TV UK TV

Honourable Woman, The (BBC-2 2014, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Rea)

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The Honourable Woman stars US Hollywood actress Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein who inherits a father’s arms supply company. The storyline takes us into a real maelstrom of international politics and intrigue taking us from Whitehall to Washington and the melting pot of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Gyllenhaal said of the series “I couldn’t put the scripts down. Nessa is such an exciting and intricate character.”

Anyway who was lucky enough to see the superb The Shadow Line will know that Hugo Blick (the man responsible for it) is the best writer working in British television today. A cross between Dennis Potter and Alan Bleasdale, a Blick drama is something to be savoured.

The Honourable Woman is glossier and not quite as dark as The Shadow Line but still violent and as densely layered with pieces of plot being unveiled as we are drawn further into the story. Truth to be told there are not many likable characters on show here albeit Stephen Rea (who also appeared in The Shadow Line) does warm the heart somewhat.

Honourable Woman

production details
UK / BBC-2 – Sundance Channel / 8×60 minute episodes / Broadcast from 3 July 2014

Writer, Producer and Director: Hugo Blick / Executive Producer: Greg Brenman

cast
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein
Lubna Azabal as Atika Halabi
Eve Best as Monica Chatwin
Andrew Buchan as Ephra Stein
Lindsay Duncan as Anjelica Hayden-Hoyle
Tobias Menzies as Nathaniel Bloom
Igal Naor as Shlomo Zahary
Genevieve O’Reilly as as Frances Pirsig
Katherine Parkinson as Rachel Stein
Stephen Rea as Sir Hugh Hayden-Hoyle