The Misfit British Spies of 'Slow Horses' Will Return for 3 More Seasons

Slow Horses Gary Oldman Jack Lowden
Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden in “Slow Horses" (Apple TV+)

"Slow Horses," the spy series based on a series of novels by British author Mick Herron, has been renewed for two more series by Apple TV+. Add that to the second season that was made back-to-back with the first now streaming, and you get three more tales from the division of screwups in British intelligence.

Gary Oldman gives a hilarious performance as Jackson Lamb, the lethal-operative-turned-slob who oversees Slough House, an off-site office filled with agents deemed too incompetent to serve at headquarters. At least, that's the opinion of the brass who run the agency. The reality is that these alleged "slow horses" have unrecognized skills that let them outperform many of their more respected counterparts.

"Slow Horses" comes from executive producer Will Smith, who worked on the wickedly funny political satires "Veep" and "The Thick of It." He is not to be confused with the actor who slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, the Los Angeles Dodgers catcher nor the Atlanta Braves relief pitcher.

Even though Herron's novels read as straight spy fiction, there's a wicked undercurrent of humor in the books that Smith has so far been successful in bringing to the screen. The second series is based on the novel "Dead Lions," while three and four will be based on "Real Tigers" and "Spook Street," respectively. Herron isn't afraid to kill off characters in service to his stories, so fans of the first series might be surprised as to which characters are left standing by the end of season four.

The show also features Kristin Scott Thomas ("The English Patient"), Jack Lowden ("Dunkirk"), Saskia Reeves ("Luther"), Rosalind Eleazar ("Harlots"), Christopher Chung, Freddie Fox and Jonathan Pryce.

The producers are giving each season to one director, which should give every story a slightly different look and feel. Jeremy Lovering ("Sherlock," "Doctor Foster: A Woman Scorned") directed the already-completed season two, and Saul Metzstein ("Doctor Who") is slated for season three.

Apple isn't very forthcoming about future releases, so there's no word whether we'll see the second series later this year or will have to wait until 2023. Herron keeps publishing Slough House novels. "Bad Actors," the eighth book in the series, was released in May, so there's plenty of material if enough people watch the show to inspire another renewal or two.

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