If The Americans taught us anything it’s that Cold War spies had a lot more sex and lived in much more interesting times than their modern day descendants. Legacy takes us back to 1974 Britain – the three-day week, power cuts, the Black and White Minstrel Show and Labour in the process of making themselves unelectable for a generation. Filthy Russian Communist slime are using the turmoil as cover to make strikes against Britain’s infrastructure. Infra penny infra pound, MI6 are fighting back. And boy do they have a plan?
Infra penny infra pound, MI6 are fighting back. And boy do they have a plan?
They do. Agency big wig Hookey (Brian Butterfield) gives trainee spook Charles Thoroughgood (Charlie Cox) a bitch of a mission. He must reacquaint himself with his old Oxford buddy Viktor (Andrew Scott last seen hamming to the high heavens in Sherlock) who is now, ‘ow you say, KGB spy. They figure Viktor will be an easy mark to flip into a defector as he’s sticking it to high-class prossie Eva Pym (Olivia Grant who you’ll no doubt remember as Grace Darling alongside Ruth “Pieagara Falls” Negga in Personal Affairs).
They figure Viktor will be an easy mark to flip into a defector as he’s sticking it to high-class prossie Eva Pym.
Couldn’t be simpler right? And yet when Charles approaches Eva to spy for him she tells him to get to fuck. Fortunately Charles has a contingency plan: blackmail the hooker by dangling the prospect of revealing her profession to her 7-year-old daughter away at boarding school. Somehow she negotiates triple her usual rate and expenses. I’m not sure that’s how blackmail is supposed to work but fair play to Eva, there’s obviously more to her than being a terrible parent and sucking cock for a living.
Fair play to Eva, there’s obviously more to her than being a terrible parent and sucking cock for a living.
Yet still things don’t go Charles’s way. Just as he’s about to flip Viktor his old pal reveals that Charles’s recently dead pops was up to his nuts in running his mouth to Russian intelligence, betraying his country and generally giving secrets to the Russians for free. Operation Legacy was his thing – burying caches around the country, close to power stations, to help Russian operatives fuck up the British infrastructure. “My dad may have been a traitor” says Charles tearfully “But at least he could do a proper Russian accent”. Andrew Scott is suitably chastened.
“My dad may have been a traitor” says Charles tearfully “but at least he could do a proper Russian accent”.
Charles is so upset by the revelation that he makes multiple inept attempts to bang his married co-worker Anna (Romola Garai). They make it look so glamorous in Bond movies but most of these espionage fruits were incel as fuck and spent most of their spare time getting rejected by married butterfaces with Juliet Bravo hair and Celine Dion teeth. And he’s just a trainee. 40 more years of this, son – that’s if you don’t get poisoned by some dude in a furry hat pricking you with his umbrella.
The pain of one man’s blue balls as he tries in vain to drain them is powerfully told.
Legacy is a perfectly serviceable tale of espionage, betrayal and involuntary celibacy. The pain of one man’s blue balls as he tries in vain to drain them is powerfully told. The Cold War was full of such men and in watching this it is them who we salute, one hand over our knackers, the other brought briskly to our temple. Well done you loveless tubs of shit: you kept the power stations running as Communist filth tried to make it otherwise. All the while you got less pussy than a man who retweets feminists on Twitter. Outs to you all day, man.
The verdict: Promise me son not to do the things I’ve done.
Marks out of 10: 7