The Undeclared War

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The Undeclared War
Promotional image
Written byPeter Kosminsky
Theme music composerDebbie Wiseman[2]
ComposerDebbie Wiseman
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languages
  • English
  • Russian
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Executive producers
  • Peter Kosminsky
  • Colin Callendar
  • Noëlette Buckley
ProducerRobert Jones
CinematographyGavin Finney
EditorDavid Blackmore
Production companiesPlayground Entertainment
Stonehenge Films
Universal International Studios
Original release
NetworkChannel 4
Release30 June (2022-06-30) –
4 August 2022 (2022-08-04)

The Undeclared War is a British near-future thriller television mini-series, aired from 30 June 2022 on Channel 4. The series is written by Peter Kosminsky.[1][3][4]


The series follows two main characters, Saara Parvin in the UK and Vadim Trusov in Russia, during a cyber and misinformation attack upon the UK.

Parvin has just started a one-year student-placement at GCHQ when a cyber-attack takes down some of the UK-internet and she joins the team examining the code of the malware. She is praised when she discovers a second attack within the code and a diligent search for a third attack doesn't find one.

Meanwhile, she feels alienated within GCHQ but makes friends with John Yeabsley who spends his lunch-time correcting the grammar of other people's blogs. He, in turn, says how alienating it is to not be able to talk about his work outside. We later find that Parvin hasn't told her family where she is working and her brother is appalled when she finally tells him.

Trusov had attended a class with Parvin in London and when he returns to Russia he starts working for Russia's twitter-misinformation campaign but when the UK crash the facility as reprisal for the malware he reluctantly joins the offensive malware department.

Russia escalates the attack and incites unrest in the UK by interfering with the reporting of a general election whereupon the UK remotely destroys some Russian arms dumps. Russia exaggerate the damage and uses it as a pretext for isolating GCHQ from NSA by leaking NSA software from a UK site.

Trusov eventually reveals that this was all planned by Russia and he deliberately and openly leaks all the Russian software to GCHQ as a gift that the UK can use to appeal for help from the USA just as the tit-for-tat reprisals become overtly physical. In the last scene, Parvin stands stricken with grief because Trusov has sacrificed himself.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [5]U.K. viewers
1"Episode 1"Peter Kosminsky
  • Peter Kosminsky
  • Declan Lawn
  • Adam Patterson
30 June 2022 (2022-06-30)2.13
2"Episode 2"Peter Kosminsky
  • Declan Lawn
  • Adam Patterson
  • Amelia Spencer
7 July 2022 (2022-07-07)1.18
3"Episode 3"Peter Kosminsky
  • Declan Lawn
  • Adam Patterson
  • Amelia Spencer
14 July 2022 (2022-07-14)N/A
4"Episode 4"Peter Kosminsky
  • Declan Lawn
  • Adam Patterson
  • Amelia Spencer
21 July 2022 (2022-07-21)N/A
5"Episode 5"Peter Kosminsky
  • Declan Lawn
  • Adam Patterson
  • Amelia Spencer
28 July 2022 (2022-07-28)N/A
6"Episode 6"Peter Kosminsky
  • Declan Lawn
  • Adam Patterson
  • Amelia Spencer
4 August 2022 (2022-08-04)N/A


In the United States, the series was released on Peacock.[1][6]


Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 69% of 26 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.4/10.[7]


The show's adverts were inspired by the panic-provoking 1938 radio adaption of The War of the Worlds, and subject to complaints to the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom due to the adverts being broadcast as if they were live news broadcasts.[8]

Technical accuracy[edit]

The global cyber-security firm NCC Group were consultants to the show. They developed the on-screen code whilst advising on and producing the mock-ups for the wider technical visuals.


  1. ^ a b c Echebiri, Makuochi (15 June 2022). "Peacock Sets Release Date for Mark Rylance-led Cyber Thriller, 'The Undeclared War'". Collider. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Debbie Wiseman Scoring Channel 4's & Peacock's 'The Undeclared War'". Film Music Reporter. 24 February 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  3. ^ "The Undeclared War coming soon to Channel 4 and All 4: first look image" (Press release). Channel 4. 15 June 2022. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  4. ^ Morris, Lauren (15 June 2022). "The Undeclared War first look teases tense Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance series". Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  5. ^ "The Undeclared War". Next Episode. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  6. ^ Phillips, Michael (20 August 2022). "Review: Cyberterrorism thriller 'The Undeclared War' imagines a plausible 2024 premise — but it's not as gripping as it should be". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  7. ^ "The Undeclared War: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  8. ^ Sherwin, Adam (12 June 2022). "Channel 4 faces Ofcom probe over 'emergency news' stunt to promote cyber attack drama The Undeclared War". Retrieved 16 June 2022.

External links[edit]