SS-GB on BBC One – episode 1: Mumbling, murder mystery and 5 talking points in the dark alternate reality thriller

Sam Riley and Kate Bosworth starred in the highly anticipated adaptation of Len Deighton’s classic 1978 novel.

BBC One’s SS-GB posed a dark and chilling question to viewers; What would have happened to the UK if we had lost the Battle of Britain?

Based on Len Deighton’s novel of the same name, this new thriller is based 14 months after a German victory in the Battle of Britain. Churchill lost, Swastikas are hanging from every iconic British landmark and the brutal German forces and gradually fighting off any pockets of resistance.

The show’s sinister premise generated a huge amount of interest on social media and here are the five talking points and burning questions from the show’s first episode.

1. Which side will Douglas Archer take?

Sam Riley as Douglas Archer in BBC One's SS-GB

Sam Riley’s detective Douglas Archer is the central character in SS-GB. A respected Scotland Yard detective who can speak German and who has been looked upon favourably by the Nazis, Archer is currently finely poised in the battle between the Germans and the Resistance.

He’s not a Nazi, but he has been unwilling to risk everything for himself and his son and fight with the Resistance. Archer believes that upholding law and order is crucial to preventing the country descending into chaos and still believes that the British could return to power – with or without his help.

His influence and connections with the top figures in the Nazi party have made him a target for the Resistance, but at the end of episode one, we’re still not sure whether he will stick his neck out and spy on the SS for the British.

Played with great poise by Riley, Archer is an enigmatic lead. But will he be the series hero?

2. Could you hear the dialogue? Mumble-watch

Here we go again. It’s another moody BBC drama series and another batch of viewers were forced to turn the volume up to max and flick on the subtitles.

From Jamaica Inn to Happy Valley, this isn’t the first time this has happened. The BBC is usually pretty stubborn in its defence of the sound quality and allegations of ‘mumbled’ dialogue.

And there is definitely an argument that viewers who Tweet while watching TV aren’t perhaps the best judges of sound quality as they’re probably distracted.

However, the overwhelming number of comments and criticism after episode one suggests that this was a genuine problem that should have been picked up on in the production process.  We’re guessing that someone is probably desperately checking the episode 2 audio this morning.

[Read more: Is mumbling on TV becoming a growing problem?]

3. SS-GB makes James Cosmo doing Celebrity Big Brother even stranger

James Cosmo as Harry in SS-GB

It was odd to see the Game of Thrones actor hanging out with Jedward on Channel 5 a few weeks ago. It’s even stranger now we’re watching him play Harry, the undercover member of the Resistance in Scotland Yard.

Cosmo’s Harry Woods has taken a gamble that Archer wouldn’t take and is working against the Nazis from the inside.  He’s made a stand, but will it cost him his life?

4. Who is Barbara Barga?

Kate Bosworth in SS-GB

Kate Bosworth’s 1940s femme fatale Barbara Barga was the most intriguing character in episode one. She claimed to be a journalist from the New York Times, but she is much more than a glamourous and smoldering writer.

What is her motivation? What was she doing at the murder scene where Archer first spotted her? And is the sizzling connection with Archer genuine or is she exploiting the Scotland Yard officer?

5. Are the Nazis being poisoned?

SS-GB on BBC One

The terrifying Dr Oskar Huth, playing with a cold chill by Lars Eidinger has arrived in Britain because of Nazi fears over a resistance plot.

We heard talk of a disease “worse than the Black Death”, which is potentially being unleashed by the Resistance.

Viewers will have to wait and see how the Resistance plan unfolds and who is behind this brave plot.

SS-GB airs at 9pm on Sundays on BBC One. Missed an episode? Catch up on iPlayer and BT TV Catch-Up.

[Read more: SS-GB – Meet the cast – who’s who]

Image Credit: BBC Pictures

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