The murder of a Soviet defector forces his old handler, British spymaster George Smiley, out of retirement. His investigation leads to an old nemesis, the Soviet spymaster known only as Karla. This will be their final dance.
Typical drama from the pen of Durbridge, complex, deep and engaging.
Francis Durbridge dramas were very popular in the sixties, by the seventies they'd started to dry up a little, fortunately a few were made. I had worried that the shine would have come off with this one, fortunately that's not the case.
The Passenger is an excellent serial, and the first part is so typical of the brilliance of Durbridge. So much more is going on then you possibly imagine, the smallest details have the biggest implications down the line, so as a viewer you have to watch and concentrate. The first two parts are excellent, the concluding part isn't as strong, but still very enjoyable.
Poor David Walker, so much in his life is going wrong, who'd be in his shoes! Very well acted, Peter Barkworth is a joy, no wonder he'd get the lead role in Melissa, several years later. Melissa Stribling and Joanna Dunham are also very good.
At times it looks a bit studio bound, but that doesn't matter. The ending is a real shocker, I didn't see that one coming. Very much in the style of the Paul Temple mysteries.
Very enjoyable overall, isn't it about time the BBC revisited dramas from this extraordinary writer? 8/10
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