'Spies of Warsaw' [Blu-ray]
(David Tennant, Janet Montgomery, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2013 / BBC Video)
Overview: David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Janet Montgomery (Entourage) star in this adaptation of Alan Furst's celebrated spy novel set in Poland, Paris and Berlin in the years leading up to the Second World War.
Blu ray Verdict: I have to admit that I am a HUGE fan of all things BBC - and ITV, for that matter! But the BBC just make such great documentaries, great crime shows, great works of art like this two part mini-series, 'Spies of Warsaw.' Written by the enduringly creative partnership of Dick Clement and Ian La Francis, it tells tales of man vs dogs, tank traps, stuning dining experiences and the eve of WWII.
I also have a soft spot for David Tennant! For, in my books, he has been the best Doctor Who of the current era. I was so sad that he left, but knowing he wanted to do stuff like this makes his choice to leave all the more understandable. That said, and with the ingredients of both the BBC and Tennant at the helm, 'Spies of Warsaw' turned out to be (as expected, in truth) one of those "can't miss" productions.
I loved when, at the start, in 1937, we are given the picture of invading entities when a man says you "can wake up in your own bed in Poland, and go down to the kitchen and find himself in Germany!" And also, halfway through, when Montgomery tells her mother she has found a man, her first question is "does he have land?"
Now, and with that said, and what closes this piece, there were (of course) some issues I had with the mini-series. Personal gripes, shall we say, so nothing serious! Such as a car exploding, that even on camera never did! Clothing that is surely for the era, but not a sign of wear on any of them! And cars that travel down dusty cobble streets and yet shine and gleem like royalty! And a sniper shooting the wrong man, off by many feet, and supposedly just a bad shot! And the fact that as much as Montgomery is brilliant in her role, she is also AWOL for the middle chunk of the tale.
In closing, this was an absolutely tremendous story of World War II with both intrigue and heroism at the center of the production. Indeed, it seems impossible that this television mini series didn't work on almost any level. Oh, wait, it did! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Feature of:
David Tennant on Spies of Warsaw