The Honourable Woman


The Honourable Woman’s geographic and psychological expansiveness is impressive, and its acting BBC-impeccable, especially Maggie Gyllenhaal and Lubna Azabal. The story takes Gyllenhaal’s Baroness Nessa Stein, the head of a British philanthropic concern with strong ties to Israel and an interest in fomenting peace between Arabs and Jews, through the fires of hell in the company of Azabal’s Arab translator Atika, but doesn’t completely deliver her on the other side.  The complexity of writer / director Hugh Blick’s story defies neat summation because The Honourable Woman’s eight, dense episodes explore the murky waters of political gamesmanship, international trade, terrorism (traditional and cyber) and affairs of the heart. The voice-over for the series’ opening credits asks “who is to be trusted?” Though that certainly sets the proper frame for a series about spies, it does not approach the depths of deceit  and betrayal this program explores. Highly Recommended.

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