The ‘Slow Horses’ showrunner says its new season sees a “huge step up” in its “scale” and “level of action”.
Will Smith, who also wrote for ‘The Thick of It’ and ‘Veep’, stressed despite the change of pace, it was essential the Apple TV series “felt like the same show” and it “didn’t suddenly go off into feeling like it was just generic action”.
He told NME: “We still felt like it was our characters involved in it, and it still had the humour and the drama: it still felt like our show.”
The show sees its group of disgraced MI5 rejects return, including Gary Oldman’s cranky old spy Jackson Lamb.
Will added he loves writing outrageous lines for Gary, 65, in the same way he did for Peter Capaldi’s Malcolm Tucker in ‘The Thick of It’.
He said: “It gives you license to do and say all sorts of things… you also get to know how the actors deliver things, what they like, what they want more of. “You start to write to their rhythms… I know Gary wanted the scene in the show where he’s washing in the sink, squirting Fairy Liquid in his armpits.
“Gary will go for it because he’s got no vanity about it. He just loves inhabiting that character and being that guy.
“I’m waiting for the moment he tells me you can’t give me any more food to eat because he really commits to the eating.”
He said Gary had to eat close to “12 ice creams” during various takes for one scene featuring his grubby spy character.
Will added: “I don’t know where he puts it.”
The showrunner also said he and Gary are huge fans of the books by Mick Herron on which the show is based.
He said: “(Gary) is hugely collaborative. He’s probably absurdly deferential towards me in terms of his input.
“We get together and we talk and it’s small things like, ‘I could say that quicker, change that word.’
“A lot of his notes will be like, ‘Oh I can do that with a look.’
“Hopefully he feels that we have a great creative relationship in that regard.”