SS-GB is a five part series based upon Len Deighton’s classic novel of the same name set in a an alternative history where the the UK was invaded, and conquered, by the Germans in 1941. The title refers to a branch of the SS that controls the UK in this timeline.
The main storyline of the book involves the events following the discovery of a body in a flat in Shepherd Market which catches the eye of the authorities in Berlin and Standartenfuhrer Oskar Huth is sent in to investigate which upsets the head of the police in the UK Gruppenfuhrer Fritz Kellerman whose nose has understandably been put out of joint by the arrival of Huth.
The first episode introduces the main players and the world that they inhabit and things start moving from there. It is a bit slow, it has to be said, but that is to be expected when things start off, and you really have to persevere as it is likely that more interesting things will happen in later episodes as you have to start somewhere.
In this episode everything is set up to unfold later and to be honest perhaps not enough did happen in the first episode to keep peoples interest apart from the murder being discovered, the fact that this was interesting to the Nazi command resulting in them sending Huth to investigate, the fact that there was a possible resistance involvement in the murder.
As for the main characters Archer is a bit of a cypher and a rather typical CID person but we do find out in the opening episode that his is a widower and his wife was killed and he has a young son at home. Not only that but he is also knocking off his attractive secretary, Sylvia at the start of the first episode, the mucky sod.
He also has a housekeeper in the form of Cristina Cole whom I half expected him to start knocking off as well. Later on he meets glamourous Amerian journalist Barbara Barga, a blonde version of Lois Lane whom he spots trying to go the house where the body was found and also doesn’t knock off.
The two main German characters are also interesting with Huth being the archetypal Nazi with Kellerman almost seeming benign so a definitely contrast there as Kellerman tries to fit in with British culture and doesn’t come across as an evil bastard as a lot of Nazi’s tend to.
There is mention of the resistance in this episode but, for the most part, the occupation of Britain seems to be generally accepted by the people of the country, and there are plenty of swastikas on display all over the place, and all the other accoutrements of a conquered nation.
As for the sound issue I saw it on Iplayer and I head every moment of it, so perhaps it was just a original broadcast thing, which makes no odds to be at all.