Slow Horses: Gary Oldman & Kristin Scott Thomas Preview Spy Series

Slow Horses, the new Apple TV+ spy series adapted from Mick Herron's novel premieres on the streaming service on April 1st. Stars Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas sat down to do a quick chat and introduce the show with the tricky task of revealing as little as possible to avoid spoilers.

Slow Horses: Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas Preview Spy Series
"Slow Horses" image: Apple TV

Oldman plays Jackson Lamb, a burned-out Old School spy and cold warrior put out to pasture, stuck in charge of Slough House, a rundown office building in Central London well away from the main MI5 headquarters in Regents Park. Slough House is a dumping ground for spies and operatives who screwed up with career-ending mistakes but can't be fired, so have been exiled in the hopes that they might resign so the government doesn't have to pay out their pensions. "Slow Horses" is their nickname because they're addicts, burnouts, weirdoes, and maniacs but whose skillsets still make them dangerous. Scott Thomas plays Diana Tavener, the ambitious, self-serving, and over-reaching current Head of Operations of MI5.

Slow Horses is Oldman's show. Jackson Lamb is brilliant, flatulent, slovenly, deliberately rude, and disgusting, who has forgotten more about spycraft than most agents know in their entire careers. He has turned Slough House into his own little patch, often catching wind of plots and capers that threaten the country that the big boys at Regents Park might have missed or have screwed up. Scott's Diana Tavener often plots with politicians and private actors in schemes she thinks will increase power to MI5 and make the country safer but is really out to get more power for herself.  Lamb and Tavener are not friends, but flipsides of the same coin and grudgingly have to keep each other around. He's too dangerous for her to get rid of because she can't touch him, and he keeps an eye out for threat that she might miss and keep her from the self-inflicted wounds that the intelligence service and British government have an unerring tendency to commit that ends up putting the entire country in danger.

Slow Horses: Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas Preview Spy Series
"Slow Horses" image: Apple TV

Mick Herron's novels are set in a post-le Carré world of disillusioned and cynical spies and their bosses who might be a danger to the UK as much as the Russians might be, and the latter are often lurking in the shadows with threats of their own. It's a darkly comic, farcical take on the spy genre that has earned the novels a major following, and Slow Horses looks like a fairly faithful adaptation of the first book in the series.

Slow Horses will premiere on Apple TV+ on April 1st.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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