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Slow Horses: A Dysfunctional Spy Thriller Galloping onto Your Television

By Miclpea

For fans of dark humor, underdog heroes, and the gritty underbelly of the espionage world, Apple TV+’s Slow Horses is a must-watch television series. This British spy thriller, based on the acclaimed Slough House novels by Mick Herron, takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride through the lives of MI5’s rejects, a ragtag bunch of disgraced agents relegated to the administrative purgatory of Slough House.

This group of misfits and rejects is led by the gruff, chain-smoking, whiskey-swilling, sharp-tongued curmudgeon Jackson Lamb (played brilliantly by Gary Oldman). He’s surrounded by a talented ensemble cast that includes Jack Lowden as the ambitious River Cartwright, Kristin Scott Thomas as the steely and efficient Diana Taverner, Jonathan Pryce as River’s father, Saskia Reeves as the ever-present Catherine Standish, Christopher Chung as the smarmy Roddy Ho, and Rosalind Eleazar as the troubled Luisa Guy. 

These “slow horses” are far from James Bonds. Each of them is haunted by past mistakes, drowning their sorrows in cheap ale, and yearning for a chance at redemption. But when duty calls, Lamb and his team launch themselves into danger with sometimes very darkly comedic and tragic results. 

What makes Slow Horses so compelling is its unique blend of dark humor and thrilling espionage. The series doesn’t shy away from the mundanity and tedium of bureaucratic life, even amid high-stakes international intrigue. The slow horses are flawed, messy, and often hilarious, making them instantly relatable despite their unconventional circumstances.

Slow Horses is more than just a spy thriller; it is a character study, a comedy, and a commentary on the nature of failure and redemption. The writing is sharp and witty, with plenty of quotable lines. The action sequences are well-choreographed and suspenseful. It is a binge-worthy series that will keep you guessing until the very end and is sure to leave you wanting more.

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I love going to conventions around the US and Canada. I'm an ardent fan of all things science fiction and especially The Expanse. I'm a senior writer for Friends of CC and I have co-written a science-fiction script called Punctuated Equilibrium.