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WarGames turn real in Simon Pegg's new Peacock cyber thriller 'The Undeclared War'

The six-episode limited series follows a team of analysts working for the U.K.'s equivalent of the NSA.

By Josh Weiss
The Undeclared War

Peacock will take a deep dive into the world of cybersecurity later this summer with the thriller The Undeclared War. Scheduled to begin streaming on August 18, the six-episode limited series sounds like a version of WarGames updated for the 21st century. The story follows a team of covert analysts working on behalf of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the United Kingdom's equivalent of the NSA.

Newcomer Hannah Khalique-Brown (Doctors) leads the project as Saara Parvan, a 21-year-old intern who finds herself thrown into the deep end "when a routine stress test of internet infrastructure goes awry," reads the official synopsis. What ensues is a high-stakes game of cat and mouse in which Saara and her cohorts must stay one step ahead of their cunning opponent. The battleground may be digital, but the stakes are very real.

The Undeclared War has been many years in the making," creator, executive producer, and director Peter Kosminsky said in a statement. "It imagines how the next few years might play out in the domain of cyber warfare — a battle unseen by the public but with potentially devastating consequences. In my work, I’ve tried to shine a light on aspects of publicly policy which affect us all but where the details of what is taking place, often behind the scenes, are not well understood. I hope this drama will give audiences an insight into a world certain to impact our lives significantly in the years ahead.”

Get a first look below:

The Undeclared War

Mark Rylance (Ready Player One), Simon Pegg (The Boys), Adrian Lester (The Day After Tomorrow), Alex Jennings (Operation: Mincemeat), and Maisie Richardson-Sellers (DC's Legends of Tomorrow) round out the all-star cast.

Colin Callender (Magic City) and Noëlette Buckley (Haywire) serve as executive producers on behalf of Playground Entertainment, with Robert Jones (Boss Level) credited as producer. Playground and Universal International Studios (a division of Universal Studio Group), Stonehenge Films, and Channel 4 are co-producers. Declan Lawn (The Salisbury Poisonings), Adam Patterson (Rough), and Amelia Spencer (The Bond) comprise the writers' room.

“I’m delighted to be reuniting with Peter to bring his exhilarating vision to life,” Callender said last spring. “The Undeclared War is a stunning cautionary tale that brings to life a world never seen before on television or in film. I’m equally thrilled to be partnering with NBCUniversal International Studios, Channel 4 and Peacock, all of whom have been fiercely supportive and dedicated to bringing this provocative, timely story to the screen.”

“It’s such an honor to bring this powerhouse writing and producing team to Peacock for a thrilling drama that will keep viewers at the edge of their seat with this timely and realistic look into cyber security,” added Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

All six, 50-minute episodes of The Undeclared War land on Peacock Thursday, Aug. 18.