TV review: False Flag, FOX (4 stars)

TV review: False Flag, FOX

New paranoid thriller from Israel

In the UK we have become accustom to high concept thrillers from across the globe. The language barrier and subtitles haven't put off viewers hungry for tense drama and intelligent, involving plots. False Flag is the latest import from Israel.

Five Israeli citizens wake up to find their names and faces plastered across the news. The charges are beyond serious, they stand accused of kidnapping the Iranian Defence Minister in Moscow. Each reacts in their own way, from denial to fear to embracing the associated media storm. And while they may well be innocent of this particular crime there appear to be links between the suspects, each harbouring their own dark secrets. Their motives and actions becoming murkier and murkier as the investigation progresses.

Much like Homeland (which was based on Israeli series Prisoners of War) False Flag creates a nervous and restless atmosphere with a sense of characters caught up in larger machinations, dragged along in the wake of complex conspiracies. The volatile political situation in the Middle East just adds another layer of jittery energy.

There's also a gritty realism to the production that helps build the paranoid tension. It's a strong cast, most with extensive CVs in Israel, but their anonymity to the majority of British viewers (Ishai Golan starred in the aforementioned Prisoners of War, Ania Bukstein popped up briefly in Game of Thrones) makes it even easier to suspended disbelief giving the impression these are just ordinary people caught in the eye of the storm.

False Flag might not be as glossy as its American counterparts but it is definitely as sophisticated, smart and sharp. Catch the original now before the inevitable US remake.

False Flag starts on FOX (UK), Mon 31 Jul, 9pm.

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