As a big fan of The Man in the High Castle then when I first heard of SS-GB coming to the BBC then I was very excited. If there was one thing missing from The Man in the High Castle then it was a lack of information about the fate of Britain in the alternate history drama, this is basically a British version of that.
With SS-GB you’ve got a classic murder mystery but with a Nazi twist. Nazi’s are always a popular choice for villains and SS-GB doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Yes Nazi’s are evil, we can all agree on that, but they sure knew how to create visually striking imagery! Swastikas hanging over well known landmarks like Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament definitely get the viewers attention, even if it is in a morbid curiosity sort of way.
The casting is top notch. There’s a beautiful femme fatale played by Kate Bosworth (Still Alice, Superman Returns) and a detective caught in a morally grey area played by Sam Riley (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Maleficent). The cast is added to by the brilliant James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, T2 Trainspotting), though if you’re anything like me then you spent most of the first episode trying to work out where you recognised him from. SS-GB also obviously has to feature actors playing those evil Nazis, more great casting here, but frankly anyone in a Nazi uniform speaking German is a pretty convincing bad guy!
From a sociological point of view then the aftermath of SS-GB would be very interesting. How much German culture would be left behind? Currently on the show the British are still using pounds and shillings and we don’t see mass executions in the streets, though there are the first rumblings of people being rounded up due to their Jewish heritage, so really it feels more like “supervision” from the Germans. Fast forward to present day and how is that so different from the “supervision” we get from Brussels? Now don’t get me wrong, I voted Remain. Everyone knows when aliens invade we’ll need a unified world government to repel them and breaking up the EU is a step in the wrong direction, I’m just playing Devil’s advocate. German occupation is clearly a better situation to be in than Brexit; German occupation brings stereotypical German efficiency and order (plus snazzy uniforms), whereas Brexit brings chaos and unknowing. I mean really, does anyone actually expect our government to not fuck up Brexit negotiations?
In SS-GB then at the very least we’ll end up with a generation of bilingual kids, that can’t be anything but a good thing as modern foreign languages are something that not enough emphasis are put on in schools.
Stay in school kids and learn a language, you never know what language the ruling class will end up speaking.
SS-GB is on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday for the next 4 weeks, or you can find it on the BBC iPlayer.