I was rewatching an episode of Ted Lasso when a brief preview for another Apple TV show, Slow Horses, came on. It seemed intriguing enough- it was a British spy drama (which I love) and starred Gary Oldman, who’s probably one of my favorite actors. I mean, the guy’s like an acting chameleon. From Sirius Black to Count Dracula, George Smiley, or James Gordon, he’s fantastic no matter what role he takes.
But what really sold it for me was the fact that it was based on a book series. At that point, I said, “Sign me up.” If you’ve been searching for a new series to obsess over, look no further because Slow Horses is here.
Mick Herron’s Slough House Series
Mick Herron’s Slough House series follows a team of disgraced MI5 agents who will do anything to redeem themselves. In London, Slough House is where washed-up agents spend their days. Known as the “slow horses,” these agents have screwed up an Op so severely that they can’t be trusted anymore.
In Slow Horses, the first installment in Herron’s spy series, a young man is abducted, and his kidnappers threaten to behead him live on the Internet. With all eyes on the unfolding incident, the slow horses see it as a chance to redeem themselves. But as the story unfolds, the victim may not be who he appears to be…
Slow Horses on Apple TV+
Apple TV’s adaptation of the Slough House series stars Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb, alongside actors Jack Lowden, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Olivia Cooke.
Oldman is no stranger to espionage roles, having portrayed George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the film adaptation of one of John le Carré’s spy novels. On playing Lamb, Oldman said, “I’ll tell you what, to have been lucky enough to play Smiley in one’s career; and now go and play Jackson Lamb in Mick Herron’s novels- the heir, in a way, to le Carré- is a terrific thing.”
You’re in luck, too, because Slow Horses’ first five episodes are now streaming on Apple TV, with the season finale set to air on April 29. What’s even better is the series’ director, James Hawes, revealed to Deadline that season two has already been filmed and is set to air “sometime later this year.” Hawes says there is every hope and intention to continue the series with additional seasons afterward.
You can check out the trailer for season one here.
A Theme Song From Mick Jagger
The show’s theme was co-written and performed by The Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger. In an interview with Empire, Jagger revealed that he had already read some of the books, so writing a song that channeled the series came easy to him.
“I knew what it was about, I knew the milieu and the main character’s irascible nature,” Jagger said. “I just wrote it really quick- I started playing guitar and tried to come up with a bit of a chorus and came up with this ‘strange game’ thing. That became the title.”
Personally, I think the song is perfect for the series; the lyrics perfectly embody the show’s tone and the books. Plus, it’s super catchy. You’ll have it stuck in your head for days after hearing it. Have a listen below:
So, will you be diving into Mick Herron’s world of disgraced spies next? With a second season on the horizon later this year, I highly suggest reading the books and binging season one. Have you already read the books? Let us know what you think of Apple’s adaptation!
If you want more book-to-adaptation recommendations, check out five adaptations we’re looking forward to this year here.