Two years after the blazing success of The Night Manager, the BBC are back with another John le Carré adaptation. This time it’s The Little Drummer Girl, a six-part series based on the master spy writer’s novel.
Published in 1983 but set in 1979, the story follows Israeli spy Martin Kurtz (a wonderfully moustached Michael Shannon) who is working with a team to hunt down Palestinian terrorist Khalil. He recruits young British left-wing actress Charlie (Florence Pugh) as part of an elaborate plan, with the help of his enigmatic intelligence officer Joseph (Alexander Skarsgård).
In the hands of acclaimed director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) the series perfectly balances style and substance with a flawless 70s aesthetic as well as carefully captured complex characters and the controversial Israeli-Palestinian conflict as its political backdrop. Shannon and Skarsgård will certainly spark interest but it’s Pugh’s central performance as the very real, witty and fearless character of Charlie that draws us into this slow-burn espionage thriller, a surefire follow up to her breakout role in award-winning Lady Macbeth.
We were at The Little Drummer Girl‘s world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival to hear about the series from the cast and crew. Florence Pugh told us what drew her to the role of Charlie and being involved with the adaptation.
Author John le Carré himself told us why he thought his writing works well for the screen and his admiration for Pugh.
Daniel Litman spoke about why John le Carré’s writing is so good for the screen and how much he enjoyed the process of making the programme.
Michael Moshonov stopped to speak to us about his character Litvak and his experience of filming the series.
Clare Holman spoke briefly about her character as Miss Bach who works for the intelligence agency in the story.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 15th October 2018.
Videos: Marta Starczynowska
The Little Drummer Girl will air on BBC One at 9pm from 28th October 2018. Read our review here.
Watch the trailer for The Little Drummer Girl here: