By Jeff Jensen
December 10, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST
Des Willie/BBC America
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Fans of The Americans: Prepare to pledge allegiance to a new Cold War spy thriller told with grit, wit, and confidence. Set and steeped in early-’70s London, this miniseries focuses on secret agents tasked with cracking a Soviet conspiracy to destroy England, or so they think. (It depends on whether the mysterious ”Operation Glass” is about nuking Blighty or messing with the heads of British intelligence.) Your hero, Joe (Tom Hughes), is an absorbing quagmire, and a Twilight-gone-mod sexy one, too, all exquisite cheekbones and emotional instability. He might have a traitorous heart. He certainly has a broken one, having lost his love to an assassin named Odin. Operation Glass gives him a shot at vengeance.

The Game is next-level entertainment, courtesy of smart scripts and a cast of finely drawn characters. Joe works for an imperiled legend of spy-craft known only as Daddy (Brian Cox). Alan (Jonathan Aris) is Joe’s socially awkward surveillance man, married to the brainy Sarah (Victoria Hamilton). Paul Ritter as Bobby—the head of counterespionage and a closeted gay man—steals the show with a droll and poignant performance. His clashes with his domineering mother are familiar and riotous. Him: ”I just wanted to tell you how I felt!” Her: ”Well, don’t! We’re not Spanish!” The Game is such a clever winner, I’m sure some American network will remake it. Watch it now before we ruin it. A-

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