AMC’s Turn is the newest entrant into the crowded field of historical dramas, although it is unlikely that AMC’s other show Hell on Wheels will last another season, since it was barely renewed last year, so AMC undoubtedly hopes that Turn, which starts this Sunday, will work.
The series is set in 1778, when the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) had reached a stalemate following the surrender of a British army at Saratoga the previous fall. Saratoga was the turning point in the war. France, Spain and the Dutch Republic had been secretly supplying the rebels with weapons, but the American victory convinced them to declare war on England. Forced to defend its territory across the globe, the British Empire could no longer unleash its full might on the rebels. By that stage of the war, the British were stuck inside New York City, while the rebel army could not force its way inside.
Turn presents the exploits of the Culper Spy Ring, which was organized by Major Benjamin Tallmadge, after General George Washington, commander of the Revolutionary army, asked him to recruit spies to gather information about the British. Tallmadge is best-known for his involvement in the arrest of British Major John Andre, who oversaw British intelligence in North America. Andre was captured in September 1780, foiling Benedict Arnold’s plan to betray the fortress at West Point to the British. Since Andre is one of the main characters on the show, it will be cool to watch the conflict between the American and British secret services.
While the creation of America’s first spy ring will be interesting, I hope that the show examines the conflicted mix of loyalties during the revolution, which has received little attention during previous movies on the American Revolution.
Here is a teaser for the show, I could not find a longer trailer.