The Misfit Spies of 'Slow Horses' Are Set for a Quick Season Two Return

Gary Oldman Slow Horses
Gary Oldman stars in the UK spy series "Slow Horses." (Apple TV+)

The castoff UK spies of Slough House will return for a second season of "Slow Horses" when Apple TV+ drops the first two episodes on Dec. 2. Somehow Gary Oldman's crusty old spy, Jackson Lamb, looks like he's even more of a slob this time around.

Based on a popular series of spy novels by Mick Herron, "Slow Horses" follows a team of misfit spies who've been banned from MI5 headquarters because of various screwups. Rather than fire them, management hopes that the meaningless tasks assigned by Lamb will inspire them to quit and prevent any potential HR headaches.

Apple has released a trailer for Season Two.

The new season is based on Herron's second Slough House novel, "Dead Lions." This time, Lamb has suspicions about the death of a retired spy and decides to investigate even though his bosses would rather just let the matter drop. At the same time, two of his slow horses (the MI5 nickname for the disgraced spies) get drawn into an off-the-books mission concocted by James "Spider" Webb (Freddie Fox), an ambitious striver who still works at headquarters.

The show also features Kristin Scott Thomas ("The English Patient"), Jack Lowden ("Dunkirk"), Saskia Reeves ("Luther"), Rosalind Eleazar ("Harlots"), Christopher Chung and Jonathan Pryce.

It's only been eight months since Apple released the first season on April 1. How did we get another season so quickly? The streaming service committed to two seasons when it bought the show, and both were shot consecutively with different directors with scripts by show creator Will Smith.

First-season director James Hawes ("Black Mirror," "Penny Dreadful") went for a dark and murky look, while season-two director Jeremy Lovering ("Sherlock," "Doctor Foster") seems to be going for a brighter color palette.

If you're hesitant to commit to a new series in this era of too much television, rest assured that Apple is committed to "Slow Horses." It has ordered two more seasons and already begun production on Season Three with director Saul Metzstein ("Doctor Who"). Season Four production will immediately follow. That will get viewers through seasons based on the novels "Real Tigers" and "Spook Street."

Herron's "Slough House" novels series is going strong. He just published the eighth book in the series, "Bad Actors," this past May. The books have maintained their high level of quality, and Herron has shown no hesitation about killing off popular characters and introducing newly disgraced spies to Slough House. If Oldman continues to enjoy playing a character who looks like he spent the night in a dumpster, there's plenty of material for "Slow Horses" to have a very long run.

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