Taking a page from the wonderful website The Spy Command, I am stealing their idea of a production timeline and putting that in place for the upcoming AppleTV+ show, SLOW HORSES, an adaption of the Mick Herron spy series.
There will likely be less news for this series than a Bond movie, but if you are looking for news, this will be the place it’s aggregated.
The latest news will be added to the top of the post. As with everything on the internet, rumors can be rampant so readers beware.
For more news on the Slough House books click here.
Tune into Barbican Station, the podcast on all things Slow Horses here.
Current confirmed cast as it stands –
Jackson Lamb – Gary Oldman
Diana Taverner – Kristin Scott Thomas
Catherine Standish – Saskia Reeves – Rumored
River Cartwright – Jack Lowden
Louisa Guy – Rosalind Eleazar
Min Harper – Dustin Demri-Burns
Roddy Ho – Christopher Chung
Sid Baker – Olivia Cooke
David Cartwright – Jonathan Pryce
Struan Loy – Paul Higgins
Nick Duffy – Chris Reilly
Hassan Ahmed – Antonio Aakeel
Roger Hobden – Paul Hilton
Larry – David Walmsley
Nikolai Katinsky (Speculated) – Rade Šerbedžija
James “Spider” Webb – ?
Peter Judd – ?
Olivia Judd – Charlotte Pyke
Marcus Longridge – ?
Shirley Dander – ?
Molly Doran – ?
Series Director – James Hawes
June 25th, 2021 – According to an Instagram post by Director James Hawes, principal photography has ended on SLOW HORSES.
At the same time we got a bit of Jack Lowden’s perspective on the character he plays, River Cartwright, saying “River’s an all-action guy who looks like he has all the answers, but he’s a f***–up” in The Daily Mail.
May 11, 2021 – Casting of a pair of Pauls was found for a couple of important roles in the first season of SLOW HORSES. Paul Hilton will be playing the down at heels London reporter Roger Hobden who rubs grubby elbows with the book’s Boris Johnson lookalike, Peter Judd.
Appearing as another of the slow horses will be Paul Higgins as Struan Loy. Higgins will also be seen in another upcoming spy show – THE IPCRESS FILE.
As always, thanks to the unstoppable @Ruther2 for their amazing casting detective work.
May 8, 2021 – In an interview with reporter Miona Kovačević of the online Serbian news site Nova, actor Rade Šerbedžija will be appearing in 4 episodes of SLOW HORSES. Šerbedžija is a successful Croatian actor with multiple spy genre appearances in productions such as MI5, 24, Mission: Impossible 2. He didn’t reveal his characters name, but said he was a double agent and his scenes were with Gary Oldman. Depending on how far off the novels they go, I’d likely put him down as appearing in the second season adaption of Dead Lions probably playing the pivotal role of Nikolai Katinsky.
Special thanks to Miona for the tip!
May 6, 2021 – Filming on SLOW HORSES continues. Recent reports have the show filming in Harwich, specifically at the Harwich Haven Authority port. They had a variety of actors in black with weapons running around filming an action sequence. Explosions, snipers and boats have apparently all been on the docket. According to a story from the Harwich and Manningtree Standard a Harwich spokeswoman stated ““We’ve had snipers on our roof, police cars screeching across our car park, boats, explosions – all very exciting stuff.”
It sounds like they might be filming of the climax of the book Dead Lions with a slightly different setting and a bit more razzle dazzle. Check out the news reports linked above for some photos of the filming.
More news as we hear it.
April 30, 2021 – The incomparable internet sleuth @Ruther2 found two new additions to the cast. Chris Reilly will be playing Nick Duffy, the head of MI5’s internal security, otherwise known as the Dogs. Playing a crucial role in the first book, Larry, is the actor David Walmsley.
April 14, 2021 – Antonio Aakeel announced via tweeter that he is a part of the cast of SLOW HORSES in the important first season role of Hassan Ahmed. Aakeel has seen his profile grow over the past couple of years with leading roles in films such as Eaten By Lions, Granada Nights and Footprints on Water. Hassan is a crucial role in the book but we primarily learn about him from his inner thoughts. I’m hopeful that they have found a way to keep that depth when translated to the screen.
