Series 1 - Episode 1

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

Television has so often ironed out the subtle creases in William Boyd’s writing — Any Human Heart, Armadillo — but at the core of Restless is a powerful espionage thriller that translates perfectly to the screen.

The novel’s construction — two stories in parallel time frames — is effective on TV as the action in both periods increasingly winds and meshes. So this is a driving, riveting adaptation of a smashing book. Hayley Atwell is luminous as Eva Delectorskaya, a young Russian woman who is persuaded by the suave and enigmatic Lucas Romer (Rufus Sewell) to become a Second World War British spy after the murder of her brother.

The action switches between Eva’s potentially deadly missions in Europe and 1976, when the older Eva (the eternally classy Charlotte Rampling), now called Sally, reveals the truth to her daughter Ruth (Downton’s Michelle Dockery). Concludes tomorrow.

About this programme

1/2. Young graduate Ruth Gilmartin is shocked when her mother Sally reveals details of her early life as Russian emigre Eva Delectorskaya, recruited by the British Secret Service during the Second World War. Although nearly 40 years have elapsed since then, the former agent believes that missions undertaken during the conflict on behalf of her spymaster - and lover - Lucas Romer have served to place her life in danger. First of a two-part dramatisation of William Boyd's acclaimed espionage thriller, starring Hayley Atwell and Rufus Sewell, with Michael Gambon, Michelle Dockery and Charlotte Rampling.

Cast and crew


Eva Delectorskaya
Hayley Atwell
Lucas Romer
Rufus Sewell
Ruth Gilmartin
Michelle Dockery
Lord Romer
Michael Gambon
Sally Gilmartin
Charlotte Rampling
Sylvia Rhys-Myers
Thekla Reuten
Morris Devereux
Adrian Scarborough
Angus Woolf
Tom Brooke
Alfie Blytheswood
Kevin Guthrie
Bobby von Arnim
Bernhard Schir
James Norton
Gerald Laird
Anthony Calf
David Butler
Michael Peter Willis
Mr Delectorski
Ronald France
Edwin Thomas
Vincent Laurentis
Mrs Dangerfield
Catherine Harvey
Mr Witoldski
Aubrey Shelton
Speaker (Fascist meeting)
Cedric Leherle
Conrad Kemp
Aidan Cook
Elocution coach
Jennifer Steyn
Darren Morfitt
Dutch agent
Marius Botha
Shop assistant
Rob Ostlere
Club servant
Julian Firth
Mason Harding's secretary
Lisa King


Edward Hall
Executive Producer
Matthew Read
Executive Producer
William Boyd
Hilary Bevan Jones
Paul Frift
William Boyd