Turn: Washington's Spies

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Turn: Washington's Spies
The new title for the series, which shows the words "TURN: Washington's Spies" (with a backwards "n") in black text on a white background.
GenreHistorical drama
Based onWashington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring
by Alexander Rose
Developed byCraig Silverstein_(producer)
Opening theme"Hush" performed by Joy Williams, Matt Berninger, and Charlie Peacock
Composer(s)Marco Beltrami
Brandon Roberts
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Larry Rapaport
Mitchell Amstrad
LaToya Morgan
Alexander Rose
Production location(s)Richmond, Virginia, Williamsburg, Virginia, Yorktown, Virginia, Petersburg, Virginia
CinematographyLol Crawley ("Pilot")
Marvin V. Rush
Scott Peck
Editor(s)Andrew Seklir
Harry B. Miller III
David Lebowitz
Ian E. Silverstein
Running time41–47 minutes
54 minutes ("Washington's Spies")
64 minutes ("Pilot")
Production company(s)AMC Studios
Sesfonstein Productions
Josephson Entertainment
DistributorAMC Networks
Original networkAMC
Original releaseApril 6, 2014 (2014-04-06) – August 12, 2017 (2017-08-12)
External links

Turn: Washington's Spies (formerly known as Turn and stylized as TURN: Washington's Spies and TURИ: Washington's Spies) is an American period drama television series based on Alexander Rose's book Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring (2007),[3] a history of the Culper Ring.[4] The series originally aired on the AMC network for four seasons, from April 6, 2014, to August 12, 2017.[5]


The story covers events from 1776 to 1781 and features a farmer from Setauket, New York and his childhood friends. They form an unlikely group of spies called the Culper Ring which eventually helps to turn the tide during the American Revolutionary War.[3] The series begins in October 1776, shortly after British victories recapture Long Island, Staten Island, and New York City for the Crown and leave General George Washington's army in dire straits. The first episode opens with the following introductory text:

Autumn 1776. Insurgents have declared war against the Crown. Following a successful naval landing, His Majesty's Army has forced Washington's rebels into the wilderness. New York City serves as military base of operations for the British. The Loyalists of nearby Long Island keep vigilant watch out for sympathizers and spies.


Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)June 8, 2014 (2014-06-08)
210April 13, 2015 (2015-04-13)June 8, 2015 (2015-06-08)
310April 25, 2016 (2016-04-25)June 27, 2016 (2016-06-27)
410June 17, 2017 (2017-06-17)August 12, 2017 (2017-08-12)


Turn: Washington's Spies was renewed for a second 10-episode season on June 23, 2014,[7] which premiered on April 13, 2015,[8] and for a third 10-episode season on July 15, 2015, which premiered on April 25, 2016.[9][10] On July 26, 2016, Turn: Washington's Spies was renewed for a fourth and final 10-episode season, which had a two-hour premiere on June 17, 2017.[11][12]


Season 1[edit]

The first season of Turn: Washington's Spies received mixed reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes rated the season 52%, based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The site's consensus reads, "Turn's uneven treatment of the American Revolution is more frustrating than exciting and memorable."[13] On Metacritic, the first season scored 61 out of 100, based on reviews from 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

Season 2[edit]

The second season received positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a rating of 80%, based on 5 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10.[15] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 68 out of 100, based on reviews from 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[16]

Historical Accuracy[edit]

The series deviated from history in several instances.[17]

  • Abraham Woodhull was unmarried and childless during the period in which he was a spy. He did not marry Mary Smith until 1781 and did not have a son named Thomas.
  • Anna Strong was 10 years older than Abraham Woodhull. There is no evidence to suggest that they had anything other than a professional relationship.
  • The character of Edmund Hewlett is fictitious. The commander of the garrison at Sektauket was Richard Hewlett, though he did not succeed John Andre as spymaster. Richard was married with 11 children, and there is also no evidence of an affair with Anna Strong.
  • Richard Woodhull was not killed in a skirmish.
  • Robert Rogers was involved in discovering Nathan Hale, but he did not engage Benjamin Tallmadge in a battle.
  • Abraham Woodhall did not join the regiment of loyalist American volunteers, founded by Benedict Arnold

Awards and nominations[edit]

