Slow Horses, a spy drama starring Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden, is returning for its second series on Friday 2 December.
The series, which also stars Kristen Scott Thomas, is based on a series of novels by Mick Herron. Series 2 is an adaptation of the second of Herron’s novels, 2013’s Dead Lions.
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming second series of Slow Horses.
What’s it about?
Slow Horses is about the administrative division of MI5, who work out of an office called Slough House – it’s a dull purgatory for field agents who make career-ending mistakes, all of whom are expected to quit out of boredom and frustration. The first series saw a new conspiracy take root, drawing the Slough House employees into a dangerous gambit for the first time in years.
The official Apple TV+ synopsis for Season 2 explains that “long-buried Cold War secrets emerge which threaten to bring carnage to the streets of London. When a liaison with Russian villains takes a fatal turn, our hapless heroes must overcome their individual failings and raise their spy game in a race to prevent a catastrophic incident.”
Is it based on a book?
Yes, it is! Slow Horses adapts Mick Herron’s eleven-book series of Jackson Lamb novels, the most recently published of which was Bad Actors in 2022. Series 2 is an adaptation of Dead Lions, which was published in 2013.
Who stars in Slow Horses?
Gary Oldman stars as Jackson Lamb, the miserable leader of MI5’s administrative division. Oldman is best known for appearances in the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, as well as an Oscar-winning turn in Churchill biopic Darkest Hour (as well as nominations for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Mank!)
Jack Lowden plays River Cartwright, a one-time rising star recently demoted to Slough House after a very public mistake. Lowden is best known for appearing in films like England is Mine, Mary Queen of Scots, and Dunkirk; most recently, you might have seen him in Benediction, playing Siegfried Sassoon.
Kristin Scott Thomas plays Diana Taverner, the Deputy Director-General of MI5, and an uneasy ally to Lamb. Scott Thomas has appeared in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Gosford Park, and Only God Forgives; she also starred alongside Slow Horse co-star Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour.
They’re joined by Jonathan Pryce (The Crown), Freddie Fox (Cucumber), Saskia Reeves (Suspect), Dustin Demri-Burns (Am I Being Unreasonable?), Samuel West (All Creatures Great and Small), Christopher Chung (Waterloo Road), and Rosalind Eleazar (Rellik) amongst others.
Who writes and directs Slow Horses?
The series is showrun by Will Smith (not that one), who previously contributed to Veep, The Thick of It, and Avenue 5 alongside Armando Iannucci. Smith has written two episodes, alongside Morwenna Banks and Mark Denton & Jonny Stockwood.
Series 2 has been directed by Jeremy Lovering, who takes over from James Hawes (Doctor Who, Black Mirror). Lovering has previously directed episodes of Doctor Foster, Spooks, and the 2014 Sherlock special The Abominable Bride.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, there is. You can watch it right here.
When and how can I watch Slow Horses?
Slow Horses season 2 will be released on Apple TV+ on Friday 2 December. The first two episodes will be available at once, with the remaining episodes released weekly until Friday 6 January.
You can sign up for Apple TV+ right here, where you can revisit the first series of Slow Horses.
How many episodes will there be?
Slow Horses Season 2 will be six episodes total, each around fifty minutes long.
Will there be a Series 3?
Yes, there will! Not long after the release of Series 1 earlier this year, Apple TV+ commissioned two further series of Slow Horses. They’re expected to adapt Mick Herron’s novels Real Tigers and Spook Street.
We don’t yet have a sense of when Slow Horses Series 3 and 4 might be released, or if they’ll be filmed together as series 1 and 2 were (hence why you’ve we’re already talking about series 2 just a few months after series 1) – the double commission and the success of the show so far suggests that’s at least a possibility, however.
Why should I watch it?
It’s a really tightly-made, engaging spy thriller, with a great sense of humour too – it’s well worth your time if you enjoy this genre, another quiet demonstration of how good Apple TV+ drama is.