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The Boston Globe

Television

Television Review

‘Spies of Warsaw’: thriller with no thrills

Set in 1937, BBC America’s “Spies of Warsaw” is a strangely bloodless affair. There’s almost no tension in this two-part espionage miniseries, even while we know that World War II and Hitler are looming in the close distance. The story wanders slowly and aimlessly when it should be tumbling toward a climax. It’s a ride on flat terrain.

Based on the 2008 novel by Alan Furst, “Spies of Warsaw” also takes a sloppy and inadequate approach to characterization. The popular David Tennant, one of the many Dr. Whos, plays the hero of the piece, Jean-Francois Mercier, a French military attaché based at the French Embassy in Warsaw. Mercier covertly digs for intel on the Nazis’ preparations for war, prying out bits from terrified sources and sneaking across the border to film German tanks in the Black Forest.

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