These days I can’t tell the difference between TV and film.
The last three films I’ve watched, all unmemorable, all generally rubbish, seemed to be TV scripts stretched out for cinema. Conversely, a host of TV shows coming through BBC, ITV Drama, Channel 4, Netflix and Amazon, seem to be the blockbusters of the new age.
One of these blockbusters is Berlin Station on More4.
Another oddity of the day is the disparity of TV broadcasting, with some of the most star empowered shows appearing on the most obscure channels.
Hey-ho, Berlin Station was found via an advert on 4’s premier channel (Channel 4…) and it seems to be a little gem.
The first thing to notice about Berlin Station is the amount of stars from both stage and screen crammed into 60 minutes of drama that you’ll recognise and think, “where’ve I seen you before??”.
Well let me relieve your frustratingly hazy trivia film memory. There’s Leland Orser, who’s been in Pearl Harbour, Alien Resurrection, and all three productions of the sadly buoyant Taken trilogy. There’s Caroline Goodall, most famous for playing Emily Schindler in Schindler’s List. There’s Ashley Judd (Bone Collector and most recently one of the main faces of the #MeToo campaign). And there’s Richard Jenkins who you’ll recognise has played some stuffy diplomat or father or company boss in everything from Friends With Benefits to Shape Of Water via the Jack Reacher series and every Coen film out.
The show stars the brooding Richard Armitage and the fantastic Rhys Ifans. Both play agents working in the Berlin branch (or ‘station’) of the CIA. Armitage (Agent Daniel Miller) is sent to Berlin to try and blow the cover on whistle-blower ‘Thomas Shaw’ who is leaking information to the press that’s putting the lives of operatives in danger.
It’s a pretty standard spy story published around the opening chapters of the ‘Create Your Own Spy Story Textbook’. But even still, Berlin Station is an addictive and unmissable viewing event combining stellar acting done by stellar actors to a fast-paced and crisp production.
The show continues on More4 on Thursday 1st November 9pm.