“The television of 1996 was evoked as much as the London of a 100 years earlier.”

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent, BBC1

“As drama it’s fascinating. Tony Marchant has straightened out The Secret Agent’s jumbled timeline to serve up many elements of a conventional cat-and-mouse thriller featuring blackmail, betrayal and double dealing. It could be The Night Manager in bowler hats.”
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph

“Conrad’s great, strange, tonally complex novel is reduced to a psychological thriller. Having to show everything clearly, not being able to trust the mind of the viewer, is the curse of TV.
Stephen Moss, The Guardian

“The showing last night of the BBC’s adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s terrorism satire, The Secret Agent, was horribly pertinent. The scenes were talky and old-fashioned, however. The television of 1996 was evoked as much as the London of a 100 years earlier.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“The Secret Agent had all the ingredients of a classic thriller — the spies, the bombs, the double crosses — but none of the oomph. It is set in the 1880s, so nobody expects lasers and Aston Martins, but there wasn’t so much as a penny-farthing chase.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“It works almost in spite of the main characters, who are a singularly unlovely bunch. Everyone in it is acting their socks off, Toby Jones in particular doing a wonderful job of the weak, yet callous nature that successful spies have always had to have. It’s a period drama that could be happening now, with a coward for a hero.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

One Night in 2012: An Imagine Special, BBC1

“The most moving parts of a surprisingly moving documentary were the testimonials from those who had been empowered and transformed by their spear-carrying. It was a tremendous insight into collaboration as creative fusion.”
Andrew Billen, The Times