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Series / SS-GB

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SS-GB is the television adaptation of Len Deighton's novel of the same name which was first published back in 1978. It aired on BBC One, the first episode being broadcast on 19 February 2017. It stars Sam Riley, Kate Bosworth and James Cosmo. The show aired five episodes as a mini-series.

It's set in a 1941 where Nazi Germany (with help from the Soviets, whose pact with them never fell apart, and the Italians) were able to succeed in winning the Battle of Britain campaign. In the aftermath, most of the Royal Family and government are forced to exile by fleeing to North America and Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean and Oceania. Meanwhile, the Nazis have imprisoned King George VI and executed Winston Churchill, with an interim government established.

Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer of the Metropolitan Police is called in to investigate a case of murder involving a well-known person in the black market. But afterwards, he realizes that the case is bigger than it looks when the Germans began to get involved, getting in the Met's way as he tries to figure out what the significance of the case is. Archer later finds out that it has something to do with the imprisoned monarch...

SS-GB provides examples of:

  • Alternate-History Nazi Victory: SS-GB is set in an alternate 1941, several months after a successful German invasion of the United Kingdom which followed the Luftwaffe's victory in the Battle of Britain. As a result of this, the German invasion of the Soviet Union never happened, which is why the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939 still stands.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The series opens with a Spitfire flying over London to triumphal music. Turns out it's a captured Spitfire being presented to the Soviets to celebrate the Nazi victory.
  • Driving Question: Is the murder case in the Metropolitan Police's hands part of a much bigger plot regarding German occupation of the UK?
  • Enemy Mine: The Heer is willing to assist British officials who appear to be working with the interim government, the US and British officials in exile to bring King George VI from house arrest, if only to rub the SS in the face with it.
  • Friend in the Press: Barbara Barga is an charismatic and driven American reporter stationed in Nazi occupied Britain, who quickly forms a relationship with Detective Superintendent Douglas Archer. Archer in turn quickly see's the advantage of Barbara's support, as well as that stemming from the fact she is a citizen of a neutral power the Nazis are hoping to keep favourable relationships with.
  • Ghostapo: In the second episode, Himmler is shown to be looking at photos that contain occultic images. Truth in Television since Himmler was very interested in them during the war.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Between the SS and the Heer. It's usually bad to the point that Harry was caught in a Heer sweep and Kellerman had to intervene to get him released.
  • La RĂ©sistance: A British resistance force was formed after the occupation to take out the German occupiers as well as collaborators.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The main character, plus the rest of the Metropolitan Police and the British puppet government, work with the German occupiers.
  • Scenery Gorn: The first episode shows ruins of well-known places such as Buckingham Palace, cordoned off by Wehrmacht soldiers.
  • Secret Police: The Gestapo have set up shop in the building right next to Scotland Yard.
  • State Sec: The SS has a contingent stationed in Britain as part of maintaining control.
  • The Show of the Books: Based on the novel of the same name.