Why I Love SAS Rogue Heroes

Rachel Cooke at The New Statesman:

The creation of Steven Knight of Peaky Blinders fame, it shares with that series a fondness for mythologising and aphoristic dialogue. Set in the Egyptian desert in 1941 as the British army struggles to defend besieged Tobruk from the Germans, its tone is midway between the war comics my brother used to read as a boy (he favoured Battle) and a Duran Duran video – and I mean this as a compliment.

If it’s both silly and cynical, it’s also affectionate, sending up the war in much the same spirit as, say, Noël Coward once did (his “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” is on the soundtrack, along with a ton of heavy rock and a bit of George Formby). Most of the time, it’s self-consciously edgy: foul language, bad behaviour, bodies piled like bags of pasta. But at other moments, it’s almost old-fashioned. All these men in khaki, smoking their pipes! If Kenneth More or Richard Attenborough suddenly appeared, you’d hardly be surprised. (Instead, we get Dominic West, as a character called Lt Col Wrangel Clarke, in full make-up, for reasons as yet unexplained.)

more here.