The Game - Multichannel

The Game

BBC America, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 10 p.m.
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The Game is a tidy, six-episode espionage thriller that embraces elements of John Le Carré spy dramas with the highquality period (1972) production we’ve come to expect from shows like AMC’s Mad Men, FX’s The Americans or BBC America’s The Hour.

Being British, it also delivers actors you know from other U.K. shows or movies, including a craggy-looking Brian Cox as the head of Britain’s domestic Security Service, or MI5. The main protagonist is an MI5 operative called Joe Lambe (Tom Hughes), with big hair and smoldering dark eyes and a talent for persuading people to do what he wants them to do, though they sometimes die in the process.

A defecting KGB officer tells Lambe in London there’s a super-secret Operation Glass coming that involves activating Russian sleeper agents and destroying Britain. Cox (who goes by the pseudonym Daddy) assembles a team around Lambe to foil the plot. Meanwhile, we get glimpses of what happened a year earlier, when Lambe may or may not have tried to defect and resettle in Poland with a beautiful young woman (Zana Marjanovic) he recruited from the Soviet Embassy. Operation Glass puts Lambe up against the Soviet agent he encountered then, codename “Odin,” and Lambe is bent on revenge.

The 1970s look, especially in Frank Lloyd Wright-style offices and hideous London public housing, and ensemble acting makes this one of those short BBC period spy series well worth catching. In other words, watch it here before it’s on Netflix later.

The Game is a tidy, six-episode espionage thriller that embraces elements of John Le Carré spy dramas with the highquality period (1972) production we’ve come to expect from shows like AMC’s Mad Men, FX’s The Americans or BBC America’s The Hour.

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