setting and realistic vibe (as opposed to the fantasy world of James Bond).

    1. BigXx Applause. There seems to have a procession of cynicaaal eff-wheats who come to whizz all over Apple with their incompetence and jealousy. ShopkeeperX was one such blowhard,
      There have been other Zune Tanging their way through the meta verse. effem-all.

      1. Downvoted by the scum the comment above is talking about. Friggin’ left-wing wanqar snowflakes, you Biden-fellating effwheats know who you are and your reward is downvoting the description of yojrself, because the truth hurts and you know it.

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