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Two lots of TV Spies! And a dachshund.

First: Deutschland 83. I'm really enjoying this series about East German spies in West Germany in 1983.  I was a bit cautious about a German-language drama that must be watched with subtitles, but it's really compelling watching.   Martin Rauch is a young East German border guard who is persuaded/strongarmed into going undercover as Moritz Stamm, aide to Major General Edel.  Edel who is something big in West German defence and involved in negotiating with the Americans about their nuclear policy, and he has a teenage son who has political doubts, and a daughter who has fled her comfortable well-off home overshadowed by war to live in a commune.   It's quite a ruthless story: turns out the real Stamm has been murdered and he definitely isn't the last one.

But at the same time, all the characters are so vulnerable and human and complicated, caught up in a political situation that they can't control and often don't really seem to understand, and on both sides of the border,  at horrible risk of becoming collateral damage to a US/Soviet tension that they could not possibly do anything about.    I was always going to adore this story: it's very Le Carr
é .  I adore all the retro things like the cars and phones and that odd orange wood furniture that was everywhere in the 80's.  But Pp is really enjoying it too, and I hear it has been well reviewed.   Apparently there are possibilties that there might be a followup Deutchland 86, and then possibly even '89, which would be rather marvellous, to see the fall of the Berlin Wall from both sides.

And then : The Night Manager This of course really is by Le Carré.  As a bit of a fan, I'm faintly ashamed to admit that this is one of his books that I'd missed.  I read his Cold War books pretty until some of them had started to fall apart, but I stopped buying everything he wrote back in the 90's, when it felt like he had lost his subject a bit with the end of the Cold War, and so this had passed me by.  A pity, as this first episode was great!  The setting had been updated from the early 90's to the Arab Spring, so it felt very immediate. Lots of opportunities for mixing in  news coverage among the filming.

Possibly the cast was a little distractingly-famous.  Tom Hiddleston was really very good as Jonathan Pine, the hotel Night Manager who encounters secrets of importance to HM Gov...  but  I'm not *quite* sure about Hugh Laurie as an arms trader.   He's an excellent actor, but playing a plummy-voiced Englishman he's just a tiny bit too close to a Bir of Fry and Laurie, I kept expecting him to sit down at a piano and start belting out comic songs.  But perhaps that's just me.     Olivia Coleman as a gritty Northern spy assigned to some tiny intelligence unit with inadequate resources and knackered central heating though, was brilliant.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of that end of things.



In other news, I was stopped while dog walking this morning by a chap who asked if I had seen a dachshund and a Westie wandering the lanes.  "Sorry, no!"  I said, and was about to go on, when a vague memory came to me.I had seen such an unusual pair of dogs advertised as found by the dogwarden on the 'Please look out for these missing dogs in Cornwall' Facebook group, as having been found perhaps a mile away.   So I said that, and then I had to explain what a council dogwarden was, and how such a bizarre concept could be contacted.  Sigh.  

But I see from the daily update from the Council that those two dogs are no longer on the found list, so presumably he did manage to find his way there.   Hurray!
I hope they gave him the talk about 'how dogs are legally required to wear collars and tags with full address details' although no doubt the sizeable reclaim fine will also have served as a pressing reminder.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
thesmallhobbit
25th Feb, 2016 20:36 (UTC)
I think The Night Manager is going to be one of those programmes every one else loves and I don't. I i-playered it during the week, but got bored and fast forwarded it and then, having finished the ironing, switched off. Oh well, more time for writing.

This afternoon our local police were tweeting about a collie which was heading north up the southband half of the M5. Fortunately they caught it and their last tweet was a photo of the collie in the back seat of a police car.
bunn
26th Feb, 2016 08:44 (UTC)
Oh yes, I saw the news story about that collie! Well done to the police. Fortunately our local lanes are a lot less perilous, but still not really good places for dogs to be wandering unsupervised and with no id.
helflaed
25th Feb, 2016 20:38 (UTC)
I enjoyed the start and end of Deutschland 83, but founf it get a bit too far fetched in the middle. Mind you, I was reading a few potted biographies recently and they came over as waaay more odd...
bunn
26th Feb, 2016 08:46 (UTC)
Biographies...?

Havent' watched the end yet, am looking forward to it!

It requires more concentration than many things because you can't do other stuff with your hands while watching if there are subtitles :-D
mcmurphy79
26th Feb, 2016 08:41 (UTC)
I've enjoyed Deutschland 83. I love the music and clothes. I agree the characters are mostly so vulnerable. It's been a good watch.
bunn
26th Feb, 2016 08:47 (UTC)
Oh yes, I forgot the clothes!
alitheapipkin
26th Feb, 2016 16:01 (UTC)
Yet another Deutschland 83 fan - I had to watch it when I wasn't tired but it really kept me hooked :) The Night Manager looks to have potential too, I think Hugh Laurie plays a damn fine villain personally, but I guess I haven't really watched him in his early comedy stuff for a long time.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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