Slow Horse's season two starts this Friday on Apple TV+. The adaptation of Mick Herron's post-John le Carré spy novels continues with "Dead Lions," the second novel in the series. Gary Oldman, who plays grizzled, corpulent, and casually mean spymaster Jackson Lamb, who runs Slough House, a clearing house of disgraced spies exiled out of active service.
"It begins with the death of an old Cold War-era spy called Dickie Bow," Oldman said to EW. "He turns up dead of natural causes, so the story goes, and Jackson suspects that there's something a little more nefarious going on and that it must connect back to the old Berlin days. Suspecting foul play, he gathers his misfits to begin an investigation into what is really going on." Lamb sends Jack Lowden's eager-beaver spy, River Cartwright, undercover. "He's given a task that is definitely more in his ballpark and what he thinks he should be doing," Lowden said. "It's lovely to give him the opportunity to show what he can do." Saskia Reeves plays Lamb's assistant Catherine Standish, one of the last holdovers of Lamb's era of secrets who knows where all the bodies are buried. "She is underestimated by the people in the office, particularly someone like Roddy Ho (the team's computer wizard, played by Christopher Chung), who's very insulting of her capabilities," Reeves says. "She's like, you know what, I'm going to try and be helpful here."
Season Two of Slow Horses introduces two new agents at Lamb's Slough House base: Shirley Dander (Aimee-Ffion Edwards) and Marcus Longridge (Kadiff Kirwan). Dander is a fan favourite character and author Herron's personal favourite: a coke-addicted rageaholic with PTSD who loves to be excessively violent to bad guys and herself if it gets the job done.
Lowden says the "nicest word" for Shirley is "prickly." He adds, "Marcus has got his issues as well. I don't want to give too much away, [they] just add to the wonderful cocktail of people that are in Slough House." Of course, Lamb will be as unpleasant to his underlings this time around as he was in season one – it's his brand, and Oldman has a grand old time playing it.
"Jackson is deliberately confrontational," Oldman said. "He does it for sport, and he can be very cutting and very cruel because he will publicly humiliate people. Now, to play that is just fun. You read those lines in the script, and you go, I can't wait to see the expression on Jack Lowden's face when I give him this zinger!" Slow Horses Season Two premieres on Apple TV+ on December 2nd.