Bad Actors

Bad Actors

In the series, I’ve adored the Apple TV version, brilliantly acted, and lovingly rendered for screen, adhering to what I recall from the novels. But in the series?

“The stairs grow narrower the higher they go, and the paired offices that lurk on each landing are furnished with shabby props, scratched on every surface and torn in all the ways they can tear—nothing capable of being damaged twice has been damaged only once, because history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce, and here in Slough House the daily grind is of such unending repetition that the performers can barely tell one from the other.” Page 13.

The novels all use, set, a certain atmosphere. Really clever, and I’m never sure if this is satire, tragedy, or farce.

“Farce is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute.”
John Mortimer (att.)

I tend to find a certain literary quality in the novels, not always present, and then, there’s also an elegiac tone.

It may be British, but?

“Keyboards were weaponised, trolls emerged from under bridges, and somewhere along the way free elections turned into free-for-alls, as if democracy were a shaggy dog story to which a joke president was the punchline. All those decades of the arms race, and it turned out there was no greater damage you could inflict on a state than ensure it was led by an idiot. Somewhere, someone, probably, was laughing.” Page 52.

The satire might be too close to home? Mordantly brilliant, in a manner.

“London Rules. Cover your arse.” Page 61.

There it is.

Too clever by half, as they say, but then? Action!

The narrative sequences are clever, and yet, they work well, as if looking at a story through a fragmented prism.

“Blogging was a displacement activity; a way of dispelling the white noise in his head, of which there’d been plenty tonight.” Page 311.

With side notes, pull outs, and cut outs. Plus spies. And a wee bit of the ultra-violence.

Highly recommended, as both a streaming TV show, and the books themselves.

Bad Actors


  • Aperture: ƒ/1.6
  • Camera: iPhone 12
  • Flash fired: no
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  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/40s

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