April 4, 2021 – In late February, photographers spotted Gary Oldman filming scenes in a Range Rover accompanied by the actress Saskia Reeves. Based on her look and knowledge of the books, she is likely playing Catherine Standish in the series. Like many of the actors in the series, Reeves has an extensive background in the theater and previous spy experience from appearances in SPOOKS and the film adaption of le Carré’s Our Kind of Traitor.
Thanks to @GaryOldmanWeb for the tip!
When I let Eric Idle, a fan of the books, know about casting for the upcoming show SLOW HORSES he had this response –
Oh fuck. https://t.co/R0fdiiskxY— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) April 4, 2021
April 4, 2021 – Some more of the SLOW HORSES cast comes out as Dustin Demri-Burns’ page on United Agents shows him playing disgraced spy Min Harper in the upcoming TV show. Readers will remember that Harper turns up in Slough House after leaving important files on the train, subsequently sending his marriage into a doom spiral. Demri-Burns comes from the long line of British sketch comedy duos as half of ‘Cardinal Burns’. Previous spy experience includes appearing in the adventure-comedy film ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’.
Thanks to @ruther2 for the tip!
March 22, 2021 – In a flurry of news today, the site Broread.com has photos of Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas filming in Regents Park by the canal. Readers of the novels will recognize this as being a regular feature from the books as Lamb and Taverner fence with each other.
March 22, 2021 – Via Twitter, actor Christopher P. Chung revealed he will be playing everyone’s favorite clueless tech geek, Roddy Ho in SLOW HORSES. Chung is yet another actor with a theater background having appearing in several productions, most prominently, Heathers: The Musical on the West End. It seems like Apple is starting to let the actors of some of the other roles reveal they have been cast. Keep watching for more to be revealed!
March 22, 2021 – Thanks to some great detective work from someone on Twitter, we have confirmation that Rosalind Eleazar is playing Louisa Guy on Spotlight.com. Credit to @Ruther2 for sleuthing this out.
March 17, 2021 – Additional casting news breaks for SLOW HORSES in a story in The Guardian. An interview with Rosalind Eleazar reveals she has been cast in the show in an unnamed role. Eleazar is well known as a stage actor and most recently appeared in the film The Personal History of David Copperfield. That film was directed by Armando Iannucci who has worked with Will Smith, the show runner of SLOW HORSES, on VEEP and THE THICK OF IT.
Who might Eleazar be playing? Louisa Guy is a strong possibility. They are filming the first two books at once. Perhaps Shirley Dander? Or has one of the other characters seen a gender flip? Whatever role, the production continues to add some acting heavy hitters to an already strong cast.
March 13, 2021 – Via observers on Twitter, outside filming continues on SLOW HORSES. At the Old Naval College in Greenwich what looks like a guarded entrance gate is being constructed. If I had to guess, this might be standing in for the entrance to Herron’s version of MI5 – Regents Park.
🤩@GreenwichDiary reporting this morning that a film set is being built in the Old Naval College grounds for "Slow Horses" with Kristin Scott Thomas & Gary Oldman – he must be happy to be filming literally at home, back to the place he grew up in.🖤 #London #Greenwich #NewCross pic.twitter.com/o86DKjDQ8Q— Nermin Daul (@nermindaul) March 13, 2021
March 11, 2021 – Filming appears to have wrapped after two days of weekend filming at 126 Aldersgate St. I’ll leave folks with a wonderful photo of the dressed set from Duncan Greig.
March 6, 2021 – After seeing comments on this site that they are actively filming in the Barbican for the upcoming TV show, I have confirmed that set dressing occurred and they are actively filming today. You can see they changed the former grill to a Chinese restaurant and did some set dressing to the newsagents.
The Slough House location before set dressing –
You can see the grill and newsagents that have gone through a transformation in the below photo. You can also see the “W.W. Henderson” in the window above the Mailboxes ETC, Looks like they have a hose going to give the scene that nice wet look they love in film. They seem intent on keeping the look very close to the feel of the book and it feels like they may be making that whole stretch of buildings “Slough House”. Also looks to be an actor, presumably one of the slow horses, standing out front.
