Critical Condition: Summer of Rockets

Summer of Rockets | SoHo, 8.30 Wednesday

☆☆☆Summer of Rockets had a sumptuous cast, looked gorgeous and had some cracking dialogue, but at times, quite a few in fact, my mind wandered. Maybe I’m a philistine, but I thought this first episode sometimes meandered … But while Stephen Poliakoff’s semi-autobiographical Cold War drama occasionally felt slow, the performances were so good, particularly Toby Stephens as social-climber Petrukhin and Keeley Hawes as Kathleen (no one carries off a 1950s short and curly hairdo like Hawes) that it didn’t much matter.” — The Times.

☆☆☆“If you’re looking for dark secrets among the upper classes – and Julian Fellowes is busy – then Stephen Poliakoff is your man … It was a promising start, ravishingly appointed and languidly paced as usual, yet packed with potentially intriguing stories that worried away enticingly at Poliakoff’s other preoccupations.” — The Telegraph.

☆☆☆☆ “The weird quirks of Poliakoff’s work – the mannered dialogue, the odd acting, the way his locations and cars and costumes always look too pristine – give it a dreamy and disquieting feel, which you either like or you don’t. The portentous parallels to now are a bit tiresome, but comprehensive at least – the rise in anti-semitism and racism, immigration, our relationship with technology, and a general feel of impending doom. As usual, there is a terrific cast, and some lovely posh houses.” — The Guardian.

☆☆☆☆ “At times the drama and script feel a little hammy — do the kerb crawling, cigarette-smoking men in hats need to make themselves quite so obvious? — and there’s some clunky exposition, but with typical skill Poliakoff also lays down some promisingly mysterious threads you’ll want to pull on.” — Evening Standard.

☆☆☆☆ “Hallelujah! At last the BBC have commissioned a Stephen Poliakoff series that makes you want to come back for episode two (and hopefully all six), thanks to a powerful cast making the most of some perceptively-written roles … Against a Cold War backdrop of missile tests and dangerous mishaps with H-bombs, Poliakoff has wrapped all this inside an espionage story which is yet to come clearly into view.” — The Arts Desk.

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