The first season of TURN: Washington's Spies was awarded the 2014 Media & Entertainment Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution.[18]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Episode(s) Result
Media & Entertainment Award
Location Managers Guild Awards
Outstanding Locations in Period Television
Tom Trigo and Becky Beckstoffer
Golden Reel Award
Best Sound Editing - Short Form Sound Effects and Foley in Television
George Haddad, Chad J. Hughes, Angelo Palazzo, Darrin Mann, Gregg Baxter, Catherine Harper and Matthew Thomas Hall
"Gunpowder, Treason and Plot"
NAACP Image Award
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series
LaToya Morgan
"False Flag"
SXSW Film Festival
Excellence in Title Design
Michael Riley, Bob Swensen, Aaron Bjork and Eddie Moreno
NAACP Image Award
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series
LaToya Morgan

Home media[edit]

The first season of TURN: Washington's Spies was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 17, 2015;[19] it became available on Netflix on March 25, 2015. The second season was released on DVD on March 22, 2016[20] and became available on Netflix on April 11, 2016. The third season was released on DVD on November 8, 2016.[21] and became available on Netflix on June 4, 2017. The fourth season became available on Netflix on December 1, 2017.


On March 26, 2014, AMC released the digital comic TURN: Origins, illustrated by Steve Ellis, that portrays childhood and adulthood events from the lives of several of the series' main characters, including Abraham Woodhull, Benjamin Tallmadge, Anna Strong, and Caleb Brewster.[22][23]

On April 10 and April 15, 2015, AMC released the first and second chapters, respectively, of a second digital comic, TURN: Rivals, that portrays the past rivalry of George Washington and Robert Rogers.[24][25]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Turn: Washington's Spies". AMC. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  2. ^ "AMC Revolutionary War Drama 'Turn: Washington's Spies' Begins Production on Season Two in Colonial Williamsburg". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (July 26, 2014). "TCA: AMC Picks Up 'Halt & Catch Fire' & 'Turn' To Series". Deadline. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  4. ^ Dayton, Lee (March 26, 2014). "TURN: Origins Comic Now Online". AMC. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  5. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 11, 2014). "AMC Announces Premiere Dates for Final Season of 'Mad Men', 'Better Call Saul', 'Turn' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  6. ^ "AMC Revolutionary War Drama 'Turn: Washington's Spies' Begins Production on Season Two in Colonial Williamsburg - Ratings - TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com". TVbytheNumbers.
  7. ^ O'Connell, Michael (June 23, 2014). "AMC Renews 'Turn' for a Second Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  8. ^ Kissell, Rick (February 23, 2015). "AMC Expanding Monday Push, Sets Season 2 of 'Turn' For Night". Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  9. ^ Stanhope, Kate (July 15, 2015). "AMC Renews 'Turn' for Third Season". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  10. ^ AMC (January 8, 2016). "First-Look Photo and Premiere Date Released for TURN: Washington's Spies Season 3". AMC. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  11. ^ AMC (July 26, 2016). "TURN: Washington's Spies Renewed for Season 4". AMC. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  12. ^ AMC (April 25, 2017). "TURN: Washington's Spies Returns to "Finish the Fight" in Its Final Season on Saturday, June 17". AMC. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  13. ^ "Turn: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  14. ^ "Turn: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  15. ^ "Turn: Season 2 (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  16. ^ "Turn: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  17. ^ "TURN in Real Life: Abraham Woodhull, Setauket, and the Real Culper Spy Ring". War History Online. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "TURN 2014 DAR Media & Entertainment Award Ceremony". AMC. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "Turn: Washington's Spies - The Complete First Season Blu-ray". January 14, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  20. ^ "TURN: Washington's Spies DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  21. ^ "Turn: Washington's Spies: The Complete Third Season DVD". September 11, 2016. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  22. ^ Lee, Dayton (March 26, 2014). "TURN: Origins Comic Now Online". AMC-TV.
  23. ^ Steve Ellis (illustrator) (March 26, 2014). TURN: Origins.
  24. ^ Bell, Shavonne (April 10, 2015). "10 Ways to Get Ready for the TURN: Washington's Spies Season 2 Premiere". AMC-TV. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  25. ^ Neuman, Clayton (Producer) & Morgan, LaToya (Writer) & Hunt, Chris (Colors & Pencils & Ink) & Colden, Kevin (Inks & Letters) & Plummer, Shay (Colors) & Lindemann, Karl (Development) (April 10, 2015). Rivals (Online comic book ed.). Retrieved April 13, 2015.

External links[edit]