REVIEW: X Company is an well-crafted and emotional tale of WW2 espionage
Stories about WW2 spies aren’t exactly breaking new ground, but new HISTORY series X Company manages to put a new spin on an old premise.
X Company follows the lives of five spies as they both undergo training at a top secret and unconventional facility in Canada and take part in covert missions in Europe. Yes, it’s not an overly original premise for a thriller, but its first episode is executed so stylishly and powerfully that it’s still a brilliant watch.
X Company wastes no time in throwing us into the midst of German-occupied Europe, highlighting both the brutality and defiance of the period. There’s a strong focus on the setting and its locals, which helps transport the viewer into the world in the same way our spy recruits have been. We are outsiders, thrown into the deep end, as they are. It’s a very human touch – and the episode’s more emotional human moments are its strength.
That’s not to say X Company isn’t also action-packed. It does a fantastic job of balancing the drama with sensitivity and character development. The pacing of the show is excellent. In one episode, we’re introduced to all of our main characters, get a hint at where they’re from and what they’re about, and witness how they live in different environments. None of it feels rushed.
There’s a lot that’s right about this show. As said, the pacing is excellent. X Company also offers a surprisingly decent script. It’s the balance between powerful story moments and the emotional impact on its audience, however, that proves how well crafted it is. A brilliant start.