George Washington's spy ring comes alive in AMC drama 'Turn'

Fri Apr 4, 2014 6:29pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The world of espionage has been brought to life by characters such as James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer on film and television, but a new AMC drama is going back to spy origins with America's own founding father, George Washington.

"Turn," which premieres on Sunday, tells the story of four childhood friends who find themselves pulled together as spies during the height of the American Revolutionary War in 1778 in New York's Long Island, under the orders of General Washington.

The series is based on Alexander Rose's 2007 book "Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring."

The Culper Ring was formed by Major Benjamin Tallmadge, who chose an unsuspecting group of his friends, civilians who opposed the British occupation of New York - farmer Abe Woodhull, pub landlady Anna Strong and fisherman Caleb Brewster.

Abe, played by British actor Jamie Bell, is the symbol of the "everyman," reluctantly drawn into the Culper Ring because he is forced to stand by his beliefs and try and change the country for the sake of his baby son's future.

"He's not a hero. He's not a spy. He's a farmer, a failed farmer, and he's a family man. He wants the war to disappear. He doesn't want to be one of these people who wants to step up," Bell said of his character.

"Even though they are muted in the show, his politics are that a man should be in his own country and make decisions for himself."

The premiere sets up the circumstances in which the four friends are brought together, and highlights the underlying tensions and connections between them.   Continued...