‘Deep State’: Hit spy series slips into Africa for season 2
Filmed in SA, Morocco and London, the series is about more than Western conspiracies, dirty war and looting
The British-made thriller series Deep State – which exposes the covert agencies and greedy companies who, for profit, stoke the “war on terror” and secretly manipulate elected governments – has moved to Africa in the new season, which premiered in SA on Wednesday.
But season two of the popular show is about more than Western conspiracies, egos, the looting of Africa’s natural resources and “the dirty war for clean energy” in sub-Saharan Africa, and the characters more complex.
New star Walter Goggins is convincing as the arrogant ex-CIA agent Nate Miller, while Joe Dempsie (Harry Clarke) shows that he can become ruthless as his father when he gets desperate. He is unyielding when the tough Leyla Toumi (Karina McAdams) surprises him in Mali. Their Malian translator Aïcha Konaté, played by Lily Banda from Malawi, is compelling and central to the hurtling plot.
Throw in a dual timeline, switching between the present day and two years back, and it becomes clear why fans must pay attention, or get lost in the desert.
Matthew Parkhill, co-creator and director of the critically acclaimed espionage series, says the second season was sparked by true events, when US Special Forces went missing in Niger.
In Deep State 2 , the US sends military forces to Mali on the pretext of fighting “radical Islamic terrorist groups ... but it’s no coincidence that most of this military activity is in a region rich in mineral wealth”.
The story shifts from Mali, to the US and the UK and takes an unflinching look at Western interests.
As a stately African adviser says to Miller early on: “You get to fuck up my country and then you leave. Or you stay for decades. I can’t decide which is worse.”
Back in the US, gay senator Meaghan Sullivan is determined to unravel what’s going on, resolute despite threats and attempts to bribe her with the chair of the ethics committee.
“You smell that? It’s a cover up,” she says to her right-hand woman. The lines aren’t all subtle but the sentiments resonate.The crew filmed on location in Cape Town for 50 days, in the decrepit Werdmuller building in Claremont and historic Rhodes House near parliament, as well as in the Sahara desert and London.