If the crime thriller genre excites you, then you must give BBC's "London Spy" a try. The TV series is more than a usual story about a spy. Its plot has undercurrents of love and homosexuality that runs through the course of London life.
The crux of the story of "London Spy" is as follows: Alex (Edward Holcroft), an undercover agent is shy, reticent and one who likes to fly under the radar. One evening, the undercover agent takes a stroll in the metropolis and meets the love of his life: Danny (Ben Whishaw). Alex's love interest is polar opposite of him. Where Alex lives in the closet, Danny is open about his sexuality. Their relationship blossoms and comes crashing down as soon as the two fall in love. Reason? There's mystery surrounding an object created with Alex's genius.
The synopsis for season 1 premiere episode reads:
In the series premiere, Alex, an undercover spy, is killed, revealing his cover to his lover Danny, a young man stuck working dead-end jobs, forcing him to investigate the facts behind Alex's death.
Click here to live stream season 1 episode 1 of "London Spy".
Here's what critics have said about the TV series:
U.K. writers regularly churn out well-wrought drama series with top-notch casts, and "London Spy" has all the usual things going for it — smart writing, evocative use of locations, an atmosphere of yearning, erudite suspense. And yet there is something singular about this terrific program, a spare, off-kilter intensity that sets it apart from its peers.
BBC America's London Spy is one of those miniseries that only remotely relates to what you initially think it might be. For starters, yes, it's a spy story – but almost reluctantly. It's a kind of love story, really, or many kinds of love stories – including ones where love has either been snatched away or botched entirely. Ultimately, if there's a pressing need to know about intent, London Spy has a moral or seven to be had about secrets and lies.
London Spy, which aired in the U.K. last year and premieres stateside Jan. 21, is provocative and strange. It asks what it takes to be a player in the spy game, and what it means to be gay in a world that would rather one weren't—Danny's one ally is a former spook (a brilliant Jim Broadbent) whose career was ruined by homophobia. The survival instinct underpinning both is not so very different.
The show is a romance. Even more unusual for the spy genre, it's a gay romance. And even more unusual than that, it's a gay romance that receives a genuinely romantic treatment on-screen. That hit home particularly during the first episode, when an anal sex scene stands out as shocking not because it's graphic or lurid, but because it's tenderly intimate. How often is that the representation of male homosexuality put forth by mainstream entertainment?
"London Spy" season 1 episode 1 will be aired in the US on Thursday, 21 January, at 10pm on BBC America.
Watch the trailer below: