Sam Riley in character as Superintendent Douglas Archer in SS GB

Sam Riley in character as Superintendent Douglas Archer in SS GB

I have to say, there seems to be a trend of good drama hitting the BBC at the moment.
From Line of Duty (starting this Sunday) to Doctor Who, which returns on April 15th, I am excited to see what new, and innovative drama will be coming onto our screens this summer.

However, there has been two drama series that I has actually managed to push me away from my radio set and towards the TV.
The first, Sherlock has been and gone

The second, was a haunting, and mysterious drama, set in World War II
But, this wasn’t just any old World War II drama, oh no. Imagine, that the German Luftwaffe had defeated the Royal Air Force, German soldiers on the streets of London, and Britain firmly under the control of the Third Reich, with Scotland hived off into a separate country under the control of Moscow.

This is the world as imagined by SS GB, the alternate history novel by Len Deighton that was adapted for the screen by Neil Purvis and Robert Wade, who wrote the screenplay for the first five Bond films.

I’m not going to divulge to much into the detail, but our hero, Superintendent Douglas Archer (played by Sam Riley) of the Metropolitan Police Force, is called to investigate a murder. What follows next sets him on a collision course with the internal battle that was played out between the German Army (which controlled the police) and the SS (which saw themselves as the vanguards of the Thousand Year Reich)

I have to say though, that despite the action that came from the Bond writers, there was some let downs. The first, the sound quality, which was reported widely by the press was sorted out, the second, was the final episode, which, diverted so far from the book, that I felt that the ending ended…. well… flat. However, further discussions with other people who have watched the show, revealed that the BBC deliberately diverted from the original ending, to leave it as open as possible, so as to add a second series, which would, explore, Germany, still in control of Britain, but facing the prospect that America could enter the war, on the side of the Allies

Overall though, I found it hugely exciting to watch, and, despite the ‘flat’ ending that came as a result of the BBC diverting away from the original plot line of the novel, it deserves to be re-commissioned, either as a second 5 part 1 hour series, or as a feature length episode to wrap the whole series together, either on the Bank Holiday, or at Christmas.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

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