TV crime drama (Deep Water & McMafia) and John le Carré’s The Pigeon Tunnel

Two TV crime dramas in the pipeline have recently caught my eye.


Noah Taylor in Deep Water (photo Sean O’Reilly/SBS)

Deep Water (BBC Four)

From the BBC press release: ‘A gripping four-part crime drama set in contemporary Australia, the series is inspired by the unsolved gay-hate crime epidemic that swept through Sydney in the 80s and 90s, known as the Bondi Beach Murders.

The drama unfolds after detectives Tori Lustigman and Nick Manning are assigned a brutal murder case. They uncover evidence that suggests the killing is connected to a spate of unexplained deaths, ‘suicides’ and disappearances throughout the 80s and 90s. Is this the result of shoddy police work, indifference, or something far more sinister?’

The series stars Noah Taylor as detective Nick Manning; Yael Stone as detective Tori Lustigman; William McInnes as Inspector Peel; Daniel Spielman as Rhys; and Danielle Cormack as Brenda. It’s a Blackfella Films production for SBS Broadcasting Australia, Screen Australia & Screen New South Wales. Transmission date to be confirmed, but probably in the autumn.

There’s a bit more info in this Guardian article by Steph Harmon.


McMafia (BBC One)

From the BBC press release: ‘Inspired by Misha Glenny’s bestselling book McMafia – a hard-hitting look at global crime – Hossein Amini and James Watkins have created a thrilling international crime drama that centres on one family in London.

James Norton (War & Peace, Happy Valley) will play the lead, Alex Godman, the English-raised son of Russian exiles with a mafia past. 

McMafia charts Alex’s journey through a terrifying labyrinth of international criminals, money launderers, corrupt politicians and ruthless intelligence agencies. He finds himself embroiled in an underworld that stretches from London to Moscow, Dubai to Mumbai, Africa to the Americas; a battleground where Mexican cocaine cartels compete with Pakistani drug lords, Balkan smugglers and the Russian Mafia itself. What starts out as a story of survival and revenge becomes an epic tale of a man’s struggle against the lures of corruption in the modern world and in himself.

This fast-paced thriller is epic and intimate, glamorous and gritty, global in scale and forensic in detail. It delves into how, with the rise of globalization, the corporate has become criminal and the criminal corporate and how, driven by the global demand for cheap products, everyone is complicit in some way.

The writing team includes David Farr (The Night Manager, Spooks, Troy – Fall Of A City), Peter Harness (Doctor Who, Wallander, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) and Laurence Coriat (Wonderland, Me Without You).’ Cuba Pictures. Transmission date tbc.

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life - John le Carré (CNW Group/Penguin Random House Canada Limited)

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life – John le Carré (Penguin)

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a huge John le Carré fan (see my post ‘In praise of John le Carré‘), so I’m delighted that his autobiography The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from my Life is now out with Penguin. Stacks of fabulous content has been released to promote the book, including an extract, readings from le Carré’s works by actors such as Rachel Weisz, and fantastic TV interview snippets. My favourite insight from the author so far: conflict makes for a good story (thus ‘the cat sat on the mat’ is not a promising start, whereas ‘the cat sat on the dog’s mat’ is).

le Carré will be reading extracts from The Pigeon Tunnel on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 12 September in the ‘Book of the Week’ slot.

15 thoughts on “TV crime drama (Deep Water & McMafia) and John le Carré’s The Pigeon Tunnel

  1. Oh, I must try to squeeze in The Pigeon Tunnel, Mrs. P.! I’ll bet it’s fabulous. Those crime dramas sound interesting, too. I hope they make their way this side of the pond.

    • Hi Margot! I’ve read an extract of The Pigeon Tunnel and can’t wait. I also have Adam Sisman’s acclaimed biography of le Carre lined up. It will be interesting to compare the two!

  2. Sisman’s biography is great at giving all the alternative titles that Le Carre was originally considering for his books, and a good number of them had “The Pigeon Tunnel” somewhere in their history. I’m glad he finally used the title!

  3. Morning Mrs P. Have just watched Tinker, Tailor with Gary Oldman et all on the telly again for the umpteenth time, and always find something I hadn’t spotted before. Will definitely pick up a copy of The Pigeon Tunnel at some point, and will certainly look forward to Deep Water and McMafia. Autumn’s viewing sorted by the looks of it 😀.

    • Ah, a marvellous film, though I do love the original TV series as well.

      Very much hoping that Deep Water will be with us this autumn. McMafia is still in production, I think, so may take a little longer to get to our screens.

      Am busy dropping hints to family about The Pigeon Tunnel… 🙂

    • How wonderful, Bill. I’ll pop over and take a look shortly!

      I agree it’ll be fascinating to compare the two books, especially as le Carre worked together with Sisman on the biography. I saw the latter discussing the process at last year’s CrimeFest, and it was fascinating stuff. Sisman had to ‘correct’ le Carre’s memories at times (he had documentation that showed le Carre was misremembering on occasion).

  4. Pingback: Mystery Road (Australian crime drama, BBC iPlayer) | Mrs. Peabody Investigates

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