Saturday, March 18, 2017

Review: BBC's SS-GB

Ever since I heard the BBC were developing the 1974 novel SS-GB for television, I was looking forward to it. I'm always one for a good bit of alternate history, so was interested to see how it would explore Britain-under-the-Nazis. Annoyingly, whenever it was talked about in the media no broadcast date was given, and so I missed the first episode. Thank the Lord for iPlayer!

SS-GB is set in an alternate history where the Nazis won the Battle of Britain. Set several months after the end of the war, Britain is now part of the Greater German Reich but there are still pockets of resistance (with the 'North' not yet under control).

Douglas (played by raspy-voice Sam Riley) is a sauve yet-troubled detective with the London Met, trying to get on and do his job under the watchful eye of his new German masters, while staying out of politics (and trouble).

Unsurprisingly, he ends up pursuing a murder case that has ties to the underground resistance and before too long finds himself embroile in a resistance plot and a Nazi conspiracy. Thrown into the mix is American femme fatale Barbara (Kate Bosworth).

SS-GB is yet another alternate history tale to grace our screens, which seem to be all the rage these days. Not as lavish a production as 'The Man in the High Castle', but the BBC copes well with its budget contraints. It does a good job of feeling just like any other period piece (like the Halcyon or Downton Abbey), without the fantastical setting getting too much in the way.

An enjoyable and fascinating premise, I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series pans out.

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