Bill Nighy returns to TV screens later this month in Turks & Caicos, one of two sequels to Page Eight, Sir David Hare’s 2011 drama in which Nighy played a British intelligence officer who discovered a plot to place MI5 under the PM’s personal, direct control.
Turks & Caicos picks up the story four years after viewers saw Johnny Worricker (Nighy) standing at an airport clutching a Waitrose bag full of documents which proved the PM’s plans.
As the title gives away, he eventually ended up in the Turks & Caicos islands having struck an uneasy peace with the British establishment – he’ll stay quiet and in return they’ll leave him be.
At a press screening last month Hare said he’d wanted to keep the drama realistic and reflect that the British government didn’t go round killing its own citizens to ensure their silence.
He told journalists that it was sufficiently easy to disrupt people’s lives, for example by making it almost impossible to open a bank account, that those in power didn’t need to bump people off and so he’d wanted to stay away from such Hollywood plotting.
But Worricker’s uneasy peace is disturbed when he stumbles into the CIA’s monitoring of a conspiracy with connections on both sides of the Atlantic.
The scene is set for a cerebral cat and mouse thriller which pitches our hero and his former girlfriend (Winona Ryder) against Christopher Walken as a CIA agent with unclear loyalties and Rupert Graves’ decidedly dodgy British PM.
Turks and Caicos airs Thursday March 20 at 9pm on BBC Two with the final instalment, Salting the Battlefield, airing later this year.