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Arts & Culture

SPIES OF WARSAW

Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) in Black forest, spying on German tank maneuvres.
© Robert Palka/Fresh Pictures 2012
Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) in Black forest, spying on German tank maneuvres.

Airs Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 8 -11:30 p.m. on KPBS 2 (not available to stream on demand)

SPIES OF WARSAW is based on Alan Furst’s acclaimed novel and adapted by Emmy-winning writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. “Doctor Who” star David Tennant and Janet Montgomery (“Black Swan,” ENTOURAGE) are cast in this thrilling spy story set in Poland, Paris, London and Berlin in the years leading up to the Second World War.

In the mini-series, French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle in the espionage arena. At the French embassy, a decorated war hero of the 1914 war, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (Tennant), is sucked into a world of abduction, betrayal and international intrigue from the diplomatic salons to the back alleys of Warsaw.

Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) running from German agent's car after throwing a lit cigarette at the leaking engine.
© Robert Palka/Fresh Pictures 2012
Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) running from German agent's car after throwing a lit cigarette at the leaking engine.

Mercier simultaneously finds himself in a passionate love affair with Anna (Montgomery), a Parisian lawyer for the League of Nations. Their complicated love affair intensifies as German tanks drive through the Black Forest.

SPIES OF WARSAW combines historical, intelligent narratives, interlaced with flawed and compelling characters. The cast includes Anton Lesser (Dramaville’s “The Hour”) as Doctor Lapp, Richard Lintern (Dramaville’s “White Heat”) as Colonel Lessard, and many more!

SPIES OF WARSAW: Trailer

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1 repeats Tuesday, March 23 at 8 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Poland, 1937. By day, decorated First World War veteran Jean-Francois Mercier serves as the French military attache to Warsaw. With the cover of night he works as part of a vast and complex intelligence network, desperately trying to understand what the Hitler's Nazi regime intends for Europe.

With the aid of a German informant, strange clues about tank movements in the Black Forest are coming to light. Leaving behind his interest in Anna, a beautiful Parisian lawyer who lives with a gruff Russian dissident, Mercier sets off across the border to see for himself what is going on.

Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) walking Anna (JANET MONTGOMERY) home from the embassy dinner.
© Robert Palka/Fresh Pictures 2012
Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) walking Anna (JANET MONTGOMERY) home from the embassy dinner.

Episode 2 repeats Tuesday, March 23 at 8:45 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Mercier has escaped a deadly fate inside the German border, but now faces an uncertain future as the world moves ever-closer to war. He's being watched by vicious Germans agents, and his burgeoning relationship with Anna is not sitting well with those on his own side.

On top of that, Stalin's purges are threatening the lives of two former NKVD spies who now want to defect to him. It's almost too much to deal with, but they do have the codename of a man high up in Nazi intelligence who may be interested in talking with the French...

Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) and Colonel Lessard (RICHARD LINTERN) at the embassy.
© Robert Palka/Fresh Pictures 2012
Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) and Colonel Lessard (RICHARD LINTERN) at the embassy.

Episode 3 repeats Tuesday, March 23 at 9:30 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Mercier is in trouble. Betrayals and double-crossings on all sides have left him alone and in the hands of the Germans. Still, armed with the codename of the unhappy Nazi intelligence officer, as well as a way to get to him, he just might have one last card to play.

If he can get to this man perhaps he can prove once and for all that the Nazis are preparing for all-out war. If Mercier's dark suspicions are correct, all of France's boarder defences may count for nothing when the full extent of the enemy's plans are revealed.

Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) meeting his informer Halbach (ADAM GODLEY) on a park bench in Czechoslovakia.
© Robert Palka/Fresh Pictures 2012
Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) meeting his informer Halbach (ADAM GODLEY) on a park bench in Czechoslovakia.

Episode 4 repeats Tuesday, March 23 at 10:15 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Mercier has escaped the shadowy world of spies unscathed, but at what cost? Holed up in his family estate, it is only a matter of time before his past life catches up with him. When it does, he decides to get back in the fold and do what he can to help Poland and France before the inevitable war that creeps closer each day.

While preparing for one of the most dangerous missions of his life his thoughts drift regretfully back to Anna, estranged and far away. If only things had been different, they might have been happy. But in Mercier's world, nothing is ever entirely as it seems.

Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) and Colonel Pakulski (MARCIN DOROCINSKI) on the train that is smuggling gold out of Poland, with soldiers in the foreground.
© Robert Palka/Fresh Pictures 2012
Mercier (DAVID TENNANT) and Colonel Pakulski (MARCIN DOROCINSKI) on the train that is smuggling gold out of Poland, with soldiers in the foreground.

This series is not available to stream on demand.

Credits:

Executive Producer: Richard Fell for Fresh Pictures production, and Jamie Laurenson for the BBC, co-produced by BBC America, Apple Film for TV Poland in association with ARTE FRANCE and BBC Worldwide.