Based on the novel by Len Deighton, SS-GB is a brand new BBC drama that dares to question what may have been. The show is set in an alternative 1941 reality in which Britain has lost the war and Hitler has won, leaving Germany to take control of the country and swarm through the city.
Leading the cast is Sam Riley, who stars as Douglas Archer, a Scotland Yard detective who reports to the SS police force, much to his dismay. Archer has had a tragic life, following the death of his wife, and like many, he now appears to be struggling.
Meanwhile, Maeve Dermody plays young secretary Sylvia, an unpredictably shifty character who appears to be part of the resistance, in which Douglas Archer is deeply troubled.
The show’s first episode begins with a brutal shooting, setting the immediate tone of the series and creating a sense of fear and nostalgia that carries throughout the entire episode. The apparent murder proves to be vital in developing the plot later on as suspects are introduced, including two suspicious scientist siblings.With a mix of characters, it’s initially tricky to keep up with them all, but as the episode progresses, it becomes easier, offering a better insight into this alternative universe that’s so unlike our own history.
An American journalist also appears, providing further mystery; she’ll most likely be around in next week’s episode and it will be intriguing to watch her storyline unfold as the series develops.
SS-GB provides a fresh take on the wartime drama, with an interesting protagonist and a psychedelic plotline. With mentions of the Gestappo, along with the resistance, it’s clear this is going to be a series with plenty of twists and turns, meaning Archer will definitely have to be on his guard.
The second episode of SS-GB will air next Sunday at 9PM on BBC One