Rogue Heroes TV review Cairn International

Ground: Based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling novel of the same name, the series centers on David Stirling, an eccentric young officer who is hospitalized after a training exercise gone wrong. Convinced that traditional commando units don’t work, Stirling creates a radical plan that goes against all the accepted rules of modern warfare. He fights for permission to recruit the toughest, boldest, and brightest soldiers for a small undercover unit that will create chaos behind enemy lines. More rebels than soldiers, Stirling’s team is just as complicated, flawed and reckless as they are brave and heroic.

Exam: Steven Knight has long been involved in scripting some of the most intriguing movies and TV shows of the past few decades. In a way, Knight made everything chess (pawn sacrifice) to blindness (AppleTV+ series See) in an exciting narration. His most popular project is the recently concluded historical detective series Peaky Blinders. Now Knight is back with his latest series that plans to do for WWII what Peaky Blinders made for early 20th century street gangs. Based on a mixture of historical figures and fictional creations, Rogue heroes is a dark and funny story that mixes that of Quentin Tarantino Inglourious Basterds with the classic novel Catch-22. It’s a profane, violent, and gripping look at a slice of World War II history told in a unique style.

Set in Egypt in 1941 as Nazi forces expanded across Europe, Rogue heroes opens with cheeky on-screen maps that don’t mince words about how close Allied forces are to, well, “fucked.” It becomes immediately apparent that this series wouldn’t be your traditional WWII drama when we meet David Stirling (Connor Swindells), an alcoholic officer who wants nothing more than to get the hell out of Cairo. Swindells plays Stirling as a thug, a brigand, and a defiant in every respect of those he disrespects. Stirling is a solid anti-hero as we see him join forces with Jock Lewes (Alfie Allen) and Paddy Mayne (Jack O’Connell) to find a unique way to fight the invading German forces. Fleeing with parachutes and a plane, the three soldiers came up with the idea of ​​the Special Air Service (SAS), the branch of the British military that changed the course of World War II.

rogue heroes, spread over six episodes, chronicles the formation of the SAS and how Stirling, Lewes and Mayne got their idea approved by the British Army. As someone who doesn’t know the true history of the SAS, I did some research after watching this series and was shocked to see how true this story is. Steven Knight takes some interesting liberties with the historical record, such as the exact circumstances of Stirling’s skydiving accident in the first episode as well as how he infiltrated Middle East headquarters to meet General Claude Auchinleck in order to present the idea of ​​the SAS. Rogue heroes takes a very rebellious approach to history and portrays many of Britain’s leaders as stuffy and traditional while painting Stirling, Lewes and Mayne as the rebellious rule breakers who changed the rules. There’s also a big turn from Dominic West as Dudley Clarke, a pioneer in the tactics the SAS would adopt. West’s first scene is performed in drag, another curious tidbit of the real-life story this series is based on.

The series also includes fictional characters including Sofia Boutella as Eve Mansour, a spy working with the French Resistance. Boutella is quite good in the femme fatale role and offers a nice balance to the heavy testosterone cast. The series also has a few appearances by Winston Churchill, which makes the legitimacy of this tale more authentic while allowing the story to have fun with this band of brothers as they develop a new way of fighting without direct combat. . It is also fascinating to see the British, often shown as sober and disciplined, as rowdy and defiant. All three leads play arrogant characters who have underlying issues, particularly Swindells as an alcoholic Stirling who suffers from major daddy issues. The series is the most fun I’ve had with a war story in a long time and is much funnier than Steven Knight’s previous efforts.

Directed by Tom Shankland, Rogue heroes is designed as a limited run that helps it feel focused and not get bogged down with long-running subplots. Instead, the story begins quickly and never ends. There are many similarities with Peaky Blinders in the anti-establishment approach to storytelling, but rogue heros is much more anachronistic than this series. From the consistent use of modern music, including perfectly placed AC/DC tracks as well as stenciled title cards showing characters and locations, this series consistently feels like the punk rock little brother compared to Peaky Blinders‘ older brother snobby music. It also helps that the khaki-heavy desert setting series is completely different from the urban crime series it will be compared to. In the end, I think a lot of Peaky Blinders fans will seek it out because of Knight but most will stick around because this story is so interesting.

Rogue heroes is a series that would have been a huge hit if it had aired on Netflix or any of the biggest streaming platforms. As Pennyworth before that, many who don’t check Epix often may miss a solid war story that doesn’t require long-term investment. Each of the six hour-long episodes flies by and is packed with so much fight, intrigue, strong lines, and insults that you don’t even realize it’s been sixty minutes. This series is a balanced mix of action and drama, and is much funnier than Peaky Blinders making it a great viewing experience. I feel like I learned a missing chapter in my WWII story watching this and while it’s not one hundred percent accurate to the true story, it’s pretty close.

Rogue heroes premieres on November 13 on Epix.


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