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Slow Horses season 2 review – Gary Oldman’s spy thriller is a cut above

Every scene in this series has a finesse of quality or invention. Full of lovely comedy and espionage antics, it gives stars like Kristin Scott Thomas plenty to relish Spies never stop being spies, even when they’ve been out of the game for a while, and even when they know the game is up. Season two of Slow Horses (AppleTV+) starts with an old geezer standing behind the counter of a Soho sex shop, minding his own business – until he recognises a passerby and immediately sets off in pursuit, tailing the mystery man to a railway station, on to a train, then through the rain to catch a rail replacement bus bound for Oxford Parkway. On the bus, the sex shop proprietor begins to feel unwell, but before he drops dead, he types a single codeword into his phone and hides the device down the side of his seat. The man he was following gets away. Much of what makes Slow Horses a tasty mis-shape of a drama can be found in that sequence, from the way it’s in bustling London one minute and an unglamorous provincial car park the next, to the fact that a bristly shambles of a man is the protagonist in an exciting chase. Star casting, too: the sex-shop guy, who is clearly a retired intelligence agent, has no lines and carks it before the opening credits, and yet he’s played by the great Phil Davis. Continue reading...

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