The Spectacular Review – Binge Worthy Crime Drama on IRA Attacks

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The Spectacular, from Topic Studios, presents the true story of a series of escalating and brutal Irish Republican Army (IRA) attacks on British citizens in the 1980s in Limburg, Netherlands, as they fought for independence.

Presented in a four-part mini-series, The Spectacular begins with an what looks like an interrogation, which is where we meet Jeanine Maes, played by Hadewych Minis, the lead investigator for the criminal investigation into violent IRA attacks on British soldiers stationed in the Dutch region of Limburg.


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Based on a gripping true story, The Spectacular follows team leader Maes, and her partner, Martin de Waard, played by Michel Sluysmans, as they two of them soon realize they are on the trail of a female, whom they name the angel of death, as she is seen at multiple attack sites.

During the first episode we see the IRA uses many ruses, the honey pot, the damsel in distress, to pull unsuspecting British soldiers into vulnerable situations for execution. Soon Jeanine and her partner Martin are pulled off the case, as allegedly, they are told by the Brits that it is over.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, British security service MI5 coerces IRA Volunteer Patrick Lynch, played by Kerr Logan, to infiltrate the inner circle of legendary bomber Declan Moore, played by Declan Carter, who, encouraged by his older brother-in-arms Corey O'Keefe, played by Ian Beattie, is expected to lead a cell in Mainland Europe.

The four Patrick, Declan, Fiona Hughes, played by Aoibhinn McGinnity, and Paul O'Keefe, played by Cillian Lenaghan, have moved to The Netherlands, and are working out of a safehouse. Patrick seduces a local he met at an IRA meeting, Leonie, played by Carina de Vroome and soon the two are living together and then the two become the four others and she is unwittingly draw into the plans.


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Once again the IRA has infiltrated The Netherlands, and soon Jeanine's brings her face-to-face with her main suspect, ruthless and highly dangerous Fiona Hughes, the only female member of the IRA cell responsible for the attacks. 

They are given targets, the IRA boss, Corey, calls in targets in the area, and the four stage the attacks. The first attack, they end up killing a baby, which splashes headlines of the IRA's brutality across the world, and the second attack, which is overheard by Leonie, who isn't fully sympathetic to the cause, tells someone she trusts.

Maes, and her team, work to try and thwart the planned attack, She decides to drive to Roermond, a city in The Netherlands, and waits in the pub where the IRA planned to kill the British solider. Fiona enters the bar and looks around. Once she leaves Maes follows her hoping to find the safehouse or other information.


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Paul, who is tried of sitting at the safehouse and really wants to become indoctrinated into the cause completely, realizes that the Brits are not going to show, so decides he can salvage the murder run and finds a car that appears to be British and waits for the occupants to return. When they arrive, they are gunned down and Maes, who is hiding in the shadows, witnesses the cold-blooded murders.

By this time the peace talks are heating up, and MI5 and the British government is circumventing the success of the investigation hoping to calm the growing expectation that the four will be arrested soon. The IRA promised if they were convicted it would unleash another round of violence.

Will Jeanine risk disrupting the peace process between Britain and Northern Ireland with her obsessive pursuit of Fiona? And will Declan's rift with Corey mean it's down to him to show that the IRA are still as powerful as they were ten years ago?

The Spectacular is a binge worthy, four-part, crime drama that tracks the criminal investigation against a ruthless cell of the IRA as it infiltrates mainland Europe to escalate the attacks in the name of freedom.

All four episodes are exclusively available on Topic streaming platform. See it.


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Country: The Netherlands.

Language: German, English, Dutch with English subtitles.

Runtime: Episodic – Four/50minutes.

Director: Willem Bosch, Pieter Kuijpers.

Writer: Willem Bosch, Pieter Kuijpers.

Producer: Pieter Kuijpers, Iris Otten, Sander van Meurs.

Cast: Hadewych Minis, Jacob Derwig, Michel Sluysmans, Kenneth Herdigein, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Kerr Logan, Cillian Lenaghan, Declan Conlon, Ian Beattie, Carina de Vroome.

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