Series 1 - Episode 1



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.


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.