From Hugh Laurie to Idris Elba and Dominic West, there’s a history of British actors heading to America to ply their trade on U.S. TV. Now, with increasingly provocative drama spurred on in part by the UK’s high-end tax credit, a handful of American women have begun a mini-trend on British telly in the past year. After Gillian Anderson in The Fall and Elisabeth Moss in Top Of The Lake, along comes Maggie Gyllenhaal who just debuted as the protagonist of BBC Two’s eight-part miniseries The Honourable Woman. The series was originally commissioned by BBC Two and is a co-production from BBC Worldwide and Sundance Channel in the U.S. The first episode aired late last week in the UK to favorable reviews and solid ratings with an average 2.13M viewers and a 10.6% share. It hits the States on July 31 — sans the “u” in the title. The fast-paced, labyrinthine thriller is set against an international political backdrop and centers on Nessa Stein (Gyllenhaal), whose father was a Zionist arms procurer. As children, she and her brother were witness to his assassination. As an adult, inheriting her father’s company, Stein dramatically inverts its purpose from supplying arms to laying high-spec data cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank. Her sudden appointment to the House of Lords, apparently due to her tireless promotion of projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians, creates an international political maelstrom. Also starring are Stephen Rea, Janet McTeer, Broadchurch‘s Andrew Buchan, Episodes‘ Genevieve O’Reilly, and The IT Crowd‘s Katherine Parkinson. Hugo Blick (The Shadow Line) is director-writer. British reviews have been fawning so far — especially for Gyllenhaal and her pitch-perfect adopted accent. Here’s a look at BBC Two’s trailer:
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