Now Streaming: SLOW HORSES, More Than a Brisk Trot

Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden star in the captivating spy series. Season 2 debuts globally today on Apple TV+.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Now Streaming: SLOW HORSES, More Than a Brisk Trot

Enforced retirement is not for me.

Slow Horses
All six episodes of Season 1 are now streaming on Apple TV+, as well as the first two episodes of Season 2, which debut today. Subsequent episodes will debut weekly. I've seen all 12 episodes.

Rumpled, irascible and salty in language and appearance, Jackson Lamb is an espionage agent who has been put out to pasture, left to spin his wheels as he waits out the final days of a career that has gone to pot.

As portrayed by Gary Oldman, though, Jackson Lamb will not go gently into that good night. Season 2 picks up shortly after the conclusion of the events depicted in Season 1, though I believe you can pick up watching the first two episodes of Season 2 without having watched any of Season 1.

That being said, you'll want to catch up with the events covered in the first six episodes (Season 1) of the show, which is adapted from Mick Herron's first novel in a series. Herron's sequel, Dead Lions serves as the basis for Season 2, kicking off with the death of a retired Mi-5 agent who has some perplexing connection to Jackson Lamb, the legendary exploits -- and his subsequent fall from grace -- are well known through the MI-5 agency.

As established in the first season, Lamb now heads a unit where disgraced agents are spend their days doing meaningless work that is meant to drive them to quit, endure until reaching an early retirement, or hasten an early demise. The agents who remain, however, are too stubborn to acquiese to their fate, hoping against hope that they will, some day, return to more honorable service.

Derisively known as "Slow Horses," a play on the unit's official administrative name (Slough House), the agents came together in the first season to deal with a major crisis that arose, and that hasn't gone away entirely as Season 2 begins. The story is good and gripping by itself, and justifies the six episodes, each of which runs less than 60 minutes.

The supporting players are good and full invested in their characters, which makes it a pleasure to watch them whenever Jackson Lamb is not inhabiting center stage. More so that before, though, I found Gary Oldman's performance to be incredibly compelling. As I wrote earlier this year: "His frequent presence suggests that, surely, at some point, he will step to the fore. When he does, he reminds of a battered old lion, roused from slumber, who is slow to fully engage. When he is fully and fiercely awake, though, he is ready to roar."

Gary Oldman is more frequently center stage in the second season, and his roar is mighty, enough to topple kingdoms. Combining his fiery performance with a story that is tuned to a higher pitch of activity makes the series entirely engaging.

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Apple TV+Gary OldmanJack LowdenKristen Scott ThomasMick HerronUK

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