Abduction, betrayal, diplomatic intrigues, a great love story, and the beginning of the Second World War. Spies of Warsaw, a co-production between Poland's TVP and Britain's BBC starring Janet Montgomery and David Tennant, comes to Polish TV screens on the 11th of January 2013.
Janet Montgomery and David Tennant in Spies of Warsaw directed by Coky Giedroyc, photo: press materials.
Abduction, betrayal, diplomatic intrigues, a great love story, and the beginning of the Second World War. Spies of Warsaw, a co-production of Poland's TVP and Britain's BBC starring Janet Montgomery and David Tennant comes to Polish TV screens on the 11th of January 2013.
Spies of Warsaw is a thrilling spy drama set in Poland, Paris, London and Berlin in the years leading up to the Second World War. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life and death struggle on the espionage battlefield.
The plot centers around Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (David Tennant) who at the beginning of the war becomes the new military attaché and a spy at the French embassy in Warsaw. He is a charismatic aristocrat, a decorated hero of the First World War and a veteran of the Polish-Russian War of 1920. In the diplomatic salons and back alleys of the Polish capital, he quickly finds his place among French, German, Polish and Soviet spies.
Mercier is meant to gather intel on the plans of the Germans. He cooperates with Antoni Pakulski, an officer of the Polish secret service who was Mercier’s commander during the 1920 war. While being fully dedicated to his work, he embarks on a passionate love affair with a beautiful Pole named Anna Skarbek (Janet Montgomery) who works for the League of Nations. Their complicated affair intensifies as German tanks invade through the Black Forest.
The script to Spies of Warsaw is based on Alan Furst’s best-selling novel of the same title. "Spies Of Warsaw is Alan Furst at his best - a tense, passionate and sensual love story set against the increasingly strident clang of the coming war", said Richard Klein, controller of BBC Four, during a press conference in Warsaw. "It's an atypical look at the Second World War seen through the eyes of protagonists who from the beginning know that they would have to face the horrors of war".
The series is directed by Coky Giedroyc, a relative of Jerzy Giedroyc, the famous editor of the Paris-based magazine Kultura. Coky Giedroyc has worked on productions such as the BBC's Sherlock and The Hour. Spies of Warsaw is personal for her, as her Polish-Lithuanian father, Michal Giedroyc, spent time in a Siberian prison during the war. Piotr Derewenda, TVP’s producer and editor, said: "We are also delighted that Coky Giedroyc [...] is part of the production. With her extraordinary talent and the potential for some outstanding actors, we believe Spies of Warsaw will be a big hit with international audiences".
The cast includes British and Polish actors. David Tennant, known for his role in Doctor Who, plays Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, and Janet Montgomery, who played in Darren Aronofsky's Oscar-winning Black Swan, is featured as his love interest, Anna Skarbek. The Polish secret-service officer Antoni Pakulski is played by Marcin Dorociński, and the cast includes Mirosław Zbrojewicz, Magdalena Popławska and Anna Czartoryska.
The historical spy drama was adapted for the screen by Dick Clement and Ian de Frenais. Warsaw takes centre stage in the production, with principal photography taking place in and around the capital's Old Town district. Shooting took place between April and June 2012 and was done by Fresh Pictures and Apple Film Production, with the cooperation of the European Union Media Programme and led by BBC Worldwide.
Starting the 11th of January 2013, Spies of Warsaw airs every Friday evening on TVP1.
Sources: based on the article by Bartosz Staszczyszyn for culture.pl
Editor: Marta Jazowska