The Diplomat, Sophie Rundle leads this BBC series

Sophie Rundle in The Diplomat

The Diplomat, this Diplomat, is a BBC six part series starring Sophie Rundle. It was released in 2023 just like the American series by the same name starring Keri Russell. The English made a vastly different diplomacy story in their version of The Diplomat.

The Diplomat is set in sunny Barcelona. The problems besetting Consul Laura Simmonds (Sophie Rundle) are often solved in one episode with light touches. Various English visitors to the Catalan city bring their problems to the Consul and she helps them in some creative ways.

Danny Sapani and Sophie Rundle in The Diplomat
Looking for a murderer or posing for a publicity shot?

There’s one throughline story involving a murder of a young bartender while he was working on a yacht. His father, Colin Sutherland (Danny Sapani), arrives from England with lots of questions. He points out flaws in the case built by Inspector Castells (Isak Férriz) and puts Laura to the test as he seeks her help.

You wouldn’t think a diplomat would be involved in investigating a murder case, but in this series that’s what happens.

Isak Férriz and Sophie Rundle in The Diplomat
Laura and the Inspector

Inspector Castells is in every episode. He’s the go-to police officer that Laura uses for everything.

The murder investigation involves Fabian Hartmann (Philipp Boos) who owns a bar and owns the yacht where the murder happened. Mariona Cabell (Laia Costa) works for him, but she has some secrets going on the side. Fabian tries to seduce Laura into overlooking the inconsistent details in his story about the murder.

Sophie Rundle and Serena Manteghi in The Diplomat
Laura and Alba

Laura’s staff consist of Sam Henderson (Steven Cree), an annoying jerk who was new in the office. He’s tangled up with Mariona Cabell somehow. Alba Ortiz (Serena Manteghi) is Laura’s assistant and goes everywhere with her. Almost. Carl (Dylan Brady) works with them. Carl is a gay man. At first I was upset for his character, because I thought he was just being used as comic relief. However, he eventually had a meaningful story arc with an English couple.

Other than the murder investigation and an international intrigue going on behind Laura’s back, the stories and characters who wander in and out of the Consul’s office are not high stakes international issues. I like Sophie Rundle and enjoyed seeing her in an authoritative role. Overall, however, the series is mid-range enjoyable but not fabulous.

All six episodes were directed by Jennie Paddon and Jill Robertson. You can see the series on Prime Video, Roku, Peacock, Freevee, and other streamers.

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