After set dressing (Click on the pic for a nice detailed view) –
With filming this on location activity it seems like filming the first two seasons of SLOW HORSES is entering its final phase.
Some night shots –
TV adaptation of Slow Horses, starring Gary Oldman, Jonathan Pryce, Olivia Cooke, Jack Lowden & Kristin Scott Thomas, filming round the corner from us today. pic.twitter.com/pGMhtThsSY
— Darren Ross (@dazzaross) March 6, 2021
March 2, 2021 – News breaks via twitter that set decorators are dressing Aldersgate St. as described in the books.
February 16, 2021 – The Daily Mail is back with more photos of SLOW HORSES location filming. This time we see Kristin Scott Thomas in character as Diana Taverner doing a walk and talk with Oldman’s Jackson Lamb.
February 11, 2021 – Mick Herron writes of learning of John le Carré’s death while getting ready for a set visit to the filming of SLOW HORSES. It sounds as thought they are taking great care in recreating what came from his imagination. The article appears in The Spectator.
Related, this article references how the set has images of Aldersgate St through the windows. It gives additional context to the below tweet by Strip Studios Ltd. that references them filming at 200 Aldersgate St in late 2019. This makes sense as they originally targeting a late March/Early April 2020 filming start.
December 23, 2020 – The Daily Mail has the first look at Gary Oldman filming on location for SLOW HORSES. Oldman is shown with long hair, glasses and stubble. The filming took place at night with Oldham riding in a yellow Honda with what appears to be Jack Lowden as River Cartwright.
December 14, 2020 – Deadline confirms what had previously been noted here, that See-Saw will be filming two seasons of SLOW HORSES back to back. Also noted in the story is Jonathan Pryce is on board as River’s grandfather, David Cartwright, otherwise known as the OB. This is a return to the spy genre for Pryce having appeared as the villain in the James Bond film TOMORROW NEVER DIES. Also cast was Olivia Cooke who will play Sid Baker, a fellow member of the slow horses. Cooke is best known for her role in film READY PLAYER ONE.
December 3, 2020 – The first reviews of Slough House, the seventh book in Mick Herron’s spy series is out at the website TheDigitalFix.com. Reviewer Noel Megahey says Herron is “on top writing form” calling this book more connected to the real world compared to his last couple of books.
December 1, 2020 – The outlet KFTV.com as well as Herron’s film agents are reporting that the show will be filming 12 episodes each at 60 minutes and will be adapting both Slow Horses and Dead Lions. Earlier reports on August 24th had the show running a 6 episode season focused on Slow Horses. No word yet on whether Director James Hawes will helm all twelve episodes or just the original six that had been reported. Is See-Saw filming two seasons back to back since COVID pushed their original filming timeline back by nearly nine months? Or was the first season expanded to 12 episodes? Could this be the one silver lining Herron fans can find from COVID?
November 30, 2020 – IMDB now lists that Kristin Scott Thomas will be playing Diana “Lady Di” Taverner in the adaption of Slow Horses. Those who have read the books could easily have seen her playing either Taverner or Catherine Standish as both are of a similar age and importance in the books.
November 27, 2020 – With director James Hawes set to start filming Monday the 30th, we finally have confirmation that Kristin Scott Thomas will play an unknown role in the show. Jack Lowden was revealed to be playing River Cartwright. Lowden is known as a theater actor and rising star with roles in DUNKIRK and WAR AND PEACE. He previously starred in a production of Electra at the Old Vic with Kristin Scott Thomas. Full story in the Daily Mail.
August 31, 2020 – Checking back in on the publisher page the mention of the TV show has now been removed. The two possibilities I see are, this information isn’t for public consumption yet or this casting news and release date has changed, possibly due to COVID-19. I just hope no one was black ribboned over this one.
August 27, 2020 – A Kristin Scott Thomas has apparently signed on for a yet unrevealed role in the SLOW HORSES adaption. This is according to the book description for the seventh book in the series, Slough House, on the US publishers book page.
