On-Air Highlights

Bill Nighy returns as Worricker

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Jul 23, 2014 9:32 AM

Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean) reprises his Golden Globe–nominated role as master spy Johnny Worricker in two new thrillers, written and directed by Sir David Hare (Oscar®-nominated adapter of The Reader and The Hours). Wrapping up an intricate plot that began with Page Eight in 2011, involving secret crimes and unplumbed depths of political corruption, MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY presents Turks & Caicos on Sunday, November 9, followed a week later by Salting the Battlefield on Sunday,
November 16—both airing at 9pm.

The all-star cast includes Oscar winner Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter), and Oscar® nominees Winona Ryder (Little Women, The Age of Innocence), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech, The Wings of the Dove), Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler’s List), and Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives, A Passage to India). Also starring are Rupert Graves (Sherlock), Saskia Reeves (Wallander), and Ewen Bremner (Black Hawk Down).

The New York Times praised Page Eight as “a moody modern-day espionage tale with flawless performances.” TV Guide raved, “This has the feel of top-shelf John le Carré-style literature written with droll cynicism by David Hare and exquisitely acted…. Page Eight bristles with jazzy intelligence.” And the critic for The Los Angeles Times implored, “There are reports that this film will be the first of a trilogy. I want that to be true.” Wish granted!

Page Eight, Turks & Caicos, and Salting the Battlefield form The Worricker Trilogy—three gripping films that follow the exploits of the intensely private and scrupulous Worricker—from MI5 headquarters in London to exile on a Caribbean island to life on the run with his former lover and fellow agent Margot Tyrrell (Bonham Carter). A spy who prefers the black-and-white certainties of the Cold War, Worricker finds himself increasingly out of his element as the distinction between ally and enemy dissolves into the amorphous alliances of the 21st century.

Turks & Caicos Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 9pm on WITF
Sun, sand, and CIA are the themes of Johnny’s (Nighy) clandestine retirement on a Caribbean island, overrun with high-rolling American businessmen who are bankrolling a mysterious project. Their worldly-wise publicist (Ryder) and a tycoon named Curtis (Walken) befriend Johnny. The cloak-and-dagger life revives when a dodgy British philanthropist named Stirling Rogers (Graves) arrives with an associate, Margot (Bonham Carter), whom Johnny knows well. Johnny’s new mission is to escape from an
ever-tightening noose.

Salting the Battlefield Sunday, November 16 on WITF
Johnny (Nighy) and Margot (Bonham Carter) are together again, just like old times, managing to stay a jump ahead of an international dragnet hard on their heels all across Europe. British Prime Minister Alec Beasley (Fiennes) desperately wants Johnny back, and so does Johnny’s old MI5 colleague, Jill Tankard (Davis)—but for different reasons. Who will win this frenzied game of spy versus spy? And what happens when a terrible secret sees the light of day?

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