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The Little Drummer Girl

The excellent The Night Manager made this John Le Carré adaptation a hard act to follow.

Although there was enough about it to make me watch the second episode it did not engage me like The Night Manager, let alone the seminal Tinker Tailor with Alec Guinness and Michael Jayson.

I am not not the biggest fan of the Le Carré novels which I too often find opaque but generally the TV adaptations have worked well.

This begins in 1979 in Munich with the assassination of an Israeli diplomat in a bomb in a suitcase carried by a headstrong young English actress Charlie (Florence Pugh).

Mossad are swiftly brought in. Their spymaster Marty Kurtz ( Michael Shannon) is charged with breaking up the cell and hunting down Charlie.

The chase takes them to Greece and an enchanting location of the Acropolis  by night.

Unlike The Night Manager it was not that clear what was happening particularly at the beginning.

With The Night Manager I felt I was right in it with a particularly fine performance from Hugh Laurie as the amoral ruthless arms dealer.

Here the action jumped from one place to another – the scene of the assassination, the acting troupe of Charlie, a safe house watched by the Mossad, a working holiday of the troupe in Greece.

Both lead actors gave convincing performances. Florence Pugh at 22 has a fine career ahead of her.

I predict  she will be the next Rosamund Pike.

It was a good role: the headstrong actress attracted to handsome men and used by them. Playing an actress is not always easy but she did so captivatingly.

Michael Shannon made his debut in Groundhog Day and the American actor has screen experience as well as his own rock group.

He was a typical Le Carré spymaster, very clever but left field.

The interrogation of the now captured Charlie is going to be the next episode.

I will give it one more go.

About Bernadette Angell

After cutting her journalistic teeth in Boston USA, Bernadette met and married an Englishman, whom she followed back to London. Two decades and three children later, they divorced. She now occupies herself as a freelance writer (credits include television soaps and radio plays) and occasional amateur gardener. More Posts