James Bond fans might know that British spy shows work quite differently than their American counterparts. They usually focus on the detective protagonists rather than the antagonists.
A popular British spy drama, Bodyguard, was aired on Netflix not too long ago. It was widely acclaimed for building up the lead characters and their relationship and portraying some knife-edge action sequences.
On Boxing Day 2022, Netflix introduced a new spy miniseries of British origin, and fans seem to love it: Treason.
The lead protagonist of this series is British spy organisation MI6 top gun Adam Lawrence, played by popular superhero series Daredevil star Charlie Cox. Most of the story revolves around him, as he has been suspected of treason since the first episode.
The pilot episode starts with an attempted murder: MI6 chief Sir Martin Angelis is poisoned by Russian spy Kara. In his absence, the young but brilliant Adam becomes the acting chief of the British Intelligence Service. He is a family guy, but suddenly becoming a national detective chief creates a huge burden and rift between him and his family.
Although Adam can't share his work details with his family for obvious reasons, they are still very supportive of him. Adam's wife, Maddy, is an Afghanistan war veteran, so she understands his responsibilities. His children, Callum and Ella, look up to their father in high esteem, but Ella seems to be trying to escape the security details and eventually getting into trouble.
Adam is already struggling with the gigantic responsibilities of leading MI6. He faces more complexities when two women infiltrate his family and work: Russian spy Kara and Dede Alexander, a CIA agent and a family friend of the Lawrence family, who is secretly trying to dig up dirt on Adam.
Kara was Adam's former lover, and she helped him climb up the ranks of the intelligence agency. She poisoned his boss just to gain attention and seek help as payback.
On the other hand, Dede suspects Adam of treason, which he committed as a field agent. Even Adam's wife grows suspicious of him, as Adam is not the guy anymore who spends quality time with his family.
Adam always wanted to move on from the past, but the past always seemed to catch up with him. He has no other choice but to face it.
It's Adam vs Maddy, Kara, and Dede, and Adam has to make amends for his past deeds. So how does he accomplish it? Director Matt Charman explores the character in this solid five-episode miniseries.
Treason might seem like a short spy drama series, but it has no lack of suspense. The series shows no irrelevant stories; each episode is almost 40 minutes long, and the plot is quite straightforward and enjoyable.
Charlie Cox finally gets a suitable role other than Matt Murdock in Daredevil, and he plays it perfectly.
Treason is a well-made drama that is worth watching, and being in the top 10 series on Netflix since the last week of December proves it.