TV Review: The Honourable Woman


“It’s the Middle East Shlomo, enemies is what you make”

Only by chance did I find out that The Honourable Woman was leaving Netflix at the end of this month, so I quickly took the opportunity to catch up with Hugo Blick’s political spy thriller and as is so often the case with these things, was left wondering how I could have taken this long to watch it.

Political intrigue and personal drama coming from kidnapped children, suspicious suicides and betrayals ranging from old blood feuds to intra-familial conflict set the scene immediately for a typically dense and complex story from Blick, centred on a refreshingly new take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the seeming impossibility of finding a solution when the wounds of the past are still felt so keenly and deeply.

Hugely satisfying parts for

  • Eve Best’s coolly ambition Foreign Office bod 
  • Janet McTeer’s calculating head of MI6
  • and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s indefatiguable Nessa Stein, single-handedly trying to rescue the Middle East peace process and a brilliant leading character
  • Tobias Menzies’ irresistible bodyguard
  • Tom Bateman’s hapless (and randy) spook
  • and Dominic Tighe popping up in an episode to ensure all tastes (well, mine) were catered for.

And I’ve not even mentioned the delights of Katherine Parkinson, Lindsay Duncan and new-to-me Lubna Azabal, plus sterling work from Andrew Buchan as Nessa’s brother Ephra and Philip Arditti as scarred assassin Saleh Al-Zahid. (I can take or leave Stephen Rea tbh, but he’s undoubtedly good here too). Well worth bingeing in the weeks you have left on Netflix, or tracking down on DVD otherwise.


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