London Spy: Series 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

London Spy: Series 1 (2015)



Critic Consensus: Quality performances help keep London Spy engaging, even though its plot sometimes meanders.


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Tv Season Info

Danny (Ben Whishaw) is a warehouse worker with estranged parents and a past of drug abuse; Alex (Edward Holcroft) is an investment banker and a former child prodigy who's never felt like he belonged anywhere or with anyone. The two meet and quickly fall in love, which prompts Danny to open up about his darkest secrets, while Alex keeps things close to the vest. Danny's friend Scottie (Jim Broadbent), who's secretly in love with the younger man and also serves as a father figure, berates Alex for his secretiveness. The love story comes to an abrupt end when Alex suddenly disappears and Danny, having been given the key to his apartment, finds his dead body locked in a trunk. It's soon revealed that Alex was not who he said he was, but was actually a spy on a mission. The first season of the thriller-spy drama centers around Danny's quest for the truth about Alex's life and death, which sends him deep into a world of spies, lies and conspiracies.


Samantha Spiro
as Detective Taylor
Richard Cunningham
as Danny's Lawyer
Adrian Lester
as Professor Marcus Shaw
David Hayman
as Mr Turner / Groundsman
Lorraine Ashbourne
as Mrs Turner / Nanny
James Fox
as James
Michaela Coel
as Journalist
Riccardo Scamarcio
as Doppelganger
Grant Stimpson
as Danny's Boss
Henry Goodman
as Silversmith
James Copestake
as Lead Party Guy
Lizzy McInnerny
as Danny's Mother
David Meyer
as Danny's Father
Jay Benedict
as Phone Voice
Clarke Peters
as The American
Matthew Stagg
as Young Alex
Nicola Grier
as Agent in Attic
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News & Interviews for London Spy: Series 1

Critic Reviews for London Spy: Series 1

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (14)

You can get sucked in by the spycraft, but this is also a parable about queerness, and a fascinating character piece for Whishaw, as he musters all his resources to fight those who deny the love that Danny knew was true.

January 22, 2016 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Inclusive storytelling vs. entertaining storytelling. Both can coexist. Even within the slog of London Spy, there are plenty of times when they do.

January 21, 2016 | Full Review…

It most certainly rewards you for your focus, as it brings you into a sense of real time with the characters and enables you to see and feel all of what is at stake.

January 19, 2016 | Full Review…

Whishaw's intense fixity of purpose could do nothing to defibrillate his DOA dialogue.

November 11, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

By taking its time with character development and keeping a steady pace in revealing the plot this suspenseful mystery is what all shows in this genre need to take a lesson from.

June 26, 2018 | Full Review…

If you're like me, you'll also be enthralled by the show's intensity, by a lingering emotional undertone that makes perfectly plotted thrillers seem as heartless as algebra.

May 17, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for London Spy: Series 1


Super Reviewer

The first half of this miniseries is demanding and mind-bending, with excellent suspense/thriller writing, cinematography and acting. If only the second half had been so good, this would easily be a 5-star project. However, the taut, expert script writing falls apart in the second half with glaring inconsistencies and plot holes developing to spoil the story. (For example, a point is made in the first half of the series that Alex is an expert at sniffing out genuine people from liars, and in later episodes, it becomes an even more significant point -- but in the second half of the series, a major plot point supposes Alex was involved in a long-term relationship with a nonprofessional double agent hired through a non-spy/commercial source for a nefarious purpose with Alex being completely unaware of the deception. Ridiculous!) In the latter half, the script writing impressed me as lazy -- of the character one might expect from 1980s serial television shows like Dallas or Falcon Crest. That said, the acting remains excellent throughout and the sensitive, human approach to the characters' development is rewarding. I recommend this miniseries, but it ultimately fails to fulfill its formidable potential.


Super Reviewer

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