March 01, 2013

Iron Curtain Anyone?

The Cold War may have officially ended 21 years ago, yet lately it seems hotter than ever.

On March 1, The Right Stuff meets The X-Files when the Hollywood film Phantom, starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny, hits the big screen. It is the story of a submarine captain suffering from seizures that alter his perception of reality. Forced to head up a secret submarine mission, he finds himself in the middle of a nefarious plot in which a rogue KGB officer is trying to take control of his ship’s nuclear weapons. Or is he? Sounds a bit like Red October 2.0 meets Dr. Strangelove.

Second, there is the slick new FX TV series The Americans, about a pair of Soviet sleeper agents “living among us” in 1981. They are being actively pursued by FBI counterintelligence (an agent just happens to move in across the street), while questioning their motives, their conjugal ties, and speculating on the money they could get by defecting. Just two episodes had been released by press time, but both were riveting and filled with the fascinating spycraft and moral quandaries typical of the genre.

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