Tuesday, July 4, 2017

After all the hub-ub-bub about The Man in the High Castle last year, the BBC's SS-GB has gotten zero attention. I thought it should.

It's based on the 1978 novel by thriller author Len Deighton. The novel is set in an alternative history in which Nazi Germany invades Great Britain immediately after Dunkirk, and conquers the island nation. Queen Elizabeth flees to New Zealand with the princess royal (Elizabeth and Margaret), and the Duke of Windsor escapes France to Canada. George VI, however, remains in London, is captured, and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Winston Churchill is executed. The shocked United States stays out of the European conflict. The Soviet Union -- lacking American war materiél -- sues for peace and gets it.

The SS has established a branch in Britain, known as SS-GB. SS-GB oversees the British police.

Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer of the London Metropolitan Police is called in regarding the murder of a well-dressed German with a curious sunburn on one arm. Archer is surprised when SS Standartenführer Oskar Huth arrives from Germany to supervise the investigation. Huth and Gruppenführer Fritz Kellerman, Archer's boss, begin waging a battle for power. Soon, it looks as if the British Resistance is involved in the murder. If true, the SS will kill tens of thousands of innocent civilians in retaliation. Archer must solve the case in order avoid mass slaughter. But with the Huth overseeing his investigation, he can't lie and ignore the truth.

Soon, the stakes rise even higher in Archer's investigation...

The BBC mini-series consists of five one-hour episodes. It aired from 19 February to 19 March 2017, and stars Sam Riley as Archer, Kate Bosworth as Barbara Barga, Lars Eidinger as Huth, and Rainer Bock as Kellermann.

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