The Last Enemy (TV series)

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The Last Enemy
The Last Enemy TV poster.png
TV poster
Science fiction
Written byPeter Berry
Directed byIain B. MacDonald
StarringBenedict Cumberbatch
Anamaria Marinca
Max Beesley
Robert Carlyle
Eva Birthistle
Geraldine James
Chipo Chung
Tom Fisher
James Lance
San Shella
David Harewood
Christopher Fulford
Paul Higgins
Nick Sidi
Composer(s)Magnus Fiennes
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes5
Executive producer(s)Patrick Irwin
Justin Thomson-Glover
Adrian Bate
Producer(s)Gub Neal, Rebecca Eaton (for WGBH)
Production location(s)London, UK; Bucharest, Romania
Camera setupJohn Hembrough
Running time85 minutes (Episode 1); 60 minutes (Episodes 2–5)
Production company(s)BOX TV Limited
WGBH Boston
Original networkBBC One
Picture formatPAL
Original release17 February –
16 March 2008
External links

The Last Enemy is a five-part BBC television drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and featuring Robert Carlyle and Max Beesley. It first aired on 17 February 2008.


Set in a recognisable, near-future London beset by terrorism and illegal immigration, The Last Enemy features the introduction of "TIA" (Total Information Awareness), a centralised database that can be used to track and monitor anybody, effectively by putting all available government and corporate – i.e. credit card and bank activity, phone use, internet use, purchases, rentals, etc. – information in one place.

The story deals with a political cover-up centred on a sanctioned but secret medical experiment run amok with key members of the government trying desperately to hide all evidence of their experimental batch of vaccine that seems to be causing a deadly virus. The complex story unspools to reveal the moral, social and privacy concerns of this hypothetical TIA system in a post-7/7 world, including such control mechanisms familiar to both real life and science fiction as retinal scans, fingerprint identification and ubiquitous camera and cellphone surveillance footage.

The story is told through the eyes of a mathematical genius, Stephen Ezard, who is portrayed as a recluse showing some signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder. But the shy genius overcomes his own inhibitions to burrow into a highly compromised British government using his brilliance and their TIA system only to find himself ultimately trapped by the people he most trusts, and to learn he is a pawn in manipulative Security State machinations which take the people he most loves from him and compromise him forever.

Viewing figures[edit]

Episode number Original airing Total viewers Audience share (average) Season viewer average
1 17 February 2008 4.2m[1] 18% 2.7m
2 24 February 2008 2.5m[2] 10%
3 2 March 2008 2.3m[3] 9.4%
4 9 March 2008 2.5m[4] 10%
5 16 March 2008 2m[5] 8%


  • The Last Enemy aired in the United States on PBS stations on Masterpiece Contemporary.
  • In Australia, The Last Enemy TV series commenced airing on free-to-air-TV on ABC1 (the national public television channel) from 8:30pm on 19 July 2009[6] and concluded on 16 August 2009.[7]
  • The Last Enemy aired on TVO in Ontario, Canada from 9:00 pm on 1–29 April 2009
  • The Last Enemy aired weekly in Denmark on DR1 from 10:45 pm on 26 January 2012.
  • The Last Enemy is available on Amazon Prime Video and on YouTube.


  1. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (18 February 2008). "TV ratings – February 18: Kingdom reigns over The Last Enemy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  2. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (25 February 2008). "TV ratings – February 24: To see you nice, say Brucie's 6.5 million". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  3. ^ Esposito, Maria (3 March 2008). "TV ratings – March 2: Lewis beats BBC enemy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  4. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (10 March 2008). "TV ratings – March 9: ITV1 hits 9.6m Sunday peak". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  5. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (17 March 2008). "TV ratings – March 16: Dancing on Ice final wins for ITV". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  6. ^ "ABC1 TV Guide Program Information". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  7. ^ "ABC1 TV Guide Program Information". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

External links[edit]