1. The fictional drama was inspired by the bestselling true crime book McMafia: Seriously Organised Crime by journalist and broadcaster Misha Glenny. It’s a riveting, original and comprehensive account of international crime and a brilliant critique of globalisation’s dark side.
2. The book shows that organised crime is part of all our worlds – often without us even knowing. It moves from gunrunners in Ukraine to money launderers in Dubai, by way of drug syndicates in Canada and cyber criminals in Brazil.
3. Glenny wrote the book after years as the Central Europe Correspondent for the Guardian and then the BBC. He spoke to gangsters, policemen and victims of organized crime, exploring the ferocious consumer demands for drugs, trafficked women, illegal labour and arms across five continents.
4. The 8-part TV series was filmed in locations including London, Zagreb, Qatar, Mumbai, Prague, Cairo, Belgrade, Belize, Istanbul, Moscow and Tel Aviv.
5. David Strathairn stars as Israeli businessman Semiyon Kleiman, Juliet Rylance plays Alex Godman’s girlfriend Rebecca Harper and acclaimed Russian actress Maria Shukshina is his mother Oksana. Hossein Amini and James Watkins created the series and James Watkins is the director.