10 Spy Thriller Series Like ‘Slow Horses’ You Should Definitely Watch

Slow Horses’ second season just premiered on AppleTV+ on December 2, seven months after the season 1 finale aired. The programme centres on a dysfunctional team of British intelligence agents who are housed at MI5’s “dumping ground” department named Slow Horses as a result of their career-ending errors and failures.

Although it’s nice to be back in the Slow Horses and spy world, the pace of releasing one episode each week could not satisfy fans’ appetite for an engaging spy drama. However, as they wait for new episodes of the AppleTV+ show, viewers may binge on a number of excellent spy thriller series that have already concluded.

‘The Americans’ (2013 – 2018)

The plot of The Americans revolves on Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings, two Soviet KGB operatives who pretended to be a married American couple raising their children in Falls Church, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. It looks into the conflict between the FBI office in Washington and the KGB Rezidentura, following the perspectives of spies on both sides.

What makes the show so captivating is how well it strikes a mix between spy shenanigans and a genuine drama about an atypical marriage and two individuals experiencing a turning point in their relationship. Additionally, as the excitement increases minute by minute, viewers will be delighted by shootouts, automobile chases, disguises, and strange wigs.

‘Homeland’ (2011 – 2020)

Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA operative with bipolar disorder, and Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a Marine Corps Scout Sniper, are the main characters of Homeland, a spy thriller television series that is an adaptation of the Israeli series Prisoners of War. Mathison thinks that because Brody was an Al-Qaeda prisoner of war and was “converted” by the enemy, he now represents a threat to the country.

Thanks to the outstanding talent on both sides of the camera, Homeland succeeds as both a captivating human drama and a compelling thriller. The series also juggles a number of minidramas and subplots, thankfully none of which turn out to be terrifying or confusing thanks to their enjoyable and seamless introduction.

‘Chuck’ (2007 – 2012)

A former classmate who is now working for the CIA sends Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) an encrypted e-mail in the action-comedy/spy drama Chuck. The message embeds the only copy of a software programme carrying the most crucial American spy secrets into Chuck’s brain, leading the CIA and the NSA to assign Chuck handlers and utilise him on top-secret missions.

Chuck is a captivating show where viewers get to see how secret agents and tech nerds work together seamlessly. It combines the enticing attractiveness of the comedy genre with the tremendously humorous adventure of the espionage thriller. The cast is also quite talented and has amazing chemistry, which improves both the show’s quality and its comedic elements.

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‘24’ (2001 – 2010)

The TV show 24 is an action drama that centres on counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland). A real-time narrator guides viewers through Bauer’s life for a full 24 hours in each season. Additionally, each episode has a variety of interrelated stories, many of which place Bauer’s contacts in peril.

24 distinguishes itself from other genre films with its tension, complexity, and original idea. It’s a gripping thriller with real thrills, a compelling mystery, and a variety of strange occurrences, unnerving characters, and menacing shadows. Furthermore, Sutherland’s succinct and outstanding acting immediately persuades the audience that this persona is real.

‘Alias’ (2001 – 2006)

The main character of Alias, a spy drama with elements of science fiction, is Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), a CIA double agent who poses as a member of the global crime and espionage organisation SD-6. Sydney subsequently learns that SD-6 is a member of the Alliance of 12, a global conglomerate that wants to rule the entire planet.

Alias enchants the viewer with its amazing action sequences, excellent storytelling, and likeable characters—even though the plot might be confusing at times. Alias is a must-watch for a genre mashup because of the intriguingly creative choice to blend espionage with science fiction to create a hybrid that is appropriately referred to as “spy-fi.”

‘Counterpart’ (2017 – 2019)

The sci-fi spy thriller Counterpart centres on Howard Silk (J. K. Simmons), a benevolent and considerate office worker who has worked for the Office of Interchange (OI), a United Nations agency with offices in Berlin, for 30 years. Later, Silk finds out that his group controls the entrance to a parallel dimension, and the only person he can rely on is his virtually identical twin from that alternate reality.

It could take the show some time to get going, but with each episode, it gains some more value. This would be the TV show that Philip K. Dick and John Le Carré would create if they were to collaborate. Counterpart is the ideal balance of sci-fi and espionage thriller that fans cannot miss, and it has two riveting performances by Simmons and superb worldbuilding by the show’s creator, Justin Marks.

‘The Game’ (2014 – 2015)

A six-part British Cold War spy thriller series called “The Game” is set in London in 1972. It tells the tale of the clandestine war MI5, played by Tom Hughes, fought in order to protect the nation from Cold War threats.

The show excels in the key components of an espionage drama: atmosphere, suspense, and tone. Additionally, The Game is a masterfully crafted piece that doesn’t have a clear-cut plot but instead drips with hints and background information for viewers to keep considering throughout the show.

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‘The Night Manager’ (2016)

The Night Manager is a spy thriller miniseries that was adapted from John le Carré’s 1993 book of the same name. The programme centres on Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston), a former British soldier and night manager at a five-star hotel in Cairo, who is hired by Angela Burr (Olivia Colman), the leader of a Foreign Office task team, to investigate Richard Roper, an arms dealer, and his shady dealings (Hugh Laurie).

Screenwriter David Farr updated the story with connections to the Middle East issues by the time The Night Manager was released, giving it a riveting urgency. While the magnificent location and handsome actors give it a gritty glitter, Susanne Bier’s interesting direction and the excellent ensemble, especially Hiddleston, keep the viewer’s attention.

‘The Little Drummer Girl’ (2018)

Another spy-thriller miniseries, The Little Drummer Girl is based on the same-titled book by John le Carré. A bomb goes off inside the home of an Israeli attaché in West Germany, prompting Mossad to choose a talented English actress (Florence Pugh) to infiltrate a group planning terrorism against Europe.

The charismatic and competent Pugh expertly brings to life the one and only le Carré adaptation with a female lead, and director Park Chan-mastery Wook’s of creating tension and his flawless interpretation work make the show not only a noteworthy adaptation but also an excitingly suspenseful spy drama.

‘Deutschland 83’ (2015)

In the film Deutschland 83, Jonas Nay, who plays a 24-year-old East German native, is sent to West Germany in 1983 to work as an undercover agent for the HVA, the Stasi’s foreign intelligence service. His organisation frequently takes harsh measures as a result of his acts as a rookie spy, which frequently compromise his cover.

The drama of those crucial hours, when a lot of East Berliners passed through Checkpoint Charlie, has been successfully recreated by the writers of Deutschland 89, despite the fact that they have happily changed the facts. Additionally, the programme was able to address all the crucial components of a traditional espionage thriller, such as tone, intrigue, and drama.

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