The Rook – John le Carré spies in a Marvel Comics Universe

The Rook on Starz is like a John le Carré spy thriller set in a Marvel Comics universe where the secret agents all have superpowers. As odd as that sounds, the combination actually works. The key is that the tone is deadly serious, and never switches the genre into comedy or camp. Emma Greenwell is Myfanwy Thomas, who wakes up on a London street at the scene of a mass murder, unable to remember who she is. As The Rook progresses, she discovers that she is part of a secret British government organization and that someone has intentionally wiped out key parts of her memory. Like a John le Carré  novel, the first thing Myfanwy learns is that no one in authority is to be trusted.

Emma Greenwell in "The Rook" on Starz
Emma Greenwell in “The Rook” on Starz

Myfanwy also discovers that she has a special power to defend herself from anyone who tries to attack her, and a lot of people are trying to get her.  In fact, everyone at the secret agency has some sort of power, some more powerful than others. But unlike a Marvel Comics universe, the people in The Rook are “morally flexible”, and often use their powers for purely personal profit and gratification. Adrian Lester is Conrad, whose power is the ability to control other people’s bodies. He is having an affair with a married women, and uses his power to have her husband fall into a deep sleep whenever Conrad wants to have a tryst with his lover. (Not exactly something Captain America would do).

Adrian Lester in "The Rook"
Adrian Lester in “The Rook”

Olivia Munn is Monica, an American agent the British are supposed to work with. However, in traditional British fashion, the Brits are outwardly polite while at the same time giving her absolutely no information or help. Monica herself seems to exhibit instances of extreme physical strength, and must try to solve the murders without the help of the British.

Olivia Munn in "The Rook"
Olivia Munn in “The Rook”

The secret organization is headed up by Lady Farrier (Joely Richardson) who is the only one who realizes that Myfanwy’s memory has been wiped. She tries to help Myfanwy through this crisis, but can she really be trusted? (Speaking of superpowers, Joely Richardson actually demonstrated some in real-life. While filming one of the episodes of The Rook, Joely Richardson spotted a man who was drowning in a nearby river. Joely and the cast and crew of The Rook saved the man).

Emma Greenwell & Joely Richardson in "The Rook"
Emma Greenwell & Joely Richardson in “The Rook”

We recommend taking a look at The Rook. The combination of Sci-Fi and Spy may surprise you.

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