TV Crime Log: Honourable, Darkness

Hey, look, it’s taken a while, but there’s something new on the television this week, and it’s got absolutely nothing to do with big balls or small balls or people drinking cider in a muddy field.

You’d think, during a summer dominated by sport, those telly people would do a bit more counter-programming like this – but better late than never, I guess.

Anyway, the first of eight episodes of The Honourable Woman – there are shades of Graham Greene in that title – is on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursday. It stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, her from The Dark Knight.

 

Here’s the blurb:

Nessa Stein is a beautiful and powerful Anglo-Israeli businesswoman who strives for equality and peace in the Middle East, heading up the powerful Stein Foundation with her brother Ephra.

Nessa’s father was a Zionist arms procurer, and as children, she and her brother Ephra witness his assassination.

As an adult, inheriting her father’s company, she dramatically inverts its purpose from supplying arms to laying high-spec data cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank. Now in her thirties, her sudden appointment as a life peer, apparently due to her tireless promotion of projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians, creates an international political maelstrom.

As she receives her ennoblement from the House of Lords, Samir Meshal – a Palestinian businessman with connections to the family – is killed, forcing Nessa and her family to become even more vigilant.

With their actions closely monitored by Whitehall and the secret intelligence agencies, both at home and abroad, tensions increase when Kasim, the young son of Atika, the nanny employed by Ephra, is kidnapped.

I was also annoyed to see too late – on Monday it was all me, me, me – that BBC4 started repeating one of the greatest dramas of all time.

Edge Of Darkness was – is – a brilliant thriller and quite possibly, to my mind anyway, the best UK drama ever made. Bob Peck is the policeman trying to nail his daughter’s killers who stumbles into an environmental conspiracy – Troy Kennedy Martin’s metaphysical script was hugely prescient in its depiction of a weary planet preparing for a human reckoning – and, of course, it’s another opportunity to see Joe Don Baker as Darius Jedburgh, the CIA man on the side of the angels.

Sadly, Kennedy Martin’s original ending, in which Peck’s policeman turns into a tree, was vetoed by the cast and crew.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, you really should. The first episode is still on catch-up and you can continue to watch it on BBC4 on Monday at 11pm. You really should, you know.

 

 

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