Apple announced the news on Tuesday, following the conclusion of the spy drama’s action-packed third season on Dec. 27 — and ahead of a likely fall debut for Season 4 of the show, which is based on the Slough House spy novel series by author Mick Herron. The TV series, which premiered back in 2022, stars Academy Award winner Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb, a greasy-haired and irascible spymaster who leads an MI5 satellite office that serves as a dumping ground for washed-up spooks.
Season 5 of the Apple TV+ hit is based on London Rules, the fifth book in Herron’s series in which Slough House’s resident tech nerd Roddy Ho boasts a glamorous new girlfriend. But when a series of increasingly bizarre events start to unfold across the city, Apple explains, “it falls to the Slow Horses to work out how everything is connected. After all, Lamb knows that in the world of espionage, ‘London Rules’ should always apply.”
Herron, the show’s creator, is often described as this generation’s John le Carre, and the Apple TV+ adaptation of his books is now regarded as one of the best spy shows of all time. In part, the acclaim is because of the show’s refreshing lack of 007-style glamor — for valorizing, instead, a team of unexceptional spies who make mistakes, who are out of shape, and who work in a drab, nondescript office instead of the glittering MI5 campus park.
From my review of the show’s just-ended third season, which has near-perfect critics’ and audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes:
“The biggest surprise in the newest batch of episodes is that Slow Horses manages to once again refrain from putting a foot wrong, despite having a third go at hooking readers with yet another intricate puzzle box of a mystery. It’s one that calls upon the rogue’s gallery of misfits at Slough House to punch above their weight and, this time, unravel a conspiracy that finds one of their own taken hostage.
“As if that wasn’t enough, this ragtag B-team of MI5 led by Gary Oldman’s Jackson Lamb — an acerbic slob of a spymaster who looks like he’s spent one too many nights drowning his sorrows at a sketchy pub — also gets caught up in palace intrigue at The Park, the agency’s head office where a power struggle leads to a steadily increasing body count in the field.”