In 2016, the BBC and AMC’s adaptation of The Night Manager, a spy novel by the esteemed British novelist John le Carré, won several Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe awards and nominations. This isn’t all that surprising, of course, as the author’s works have long been popular fodder for film and television adaptations, like The Constant Gardner and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Since The Night Manager was a one-and-done mini-series, however, the BBC and AMC couldn’t necessarily stretch it out for a second season without compromising the original story. Hence The Little Drummer Girl, another adaptation of another one of Le Carré’s popular books of the same name. This time around, the story leaves modern-day Cairo for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of the 1970s.
The Little Drummer Girl cast
Florence Pugh plays Charlie Ross, a young English actress whose leftist politics take her out of her chosen career’s comforts and into the harsh reality of espionage and terrorism. Not so much because she wants to cause harm, necessarily, but because her “fling” with Israeli spy Gadi Becker (Alexander Skarsgård) ultimately radicalizes her.
And as random as the pair’s evolution may seem, Ross quickly realizes that Becker and company had her marked from the start. Said company includes Michael Shannon’s spectacularly bespectacled Martin Kurtz, an Israeli master spy who oversees Becker and a slew of other agents hellbent on defeating Palestine’s own espionage efforts at all costs.
What is The Little Drummer Girl about?
Audiences who enjoyed the spy-driven glitz and glamor of The Night Manager will also get a kick out of The Little Drummer Girl, as both television adaptations were developed and produced by the same collaborative teams at the BBC and AMC. Aside from sporting a completely different story and cast, however, the latter mini-series also features the television directorial debut of South Korean maestro Park Chan-wook, who’s best known for films like Oldboy, Snowpiercer and The Handmaiden.
The resulting mini-series, which consists of six episodes, is a slick show about spies, love, deceit and radicalization that not only looks great, but also bears many striking resemblances to the world’s current political moments. Ross’s decision to inject herself into a conflict she initially has nothing to do with, Becker and Kurtz’s differing efforts to push her in this direction, and how this all constantly pushes the boundaries between reality and dramatization makes for one hell of a good watch.
The Little Drummer Girl release date
The Little Drummer Girl premiere is set for Monday, Nov. 19, 9 p.m. on AMC.