The Rook

SF elements: secret superpowers

2019 / TV

8 × 50 min episodes


Myfanwy Thomas wakes up in a London park surrounded by bodies, with no memory of who she is, or how she got there. She needs to find out in a hurry, as unknown people are trying to kill her. She has three advantages: letters from her previous hyper-efficient self explaining the situation, a senior position in a sinister secret organisation, and superpowers no-one believes she can use.

This is based on the book of the same name by Daniel O'Malley. Loosely based, in that that the premiss and the opening scenes follow the book, but then everything diverges: the plot details, many of the characters, the resolution, the tone, all are quite different. Once I realised this, I stopped comparing it to the book, and settled down to watch it on its own terms.

And on its own terms, this is fun. Trying to work out, along with Myfanwy (much wimpier than in the book), who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, and just why her memory was wiped, is not easy, as people are doing good things for bad reasons, and bad things for good reasons, and no-one is who they seem to be. Very different from the book, darker, more serious, less gross, but just as enjoyable.

Rating: 3
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 25 August 2022