Summer of Rockets
IMDb rating: 7/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88%Watch full episodes now
Period dramas are fun and they’re better when there’s truth to them. Like six-episode miniseries Summer of Rockets, based on the life of author Stephen Poliakoff (who wrote the screenplay and directed it).
The series tells the story of Russian Jew Samuel Petrukhin, who develops hearing aids in England. He’s happy in that life until he’s asked to help British intelligence agency MI5 with their Cold War efforts as Russia tests ballistic missiles in 1957. Should Samuel refuse, he won’t see his son again… so he has no option.
It’s a super interesting story because it’s real. The series is filmed well and looks great and fits in the modern world. But the stilted acting might throw you off if you’re not familiar with this trademark of Poliakoff’s work. Even Toby Stephens as Samuel feels odd despite his experience (he played Bond villain Gustav Graves in 2002’s Die Another Day).
“This cold-war drama has Stephen Poliakoff’s trademark stilted dialogue, odd acting and overload of posh houses – but this time, I want to watch more. The weird quirks of Poliakoff’s work give it a dreamy and disquieting feel, which you either like or you don’t,” writes Emine Saner of theguardian.com.