Missing Spy Drama Mystery Solved

There’s good news and bad for spy fans awaiting the acclaimed Len Deighton dramatisation, The Ipcress File.

If you were hoping for it to turn up on TVNZ 1 or OnDemand, in Eden’s premium Thursday night drama slot, or on Sky’s free-to-air channel Prime or BBC UKTV, file away this Ipcress as a lost cause.

Instead, you will have subscribe to Acorn TV, the streaming service that’s so small it doesn’t even have built-in apps on most Smart TVs in this market.

The ITV series, in which Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Gangs of London) takes on the iconic Michael Caine role, will stream on Acorn in weekly two-hour instalments from April 18.

It’s Acorn’s biggest coup yet given the series was picked up by Seven Network in Australia. So why has Acorn landed it here and not its much bigger linear and streaming rivals?

Partly because the adaptation was commissioned by ITV and Acorn-owner AMC Networks’ US streaming service AMC+.

Most UK reviewers have embraced the reboot. “Whether or not you’re a fan of the Michael Caine film, this TV version has both the pedigree and big-budget feel to recommend it,” Radio Times said.

“And even if you’re familiar with the famous plot, there may just be some surprises in store.”

The Independent hailed it as “vibrant and deliciously retro Sixties thriller” while The Week concurred: “For the most part, this six-part ITV series succeeds, retaining the film’s basic plot – a nuclear scientist is kidnapped from Cold War Britain – with a few tweaks.”

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