The Saboteurs is a Norwegian-made World War II drama that I found quite by accident while glancing though my TV listings. The subject matter sounded like it was right up my street as it deals with the attempts to stop Germany getting its hands on heavy water from a Norwegian hydro electric plant in the war. I knew that the Kirk Douglas movie The Heroes of Telemark was a fictionalised version of the true story but I didn’t know much else about it. Plus there’s Anna Friel in it as a bonus.
But it’s on More 4 of all channels. Good Lord, it’s ages since I watched any of those channel 4 spinoff channels. Well, I tell a lie, iIdid follow The 100 on E4. At least I think it was E4.
So far they have shown the first two episodes and I’m finding it quite a gripping watch. The focus flits between the Germans working on building a nuclear reactor (principally focusing on Werner Heisenberg), the Norwegians at the plant, and the Norwegians who escape to Britain to get training as resistance fighters and then help the British try to sabotage the plant.
Episode 2 included a scene where Heisenberg goes to Copenhagen to meet NIels Bohr to sound him out on getting involved in the German project. It was nice to see the inclusion of this scene as I was aware of the controversial meeting of the two scientists throug an excellent TV movie called Copenhagen that features a pre-Bond Daniel Craig as Heisenberg. (Incidentally I’d buy that movie on DVD or Blu Ray in a heartbeat if it was available.)
But episode 2 turned out to be quite a tense exercise. Four Norwegians were parachuted onto a glacier where they were to await some British gliders with commandos on board. Only the commandos don’t arrive. Eventually at the close of the episode we see wreckage of the gliders in the snow and injured survivors being extracted by German soldiers. But their rescue is short lived. A gestapo officer appears and instructs the soldiers to execute he survivors. He says Hitler has ordered that commandos must be executed. I don’t think I knew that. I knew that spies could expect to be executed but not soldiers in uniform. It was a bleak ending to a tense episode.
It’s very nice to see Anna Friel appearing in something. Disappointingly there wasn’t too much of Anna in the first episode although she did pop up at the end as a British SOE type character. Episode 2 I am happy to say had much more of Anna with her nice bone structure and looking very spiffy in her 1940s era British military uniform.
I do have a theory that they based her character on Hayley Atwell’s agent Peggy Carter from the first Captain America movie and the Marvel TV show Agent Carter. They probably tried to get Hayley and discovered she was busy. Thankfully Anna is up to the job of being frightfully British and scoring bulleyes on the firing range to show the chaps how it’s done.
So two episodes down and four to go. It’s now part of my Friday evening TV watching routine.
Also in July we get a DVD and Blu Ray release and depending on extras I might just buy it.
Or I might just buy it anyway.