The Worricker Trilogy

Series 1 - 3. Salting the Battlefield

Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

David Hare concludes his trilogy of films about MI5 renegade Johnny Worricker with another meandering fugue on power, secrets and the British establishment.

Once again, Hare has gathered an amazing cast, including Ralph Fiennes as the vulpine PM and the always wonderful Olivia Williams as an upper-class newspaper editor drawn into Johnny’s plan to expose him.

The scenes where Johnny courts her at her country pile are classic Hare – verbal jousting in elegant interiors; the spy and the journalist probing each other. And much of the story is seductively watchable, like a Le Carré drama crossed with Lewis. But there’s a languid lack of suspense, as if enjoying this cast swap sage one-liners were enough.

Keep the faith, though, because in the last act, the pace quickens and by the end we’re sad to see the last of Bill Nighy’s super-smooth Johnny. Then again, if he ever does return, maybe he could be given a love interest somewhere near his own age for once?

About this programme

3/3. Johnny Worricker goes on the run with Margot Tyrell across Europe, and with the net closing in, the former MI5 man knows his only chance of resolving his problems is to return home and confront prime minister Alec Beasley. Concluding instalment of David Hare's spy trilogy, starring Bill Nighy, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.

Cast and crew


Johnny Worricker
Bill Nighy
Margot Tyrell
Helena Bonham Carter
Rollo Maverley
Ewen Bremner
Jill Tankard
Judy Davis
Alec Beasley
Ralph Fiennes
Stirling Rogers
Rupert Graves
Julianne Worricker
Felicity Jones
Anthea Catcheside
Saskia Reeves
Belinda Kay
Olivia Williams
Amber Page
Leanne Best
Freddy Lagarde
Pip Carter
Ted Finch
James McArdle
Bill Catcheside
Daniel Ryan
Allegra Betts
Kate Burdette
Jez Nichols
Shazad Latif
Rev Bernard Towers
Malcolm Sinclair
Brian Lord
Andrew Cleaver
Jock Calderon
Pip Torrens
Abdul Khan
San Shella
Dean Chandler
Nathan Ives-Moiba
Richard Lawrence
Security man
George Lenz
Ticket seller
Thorston Manderlay
BBC interviewer
Matthew Stadlen
Security woman
Renate Becker
Europcar assistant
Anna Boger
Football supporter
Mark Wingett
MI5 monitor man
Tom Colley
Garden girl
Kirsty Oswald
Valeria Vereau


David Hare
Celia Duval
David Hare