Published on August 6th, 2007 | by Chris1
The Company (2007) Parts 1 & 2
TNT's "The Company" is a four-part miniseries which focuses on events within the CIA during the Cold War, from sometime in the mid-fifties up until the early nineties and the fall of the Soviet empire. It is based on Robert Litell's book of the same name.
In all honesty I was expecting a bit more from this. Granted this was only the first half, but I really wanted more. More what? I'm not sure, exactly, but whatever it is it needed more of it.
The story so far has focused on a pair of CIA operatives (Chris O'Donnell and Alfred Molina) in the Soviet sector of East Berlin in the mid fifties. During their "routine" business they've uncovered a Soviet mole within the ranks of the British intelligence service, MI-6. The bad part is the mole is in a position which compromises security within the CIA as well.
During all of this, we also get to see a KGB agent in the making, Yevgeny Tsipin (Rory Cochrane) who just happens to be a Yale classmate of McCauliffe (O'Donnell.) Nothing much has come of this relationship yet, except that Yevgeny has ties to the MI-6 mole in his operations. I suspect this relationship will be revealed in upcoming episodes.
In the process of "outing" the mole, the Berlin pair are dealing with a ballet dancer and her former German scientist friend. That situation turns out for the worse in the end, I'm afraid, and provides most of the plot for these two episodes.
The problem so far is that there's just far too many talking heads. Sure there's a little code breaking and "numbers station" action, and yeah a couple of minor shootouts and even a couple classical spy meetings replete with code phrases and such....
... but during a lot of it you feel like twiddling your thumbs and going, "um, what's next?"
Judging from the previews of what's to come, I'm not sure how the events of these episodes will play into the latter half of the series. As they've got to develop the entire Bay of Pigs scenario, AND get through the eighties up to the fall of the Berlin Wall....
I'm going to reserve a final rating until I've seen the last two offerings, but I certainly hope its a little more interesting than this. I hope the book is, at least. I imagine its a situation of "how much relevant stuff can we cram into four hours of television."