Posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
One of the new offerings from AMC in 2014 will be Turn, billed as “the story of America’s first spy ring,” set at a point when there was just barely an America. Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) directs the pilot, with Jamie Bell playing a New York farmer who forms the Culper Ring in 1778. The group of childhood friends becomes the nascent country’s first real spy organization, and aims to upend lingering British presence as the Revolutionary War goes on.
Check out the first trailer below.
Update: When we first posted this, the trailer was made private shortly after. Now it’s back (officially, it seems) so you can check out the footage for real.
Turn, scripted by Craig Silverstein (Nikita) based on the book Washington’s Spies, will premiere next spring. It also features Seth Numrich, Heather Lind, Meegan Warner, Kevin McNally, Burn Gorman, Angus MacFadyen, JJ Field, and Samuel Roukin.
“Turn” is a spy thriller set during the American Revolutionary War. Based on remarkable new research featured in the book “Washington’s Spies,” by Alexander Rose, it tells the untold story of America’s first spies. “Turn” follows Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a farmer living behind enemy lines in British-occupied Long Island, who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring, an unlikely team of secret agents who would help turn the tide of the war in favor of the Rebels. Their daring efforts also revolutionized the art of espionage, giving birth to modern tradecraft as we know it today, along with all of the moral complexity that entails.
Here’s more background, from the Amazon description of the book:
In the summer of 1778, with the war poised to turn in his favor, General George Washington desperately needed to know where the British would strike next. To that end, he unleashed his secret weapon: an unlikely ring of spies in New York charged with discovering the enemy’s battle plans and military strategy.
Washington’s small band included a young Quaker torn between political principle and family loyalty, a swashbuckling sailor addicted to the perils of espionage, a hard-drinking barkeep, a Yale-educated cavalryman and friend of the doomed Nathan Hale, and a peaceful, sickly farmer who begged Washington to let him retire but who always came through in the end. Personally guiding these imperfect everyday heroes was Washington himself. In an era when officers were gentlemen, and gentlemen didn’t spy, he possessed an extraordinary talent for deception—and proved an adept spymaster.
The men he mentored were dubbed the Culper Ring. The British secret service tried to hunt them down, but they escaped by the closest of shaves thanks to their ciphers, dead drops, and invisible ink. Rose’s thrilling narrative tells the unknown story of the Revolution–the murderous intelligence war, gunrunning and kidnapping, defectors and executioners—that has never appeared in the history books. But Washington’s Spies is also a spirited, touching account of friendship and trust, fear and betrayal, amid the dark and silent world of the spy.