IT’S THE new series on FX and the only spy show on TV actually created by a former spy. It’s creator is former CIA agent and “Falling Skies” writer Joe Weisberg.

The opening sequence is worth the whole debut episode, for my money, which takes you on a ride back to the bad old days of the ’80s. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell are tremendous. Their chemistry is ripe, which centers the spy thriller in the relationship, which is always the most powerful way to hook an audience.

It’s a different sort of spy thriller than “Homeland,” hitting the time machine, showing enough initial promise after the 69 minute opener to be filed in the same category as the Showtime blockbuster.

Watch the first episode online if you have the time, which requires age verification.

From the New York Times:

In the age of “Homeland” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” it’s a little hard to recall how powerful the cold war mind-set was, and how imminent the possibility of a nuclear first strike seemed in those days. …

But there was a time when the fear of Soviet agents, K.G.B. “illegals,” as they are known, was quite intense and made its way into movies like “Telefon,” a 1977 Charles Bronson thriller about sleeper agents in the United States who were brainwashed by Moscow and could be activated only by a phone call and a code phrase from a Robert Frost poem.

[…] “The American people have elected a madman as their president,” a top Soviet spy says. He is also worried about another threat, this one from within. “These times bring out the worst in our people,” he tells Elizabeth. “I’m fighting now against comrades in our own organization who are starting to act like they did in our darkest days.”