intelligence operative Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) was introduced in the TV
crime thriller, Page Eight in 2011,
after it made quite a splash as the Toronto Film Festival’s closing feature. Brainchild
of writer/director David Hare, the project, initially, had challenges
attracting financial support. There weren’t any over-the-top, visually exciting, action sequences; nor was he planning any. The project was about “human beings”
Hare said at the time and about “the inner workings of MI5.”
Page Eight related ]
a workaround move, Hare executed a different production route. He gathered a
cadre of talented colleagues and friends who lent their support and the piece
was successfully brought in, for under 3 million, for television.
Part I, after Worricker stumbles upon a piece of information that may have been
the cause for the untimely death of his best friend, a dangerous game of
intrigue ensues with combatants such as the Prime Minister (Ralph Feinnes) making
unexpected moves. Being a spook of a
different generation, Nighy falls back on the tried and true tools of
espionage. Heightened spy sense, carefully placed dead drops, track covering and
knowledgeable informants were the brick and mortar of the day and he puts those
skills, (still solid, just not recently used) to the good.
simple conversation here, with shaded meanings and hidden agendas, provokes more
shallow breathing and chill moments than so many extreme scenes of
violence. Worricker narrowly escapes a
trap wherein he could have suffered an end the same as his friend and mentor.
When last seen the dashing, polite, jazz and art-loving spy is striding down an
airport terminal for parts unknown. We breath a sigh of delighted satisfaction.
We like Johnny Warricker.
Eight could have stood on its own. It was, it appears, always planned as the
first of three parts.
II: Turks & Caicos makes it’s PBS debut tonight (Nov. 9 – 9pm / ET) with Bill Nighy
reprising his Johnny Worricker role.
has been residing in an, relatively, obscure group of islands southeast of the
Bahamian chain. The Islands of Turks & Caicos, (part of British Overseas
Territories) are a clever choice. Life’s
been okay. Sunshine and ocean breezes. Then Christopher Walken shows up. Waters begin to churn coming to full froth when Helena Bonham Carter, a former colleague and love interest of Worricker’s, is brought in and the unwieldy situation grows more intense. That which he thought to have left behind has followed him
to his island refuge.
Watch here as series creator David Hare and the Worricker cast express their views:
II—In Worricker: Turks & Caicos, Hare brings together another top acting
team: Joining Nighy, Walken and Bonham Carter are Winona Ryder, Ewen Bremner,
James Naughton, Dylan Baker, Zach Grenier. Ralph Fiennes returns as the PM.
III—Worricker: Salting The Battlefield airs November 16 at 9pm / ET. New
players include Saskia Reeves, Kate Burdette, and Malcolm Sinclair, with Judy
The same elements that made Page Eight so special remain in Turks & Caicos, except for the element of surprise. We already know that something unexpected will occur to rock Johnny’s self-contained world and we already know that if there is such a thing as best-of-the-best in the spy world Johnny Worricker would be it. What we don’t know, and what is fun to have revealed to us, is how he’ll maneuver all of the chess pieces without getting killed and escape with his skin still attached to his frame. He is after all—on an island.
(Be sure to check local listings for Parts II
and III for additional dates and times)