Real intelligence agents are not like James Bond or Jason Bourne. You can’t go all rogue and still go unscathed. Sometimes, if you fail, you are sent into purgatory – not the biblical one, an earthly one. MI5 has one, it’s called the Slough House, where failed and reject agents are sent to sit out the rest of their dying careers. At least, that’s how it is in Apple TV+’s new spy series, Slow Horses. The show involves a team of MI5 agents who all work in the Slough House thanks to their career-ruining mistakes.
The plot follows an MI5 agent, who fails his training mission and is sent to the Slough House in a paper-pushing, keyboard-thumping role until he discovers something dangerous that could threaten the entire nation. So, he gets together with his coworkers and decides to get back on the field and prove himself and his team worthy once more.
Slow Horses is based on the eponymous novel by Mick Herron. It is written by Will Smith (William James Smith), also known for Veep, and directed by James Hawes. Both Smith and Hawes also serve as executive producers. Hawes is known for his other directorial projects that include popular titles like Doctor Who, Penny Dreadful, Snowpiercer, and Black Mirror, among many others. The Apple TV+ original is produced by Iain Canning, Hakan Kousetta, Jamie Laurenson, Gail Mutrux, Emile Sherman, Douglas Urbanski, and Graham Yost.
It looks like this spy thriller series will be truly unlike what we are used to seeing in this genre. That is to say, you’ll probably see a very dull and drab side of MI5 but one that is equally thrilling once you get into it. And if you want to know everything there is to know about this all-new series, check out our handy guide with all the latest information on the release date, plot, cast, characters, and more of Slow Horses.
When Is Slow Horses’ Release Date?
The first season of Slow Horses premiered on Apple TV+ on Friday, April 1, 2022.
Watch the Slow Horses Trailer
On March 2, 2022, Apple TV+ released the official trailer of Slow Horses, and it’s safe to say that from the overview, the upcoming series does seem a little fun.
The video introduces the audience to Slough House, and we see a bunch of demotivated employees, who have turned up in this dumping ground of failed MI5 agents, otherwise called the slow horses. The trailer also introduces us to the department’s boss, Jackson Lamb, played by Gary Oldman. Lamb seems to be the most miserable of all, bored to death with this life and job, and has absolutely no interest whatsoever in improving it or that of others. To add to that he constantly discourages his team and expects them to quit. But when a hostage situation shows up on the department’s radar, and his team (whom he calls “his losers”) tries to solve it, Lamb has no choice but to get actively involved.
From the short clip, Slow Horses looks like a classic spy thriller set in modern times, devoid of cool gadgets and mad CGI stunts.
All in all, the trailer is a mix of dark humor, lots of speedy action, and all the excitement of a thriller series, which shows that the upcoming series has some potential.
Who Is in the Cast of Slow Horses?
Slow Horses boasts an ensemble cast featuring award-winning actors. Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jack Lowden, and Olivia Cooke feature in leading roles. Joining them in other major roles are Saskia Reeves, Antonio Aakeel, Dustin Demri-Burns, Rosalind Eleazar, Christopher Chung, Sam Hazeldine, Chris Reilly, and Joey Ansah, among many others. Jonathan Pryce also stars in a special appearance.
Who Are the Confirmed Characters in Slow Horses?
Although considered “slow”, they are still a team of spies and these are the ones who might just save the day:
Jackson Lamb – Played by Gary Oldman, Lamb is the head of Slough House and boss of a bunch of failed agents. Lamb is a disenchanted and disgruntled employee and as miserable as a boss can be. Personally, he cares the least about his job, the department, or the people therein. But he is more on the inside than he appears on the outside.
Diana Taverner – Played by Kristin Scott Thomas, Taverner is a senior supervising agent at MI5 and an old colleague of Lamb. She rules the swanky side of the agency, involving a huge team of high-ranking, successful field agents, unlike the Slough House.
River Cartwright – Played by Jack Lowden, Cartwright is a newcomer to the Slough House. He’s a good agent, but he botched his training and failed miserably. And since then, he’s trudging through the boring and dull department. But when he finds out about a hostage situation, he decides to look further into it and get back on the field, so he can right the wrong and prove his merit to MI5.
Sidonie “Sid” Baker – Sid is played by Olivia Cooke. Like River, she is also an agent who failed a mission and was sent to Slough House to slog.
In other roles, there’s Antonio Aakeel as Hassan Ahmed, Sam Hazeldine as Moe, Rosalind Eleazar as Louisa Guy, Chris Reilly as Nick Duffy, Dustin Demri-Burns as Min Harper, Christopher Chung as Roddy Ho, and Joey Ansah as Agent Pierce, and Jonathan Pryce as David Cartwright.
How Many Episodes Does Slow Horses Have?
The first season of Slow Horses has 6 episodes, with the first two episodes released together on the day of the premiere, i.e., April 1, 2022. Every new episode will release weekly on Fridays. The final episode of Slow Horses will be released on April 29, 2022.
All episodes of the series have been directed by James Hawes. We also know the titles of the first three episodes:
Episode 1: “Failure’s Contagious” – April 1, 2022
Episode 2: “Work Drinks” – April 1, 2022
Episode 3: “Bad Tradecraft” – April 8, 2022
When Was Slow Horses Filmed and Is There a Season 2 Coming?
What Is Slow Horses’ Story?
Here’s the official synopsis of Slow Horses, as released by Apple TV+,
“Slow Horses follows a team of British intelligence agents who serve in a dumping ground department of MI5 – Slough House. Oldman stars as Jackson Lamb, the brilliant but irascible leader of the spies who end up in Slough House due to their career-ending mistakes. Joining Oldman is a decorated ensemble cast including Academy Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (“Darkest Hour”), Academy Award nominee Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”), BAFTA Scotland Award winner Jack Lowden (“Dunkirk”), and Olivia Cooke (“Sound of Metal”).”
When River Cartwright (Jack Lowden), a newcomer to Slough House, discovers a crime and reports it to Lamb, the young agent is instantly discouraged by the grouchy boss-man. So, Cartwright and his coworkers try to solve the crime themselves and stop the threat. Soon the higher-ups reach out to Lamb for assistance, and he has no choice but to get involved.
In other words, Slow Horses is a story of underdogs, agents who the world never hears of, unless they prove themselves. It is also about a team leader who, despite all the discouragement, protects his team and stands by his people.
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About The Author
Maddie P (23 Articles Published)
Maddie is a freelance Resource Writer at Collider. She is also a content marketing consultant and works with lifestyle brands. When not working, Maddie is often found baking, improvising on recipes, and managing her newfound Instagram store.