Coming hot on the heels of news of James Hawes as the director of the series, it’s obvious that lots more news is to come on the adaption. The description still lists the February book release as coinciding with the release of the TV series. That would be an aggressive timetable if true, as filming doesn’t begin until November.
August 24, 2020 – According to IMDB.com, SLOW HORSES is being directed by James Hawes. Hawes has quite a television resume having directed episodes of shows like BLACK MIRROR, SNOWPIERCER and PENNY DREADFUL. He also has some spy experience having directed the 2008 adaption of THE 39 STEPS starring Rupert Penry-Jones of SPOOKS fame. From a release about an opportunity for newer directors, Hawes will be filming the entire first season and the show will run for six episodes.
On August 14th, Hawes also retweeted this tweet from UKCastingnews.com about a November filming date for SLOW HORSES.
August 13, 2020 – After a long period of radio silence due to COVID-19, Production Weekly shows SLOW HORSES as in some phase of development and lists a working title of EMBANKMENT.
April 2, 2020 – An article on if.com.au by Don Groves talks about a streamed conversation for the Screen Producers Australia about coronavirus and film production. In the discussion, See Saw Films co-founder and current Managing Director, Emile Sherman, spoke about the effect of COVID-19 on their production slate. Sherman confirmed that Slow Horses is on hold but it sounds likely that he will push it into production as quickly as possible once the crisis is over as he described the show as a “motor for our company.”
Oldman’s star power and Apple’s money presumably make this an important show for See Saw.
March, 2020 – Coronavirus hits and production of just about every production in LA and London shuts down. When will filming start? That’s an open question at this point.
February 3, 2020 – The Film & Television Industry Alliance‘s production list has Slow Horses beginning production on April 6, 2020 with filming sites listed as London and Los Angeles. Based on production cycles it would be likely that the series would premiere in the Spring of 2021, likely around the February release of the next Slough House novel.
February 2, 2020 – Television Business International writer Stephen Arnell has the first in depth comments on the upcoming series from Mick Herron.
‘I’m very happy that we have a great team in Graham Yost (Justified) and Will Smith (Veep) bringing Slow Horses to the screen. I’ve already visited the writers room,” he says, adding that Yost’s presentation of the show’s storyline to Apple was “incredibly impressive.”
Read the article for more information.
November 15, 2019 – Variety reports that Gary Oldman has signed as Jackson Lamb for a TV adaption of Slow Horses for AppleTV+. The series is produced by See Saw films, with Graham Yost and Will Harris as executive producers. No timeline on release is given, but with Oldman currently filming the movie “Mank” about the making of “Citizen Kane” it likely wouldn’t start production until early spring.
June 25, 2019 – In a second interview with Spybrary podcast, Herron reveals he has met with writers for an adaption of his novels.
June 14, 2019 – In a summary of a book event with Mick Herron, the blog for the bookshop Withnail Books reports that Herron had spent several days working with the writers of a potential adaption saying it look “probable” to happen.
June 11, 2019 – Joe Country, the sixth book in the Slough House series is released.
June 5, 2018 – London Rules, the fifth book in the Slough House series is released in the US. It was released in January in the UK.
February 23, 2018 – Mick Herron appears on the Spybrary podcast and says that the tv process continues but won’t air anytime in the near future.
February 17, 2017 – Spook Street, the fourth book in the Slough House series is released.
January 16, 2016 – Real Tigers, the third book in the Slough House series is released.
2015-2016 – At some point between 2015 and 2016, Mark Richards, the editorial director for John Murray picks up the worldwide rights to the series, leaving the US rights with Soho Press.
October 16, 2015 – The book publication The Bookseller reports that British publisher John Murray Ltd. picked up the UK rights to the Slough House series from Soho Press. They will publish the series starting with Real Tigers and reprint the first two novels in the series.
2015 – As reported by The Bookseller, See Saw Films picks up the film rights to the series at auction.
May 7, 2013 – Dead Lions, the second book in the Slough House series is released.
June, 2010 – Slow Horses, the first book in the Slough House series is released.