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Worricker Times Three on Masterpiece Contemporary (PBS)

Whether a
Bill Nighy fan or a David Hare follower, tune in to PBS, Masterpiece
Contemporary, for Part II of The Worricker
Trilogy
.
Turks & Caicos airs
tonight at 9pm ET.

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Military
intelligence operative Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) was introduced in the TV
crime thriller, Page Eight in 2011,
after it made quite a splash as the Toronto Film Festival’s closing feature. Brainchild
of writer/director David Hare, the project, initially, had challenges
attracting financial support. There weren’t any over-the-top, visually exciting, action sequences; nor was he planning any. The project was about “human beings”
Hare said at the time and about “the inner workings of MI5.”

[See
Page Eight related ]

In
a workaround move, Hare executed a different production route. He gathered a
cadre of talented colleagues and friends who lent their support and the piece
was successfully brought in, for under 3 million, for television.

In
Part I, after Worricker stumbles upon a piece of information that may have been
the cause for the untimely death of his best friend, a dangerous game of
intrigue ensues with combatants such as the Prime Minister (Ralph Feinnes) making
unexpected moves.  Being a spook of a
different generation, Nighy falls back on the tried and true tools of
espionage. Heightened spy sense, carefully placed dead drops, track covering and
knowledgeable informants were the brick and mortar of the day and he puts those
skills, (still solid, just not recently used) to the good.  

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A
simple conversation here, with shaded meanings and hidden agendas, provokes more
shallow breathing and chill moments than so many extreme scenes of
violence.  Worricker narrowly escapes a
trap wherein he could have suffered an end the same as his friend and mentor.
When last seen the dashing, polite, jazz and art-loving spy is striding down an
airport terminal for parts unknown. We breath a sigh of delighted satisfaction.
We like Johnny Warricker.

Page
Eight
could have stood on its own. It was, it appears, always planned as the
first of three parts.

Part
II: Turks & Caicos makes it’s PBS debut tonight (Nov. 9 – 9pm / ET) with Bill Nighy
reprising his Johnny Worricker role.

Johnny
has been residing in an, relatively, obscure group of islands southeast of the
Bahamian chain. The Islands of Turks & Caicos, (part of British Overseas
Territories) are a clever choice.  Life’s
been okay. Sunshine and ocean breezes. Then Christopher Walken shows up. Waters begin to churn coming to full froth when Helena Bonham Carter, a former colleague and love interest of Worricker’s, is brought in and the unwieldy situation grows more intense. That which he thought to have left behind has followed him
to his island refuge.  

Watch here as series creator David Hare and the Worricker cast express their views: 


Part
II—In Worricker: Turks & Caicos,
Hare brings together another top acting
team: Joining Nighy, Walken and Bonham Carter are Winona Ryder, Ewen Bremner,
James Naughton, Dylan Baker, Zach Grenier. Ralph Fiennes returns as the PM.

 Part
III—Worricker: Salting The Battlefield
airs November 16 at 9pm / ET. New
players include Saskia Reeves, Kate Burdette, and Malcolm Sinclair, with Judy
Davis returning.

The same elements that made Page Eight so special remain in Turks & Caicos, except for the element of surprise. We already know that something unexpected will occur to rock Johnny’s self-contained world and we already know that if there is such a thing as best-of-the-best in the spy world Johnny Worricker would be it. What we don’t know, and what is fun to have revealed to us, is how he’ll maneuver all of the chess pieces without getting killed and escape with his skin still attached to his frame. He is after all—on an island.

 (Be sure to check local listings for Parts II
and III for additional dates and times)

10 comments

  1. Marc Schenker says:

    Part One with Nighy and Rachael Weisz was superb. Sorry to say it was downhill from there. Bring them back, but I see they won’t.

  2. Davyjc says:

    Just saw "Page Eight" and "Turks and Caicos" and this is great writing, directing and acting throughout. A spy series that makes sense. Such a rich world created. Bravo.

  3. Bridget Smith says:

    I just watched "Salting the Battlefield" and I love the painting that hung in Alec Beasley’s office. I can’t find any info on the artist or the painting. Can anyone tell me more? Thanks.

  4. Albert Rogers says:

    I particularly enjoyed the idea of beautiful Bonham-Carter, from a noted family of Liberal party people, condemning torture in Caicos, after playing one of the most evil people imaginable in the Harry Potter series. She is certainly versatile.

  5. Albert Rogers says:

    SUsan! Really, it wasn’t very kind to the British parties either. AND I cannot say that both countries don’t deserve it. We’ve had Obama for eight years and he still hasn’t, or hasn’t been able to, close the abomination of Guantanamo.

  6. Francis says:

    Winona Ryder was playing a broken woman. I thought she did that just fine! In fact, it was great to see her. I could use me a little more Winona.

  7. Regine says:

    Fantastic piece of writing, T&C, witty, literate. Loved every minute. And not a machine gun or explosion in sight!

  8. Marc says:

    I watched this last night. Wasn’t sure what to expect even though David Hare is a real-deal filmmaker. Wasn’t disappointed. Agree with the reviewer somewhat-being a fan of Page Eight-about the element of surprise. Curious to see what Hare does with the plot and, above all, Johnny in Part 3.

  9. Susan says:

    I really liked the show and the acting, but its politics made me ill. It was so anti-American and Israeli. I wouldn’t pay to see this or anything Hare or Bill N. do in the future. Poor Winona Ryder can’t act. She embarrassed herself by acting opposite some great actors. I cringed when she was on screen.

  10. David Milliken says:

    I know it’s unrelated, but what a pleasure after seeing "Gone Girl"(ho hum) to find "Turks and DAicos" on PBS. "No more over the top" is fine with me.The show proves the force of "shallow breathing and chill moments" can trump extremely violent scenes and once again the viewer’s imagination and empathy for humans tin angst. Looking forward to next week.

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