The Worricker Trilogy Concludes on PBS

Category: Television

worricker2The 2011 film Page Eight began the Worricker trilogy. Bill Nighy starred as MI5 agent Johnny Worricker, a man with principles who saw the integrity and moral dilemmas of the business and the country in jeopardy. He leaves England and goes into hiding. This spy story concludes with two Masterpiece Contemporary films on PBS this November.


Turks & Caicos is where Worricker has been hiding out since leaving England. He is living a comfortable life, not overly elaborate by any means, but at least he is not under pressure. That is until a CIA agent discovers him while under cover scoping out an intricate plot involving some high- powered investors, which leads back to the Prime Minister. When one man in the group is murdered, the spotlight is focused on the entire group and Worricker is involved, to his chagrin.


Through some elaborate plotting this inventive and definitely intuitive man manages to use the events to his advantage and plays the situation like he would play a chess game. Setting up one move after another, Worricker manages to create an inventive little situation in which he uses his spy intuition and ingenuity to come out on top. But that is not the end.


The following week Johnny Worricker returns in Salting the Battlefield, the conclusion of the trilogy. This involves Worricker outsmarting MI5 and the Prime Minister to get to the bottom of an intricate scheme. But is he really one step ahead of the game or is he the piece of the puzzle?


worrickerWriter/Director Sir David Hare said, “Everything has changed in British intelligence since the declaration of the War on Terror in 2001.” He incorporated these changes into the Worricker storyline. “I had the idea of this heroic guy in MI5 who does thing the old way and therefore is a little bit of a fish out of water.” In the films, Worricker is against torturing prisoners. This is one of the moral dilemmas he faces in the stories. The other is corruption in the government.


“My original vision was that very heavy subject matter should b presented very lightly,” explained Hare. “I wanted to talk about complicated and profound moral problems – about intelligence and the way societies organize themselves to fight threats. But I wanted to do it in a way that was completely lighthearted and easy to digest – that was fun, really, and had a humorous tone to it.” Bill Nighy definitely brings that tone to the films.


These are sophisticated spy stories with some great actors. Christopher Walken co-stars in Turks and Caicos, along with Winona Ryder and Helena Bonham Carter. Ralph Fiennes plays Alec Beasley, the Prime Minister. He reprises this role in Salting the Battlefield, and Judy Davis reprises her role as an MI5 chief.


Turks and Caicos premiers Sunday, November 9, 2014 and Salting the Battlefield concludes the trilogy the following Sunday, November 16 on PBS’ Masterpiece Contemporary.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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