We spy sexy

Ben Whishaw in “London Spy” is the queer, sensitive leading man we’ve been waiting for

Attention thriller fans who take their spies sexy: the BBC series London Spy, now streaming on Netflix, delivers the goods, and with a very queer twist.

A mix of espionage intrigue and steamy relationship drama, London Spy casts openly actor Ben Whishaw (best known as Q in the James Bond reboot series that began with Casino Royale) as Daniel, a seriously hard-partying London gay boy who falls for a hunky hacker named Alex (actor Edward Holcroft, looking like a lot like Chris Evans…seriously). After an intense eight-month romance, Alex goes missing, and Danny becomes obsessed with finding his whereabouts and must grow up fast in the process and stay away from the temptations of his past that keep resurfacing. (More of the plot we’ll not share here.) As Danny, Whishaw plays up the sensitive side of the character without backing down to his enemies one inch. Never super butch or super femme either, Danny reads like a thoughtful, multi-faceted ordinary kid pressed into a challenging situation he’d never imagined.

Whishaw has never been better than in London Spy, a mix of adorkable and sleepless twink. (Fortunately the show also gives him plenty of opportunity to get naked). Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent rounds out the cast as Danny’s stalwart but sensitive mentor Scottie, and frankly should have won an Emmy for his performance as a world-weary who finds strength in and inspiration from his younger friend’s fearlesness.

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  • Lazycrockett

    Its beautifully shot and wonderfully acted, but the plot really stumbles in the last episodes.

    • crowebobby


    • AlexEf

      Completely agree.

    • jamih

      It was evident from the start, while it was somewhat compelling to watch at the same time you sort of expected it to completely flop and it did.

  • jasentylar

    I don’t see the Chris Evans resemblance. Furthermore, what’s wrong with being super butch or femme? Stop it with the self hatred.

  • crowebobby

    Whishaw and Holcroft characters are so different in both their physiques and their personalities they seem like subsets of the same species. I kept noticing that.

  • Eldred

    Yes, I started watching this a few nights ago. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, though. I think it’s wonderful, so far, and it’s keeping my attention. And yes, Whishaw is absolutely spectacular.

  • jks111375

    I watched it at its first run on BBC America, was good. Don’t look or hope for season 2 it was a one off.

  • KaiserVonScheiss

    I, too, watched it on BBC America. Great show. Heartbreaking, but great.

    I remember first seeing Whishaw in Perfume. Totally crush-worthy.

    • 11jks13

      Perfume was disturbingly beautiful. I have it on DVD.

  • surreal33

    I am a fan British television, however, The London Spy was painfully boring. Mr Whishaw is ugly, boring and his inane attempt at introspection is unwatchable. On the other hand, if you should have a bout of insomnia The London Spy is a powerful, natural, sleeping aide.

    • am

      The show is just awful. The tabloid story they based their script on is way more absorbing than this duli and pointless borefest.

  • broadshoulder

    Watched it on the original BBC last year – and it was something special. It keeps you guessing all the way through. Its what the BBC does best. These people dismissing it as a sleeping aide are idiots.

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