Airdate: Close to the Enemy

Jim Sturgess & Freddie Highmore star in BBC First's new post-WWII drama.

BBC First begins a new period drama, Close to the Enemy, in which a British intelligence officer has to ensure that a captured German scientist helps the British develop jet aircraft.

The 7 part series by writer and director Stephen Poliakoff (Dancing on the Edge, Joe’s Palace, Gideon’s Daughter).

It stars Jim Sturgess & Freddie Highmore plus Charlotte Riley, Phoebe Fox, August Diehl, Robert Glenister, Alfie Allen, Charity Wakefield, Angela Bassett, Lindsay Duncan and Alfred Molina.

It kicks off with a double episode tonight. This premiered in the UK in November.

Set in a bomb-damaged London hotel in the aftermath of the Second World War, Close to the Enemy follows intelligence officer Captain Callum Ferguson (Sturgess), whose last task for the Army is to ensure that a captured German scientist, Dieter (August Diehl), starts working for the British RAF on urgently developing the Jet engine. With the background of the emerging Cold War, it is clear to all that it’s crucial for British national security that cutting edge technology is made available to the armed forces as quickly as possible. Callum uses unorthodox methods in his attempt to convince Dieter to work with the British and eventually a friendship develops between the two men, but soon tensions arise as all is not as it seems.

Over the course of the series, Callum encounters a number of other characters whose stories all intertwine. These characters include Victor (Highmore), Callum’s younger brother, struggling to deal with psychological trauma caused by his experience in the fighting; Harold (Alfred Molina), a Foreign Office official who reveals some startling truths about the outbreak of the war; Rachel (Charlotte Riley), an enchanting Anglophile American married to his best friend, and Kathy (Phoebe Fox), a tough, young woman working for the War Crimes Unit, fighting to bring war criminals who have escaped prosecution to justice. All these characters are trying to rebuild and move their lives forward in the aftermath of the war, a war that scarred them all so deeply.

Sunday January 15 at 8.30pm on BBC First.

One Response

  1. As a history buff I usually give most WWII shows a go but truth be told not many have the grittiness or budget to do the theme justice after all it is an expensive proposition, so usually the dire atmosphere the sense of war weariness indefatigable courage and corruption is written in to remove the need for battlefields or attention to military detail, war stories also have to be politically correct. Close to the Enemy looks promising with yet another version of Alistair MacLean, who was part of T-Force, featured in this show.

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