An Apple TV+ series that has a theme intro with the voice of Mick Jaggerfor Gary Oldman already protagonist Jonathan Price within the cast, she does not run the risk of being bad, but that the wishes for her are unattainable. To draw a parallel: it was impossible for the end of Game Of Thrones satisfies all viewers. Oldman’s production, titled slow horses, is poles apart from the story mentioned. This reference is only an example. It’s not that ambitious either, but it does create an engaging atmosphere, interesting enough to make you want to progress through the chapters.
slow horses is an adaptation of six chapters of the homonymous novel written by Mick Heronwith Will Smith within the production team. It’s a story in which one of the protagonists fails during a mission to MI5 (the British intelligence service) and ends up in an administrative area, which bears the name of the series. Part of the story is understanding power relations, while this member, embodied by Jack Lowden under the name of Cartwright Rivertry to clarify the facts and save another person involved.
In this narrative predominate suspicion, intrigue, fear and, sometimes, action, in a context of police drama. An error brings different power groups into conflict. This dispute leaves explicit moments in terms of violence, as the stories of the various characters develop and the pulse of power intensifies.
slow horses and another impressive performance from Gary Oldman
With shows like spirit hunter (David Fincher) positioned as a kind of paradigm, when it comes to detective stories, or real detective, Slow Horses falls short of aspirations. The detail is that this production drinks a few things, without forgetting that it is a series on espionage and that it does not want to supplant them in terms of production. For this reason, it should be remembered that this is an adaptation and not a story in which the production and direction have complete creative freedom.
However, it is not out of place. For good measure, because Gary Oldman shines (again). In the role of jackson lampthe person responsible for slow horses, the actor fills the screen appearance after appearance. At first, he appears as some sort of god, oblivious to the various conflicts, managing the threads from his desk, until events cause him to get involved. The actor delivers moments of intimidating seriousness and others where it seems impossible not to laugh.
Her relationship with River Cartwright runs through much of the series. A boss-employee bond that later turns into someone closer. The story introduces the viewer to the dispute between two groups. In this process, Oldman takes the lead and has many of the best lines, both for dark humor, key in the construction of his character, and in decision making. A narrative success by the weight it has in history, given its journey and its trajectory.
This relationship between the actors finds its counterpart in another group, with visible internal problems and a natural tendency towards violence. While some solve problems with words, others chop off heads and gut them with bullets. Both references are literal. Whereas slow horses develops its plot, evolves on these scales of violence. There’s not as much blood as you might imagine; only what is necessary so that the dialogical sense of the story does not overwhelm the viewer’s experience.
It’s not a memorable series, but it fulfills its narrative and aesthetic purposes as the chapters go by. That value, along with the Oldman’s performance, makes this Apple TV+ series a well-constructed story. Like in most productions, there are relationships between people that could have grown a bit or aspects that could have been improved, like the pacing in certain sections. However, these questions are not enough to give up slow horses.