The Euro TV Place: Agent Hamilton: Swedish Action Spy Thriller Set for US Premiere
Swedish superspy Carl Hamilton is sent on new and dangerous missions in Agent Hamilton, the latest action-packed program featuring the character.
Carl Hamilton is one of the most popular characters in printed and filmed media in Sweden. Created by author and journalist Jan Guillou in his best-selling series of "Coq Rouge/Carl Hamilton" novels, superspy Hamilton is the protagonist in nearly a dozen films and TV shows played by six actors to date, including Stellan Skarsgård, Peter Haber*, Stefan Sauk*, Peter Stormare, Mikael Persbrandt*, and most recently Jakob Oftebro (1864, Below the Surface, Monster) — the only Norwegian actor of the lot to play the Swede.
Agent Hamilton, rather than being an adaptation of one of Guillou's novels, is an original story inspired by his works and characters. In the series opener, Carl Gustaf Hamilton, a CIA- and Navy SEAL-trained Swedish intelligence operative, is back in Stockholm as part of a secret mission. During the May Day celebration, he is attacked at the same time that coordinated bombings and a cyber attack rock Sweden's capital. A number of people have been killed and injured, including the press secretary for Sweden's Minister for Home Affairs. Are these events related, and if so, how? And why? Was the politician the intended target? Or the country's system of parliamentary democracy? Or something else altogether?
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Moscow, a man proposes to a woman on a boat in the middle of a quiet, secluded lake — just as a bullet from an assassin's high-powered rifle pierces his body. Before he dies, he gives something besides an engagement ring to his beloved. That and the name of a friend in Stockholm whom she must contact. It happens to be the same name as the press secretary. (Hmm...) She just needs to survive the assassin's barrage of bullets, get out of the lake in one piece, and get out of Russia alive first.
Before the day is over, Carl learns he is being sent on a life-threatening mission to Palestine to obtain information about a former PLO agent who has defected; this comes from Carl's boss "DG" (i.e. "Old Guy") (Krister Henriksson, Wallander), the head of OP5, a covert part of Sweden's Military Intelligence. And over at the offices of SÄPO, the Swedish Security Service, Kristin Ek (Nina Zanjani, Love Me) recognizes Carl's face in CCTV footage and is hellbent on finding out if and how he is connected to the attacks.
The plot thickens. While the SÄPO team is working furiously to find out which organization was behind the May Day attacks, the bombers are on the run and being hunted by a third party. Carl, after making it back to Stockholm by the skin of his teeth, learns Kristin's identity, as she does his, and is given new assignments — some infinitely more difficult than others. But here's the thing: some of those orders come from DG while others come from... a member of an American intelligence service...
If heart-pumping action is your thing, then Agent Hamilton should be right up your alley. Ditto if the subterfuge, deception, and danger of a good spy thriller float your boat. Mystery-loving folks, yup, there's stuff in the series for you, too. (Unless your thing is cozy mysteries, in which case, no.)
After having watched the screeners for the first three episodes, I'm excited to see the rest of the ten-episode first season (a second has been commissioned) for a couple of reasons: The story, like the work of intelligence operatives, is intricate, and this one, which could be ripped from the headlines, is quite intriguing and suspenseful. And multilingual Norwegian Jakob Oftebro does a fabulous job of playing the Swedish Carl Hamilton, especially given the training he did to prepare for the role, which helps to make his performance as the spy, both in and out of physically-demanding situations, seem quite believable.
Costars in the action spy thriller include Peter Andersson (Inspector Winter), Annika Hallin (Modus), Rowena King (Death in Paradise), Jörgen Thorsson (The Bridge), Danilo Bejarano (Ängelby), Suzanne Reuter (The Restaurant), Thomas Hanzon (The Sandhamn Murders), Anna Sise (The Lawyer), and Katia Winter (Dexter).
Agent Hamilton premieres in the US with its first two episodes tomorrow, March 30, exclusively on MHz Choice and its digital channels, including MHz Choice on Amazon Channels. New episodes will debut weekly.
* Programs with these actors playing Carl Hamilton are currently available for streaming on MHz Choice