Sunday, July 2, 2017

London Spy

Tom Rob Smith writes excellent spy thrillers, and this one is no exception.

Though rather slow for a TV thriller, it is fascinating and valuable for its thoughtful and sympathetic presentations of gay persons, our heroes among them, and gay social life, which amply reward the pace.

The story turns on the idea that a genius working for MI6 has devised a computer program that can detect from video or audio of a person speaking what in what he says are lies and what not.

The dual premise is that first, as Scottie says, "[E]very person of power, without exception, will choose lies," and so even murder to suppress the invention and protect their viability; and that second this is egregiously wicked since such a universal and instantaneous lie-detector would be an obvious and enormous boon to society.

The shattering stupidity of that second is a serious flaw.

But all the same the mystery and suspense are handled well, the acting and direction are excellent, and the series is in any case redeemed by its very fine handling of gays and gay life.

For all these things, it is well worth watching despite its fundamental idiocy.

Update, later that same day.

For Netflix, it's a pleasant surprise that the series contains virtually no porn, only a bit of G rated goings on, mostly between Danny and Alex.

Doubtless that's because Netflix didn't make the series, BBC did.

Anyway, that puts the focus on the humanity of Alex, and more so Scottie, and most of all Danny.

Really surprisingly good.

The ending before the ending is absolutely remarkable and much the better of the two.

Charlotte Rampling is a wonderful horror until the last minute, when she's not.

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