La serie Slow Horses es tan buena que vale la pena la suscripción solo a Apple TV Plus

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Apple TV Plus is starting to build a solid catalog of watchable TV shows that make it a more compelling offer than it used to be. The likes of Ted Lasso, Severance, The Morning Show, and Silo have all been praised by fans and critics alike. But for me, there is one show that I look forward to more than any other on the streaming platform —so much so that I’m finally ready to renew my Apple TV Plus subscription.

Despite being lauded by so many, Slow Horses seems to be one of those shows that gets criminally overlooked by many. But, for me, it’s the best thing on Apple TV Plus and deserves to have a far bigger audience to match. With a stand-out cast, fast-moving stories (despite the title), and plenty of fart jokes, Slow Horses is the series that keeps bringing me back to Apple TV Plus.

“Slough House is like prison – you’re not supposed to ask what you you’re in for.”

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

If you’ve already watched Slow Horses, then I’m probably preaching to the choir. But if you’ve never seen it, or perhaps never even heard of it, you’re missing out. 

Based on the Slough House series of novels by Mick Herron, the show is a spy thriller set in London around a group of MI5 agents. But don’t be fooled – this is as far from the likes of James Bond or Jason Bourne as it gets.

The men and women in Slow Horses work at the depressing Slough House because that’s where disgraced agents go to spend the rest of their days in purgatory as punishment for incompetence. While they haven’t quite done enough to be fired, they’re left to fester and spend their days doing nothing of any importance. As one character memorably puts it: “Slough House is like prison – you’re not supposed to ask what you you’re in for.”

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Everything about their existence feels bleak. From the rusty old door hidden down a rubbish-strewn side street that gets them into work, to the cracked windows and general sense of decrepitude, Slough House is a miserable existence for any agent hapless enough to get sent there.

Their boss is a man called Jackson Lamb, a world-weary cynic who sleeps on a couch in the office, drinks too much, subsists on takeaways, and talks roughly as often as he breaks wind. He’s played magnificently by Oscar-winner Gary Oldman, who we’ll talk more about later.

“Working with you has been the lowest point in a disappointing career.”

Slow Horses

But for whatever reason, they end up getting dragged into a series of high-stakes missions where their actions suddenly have consequences. Suddenly, this inept group of outcasts have to save lives rather than simply wait until retirement.

While the show itself is incredibly slick, the same can’t be said about these agents. It’s the opposite of the traditional spy caper, where the heroes are generally infallible. These characters are terribly flawed, and it makes for compelling viewing. 

The writing is slick, the acting is superb, and there is an excellent cast to star alongside Oldman – including the likes of Kristen Scott Thomas, Jack Lowden, and Jonathan Pryce, among many others.  It’s the series I look forward to more than any other.

Gary Oldman says it will be his final role, so make the most of him here

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

If the premise of the show isn’t enough to lure you in, then the performance of Gary Oldman really should be. He’s an incredibly successful actor, with starring roles in films such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Darkest Hour, and also the likes of Leon, The Fifth Element, Harry Potter, and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. But genuinely, this could be his best performance of the lot.

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Jackson Lamb is a damaged man. Someone who, in the words of one his team “eats like a dying horse,” never seems to wash or change his clothes, swears copiously, and motivates his team with speeches such as, “You’re ******* useless. The lot of you. Working with you has been the lowest point in a disappointing career.”    

He’s as hilarious as he is troubled, and Oldman plays the character magnificently. He has hinted that this may be his last major role before he retires. If it turns out to be the case, he’s going out on a high. 

But it’s true of almost all the characters and how they interact throughout Slow Horses. Everyone is flawed, everything is dysfunctional, and I love it.

The show I want everyone to love

(Image credit: Future / Apple)

Of course, a gritty, sometimes bleak spy story won’t be for everyone. And despite the moments of laugh-out-loud humor, there’s also plenty of death and violence, which you may prefer to give a miss. But for me, Slow Horses is a show that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. It’s a hidden gem, and one that I wish more people had watched and enjoyed up to this point. I loved season one when I watched it back in April 2022, and made sure to watch season two when it arrived back  in December that same year. So waiting a full year for season three has felt like a slog.

Regardless, I’ll be telling Apple to shut up and take my money now that season three is available to watch. Happily for me, season four has already been filmed, so I know there’s even more to look forward to. If you haven’t already watched Slow Horses, I urge you to try it.

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