Traitors is a new World War II drama which looked stylish from the trailers, and I thought was going for an Allied-style approach, as that’s a modern WW2 movie, but is it as entertaining in its own right?
Well, it’s sort-of WW2, since it’s 1945 and the war is coming to a close. You’d think people would be pleased, but young Fiona ‘Feef’ Symonds (Emma Appleton) was looking to join the civil service and wanted to travel, and her options are limited if there are no longer any baddies.
But of course there are. A mysterious man named Rowe (Michael Stuhlbarg – The Shape Of Water) thinks Russians are behind everything, and that they’re deep within the UK government, and she’s introduced to him by her US Secret Service lover, Peter (Matt Lauria). Can she get her teeth into this new role that’s going to be more than the desk job with which she could have been saddled?
Well, I think I’m going to have to try and find that out in episode 2, since it was halfway through before we actually got to the meat of the story, and overall, it was like watching a two-hour film that had been randomly hacked to 60 mins without regard to continuity, and kept jumping all over the place. In fact, it was so ‘all over the place’ that you need a metal detector and a compass to find and put all the bits back together in the right order.
Maybe this scattergun approach will see more glue adhered to itself in episode two, and things will gel together more.
I do hope so, as Ms Appleton is great, while Stuhlbarg is always worth a watch, and there was great support from Lauria, as well as Luke Treadaway and a scene with Owen Teale as St John Symonds, who sounds a damn sight more grizzled than he used to since he got into older roles. However, a lot of people appeared in this episode and since they often went unannounced, and with the aforementioned way in which this was presented, it was difficult to work out where we were up to.
Still to come is the brilliant Phoebe Nicholls, while the trailers pointed out Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard), but she was barely in this first episode, merely being one of the interviewers for Feef, and I don’t think you hire Ms Hawes just for a few minutes work… (although I loved how she was using a zillion facial muscles while quizzing the new recruit).
UPDATE Episode 2: Well, I gave it a second chance and… while we did briefly get the lovely Phoebe Nicholls, we didn’t get much of Ms Hawes, and she’s meant to be one of the main stars. The rest of it was just dull as hell. I’m out.
Episode 1 Score: 4/10
Episode 2 Score: 0/10
Series Directors: Dearbhla Walsh, Alex Winckler
Producer: Rhonda Smith
Writer: Bathsheba Doran (as Bash Doran), Emily Ballou, Tracey Scott Wilson
Music: Nitin Sawhney
Feef Symonds: Emma Appleton
Rowe: Michael Stuhlbarg
Priscilla Garrick: Keeley Hawes
Jackson Cole: Brandon P Bell
Peter McCormick: Matt Lauria
Herbert Quick: Simon Kunz
David Hennessey: Greg McHugh
Brigadier Moss: Albert Welling
Freddie Symonds: Jamie Blackley
Mark Stephens: Robert Goodale
Martin Garrick: David Hargreaves
Hugh Fenton: Luke Treadaway
Frippy Symonds: Phoebe Nicholls
St John Symonds: Owen Teale
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.