Apple TV Plus green lights Slow Horses season 5 as hit spy show sets new record for the streamer

Jackson Lamb enjoys an ice cream in Slow Horses season 3
Celebratory ice creams all around! (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Slow Horses has been renewed for a fifth season on Apple TV Plus – and set a new record for the streaming service in the process.

Per Variety, the hit spy thriller series will return for a fifth outing on one of the world's best streaming services after the company's film and TV division saw fit to green-light another entry. Season 5's fast-tracking follows hot on the heels of the season 3 finale's release on December 27, 2023, and 18 months after Slow Horses seasons 3 and 4 were simultaneously announced in June 2022.

It's not a huge surprise to see Slow Horses renewed for another installment. The Gary Oldman-fronted show is one of Apple's most popular and critically acclaimed TV originals. Indeed, according to review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series' three previous seasons have scored 92% or higher among fans and critics alike – evidence that Apple TV Plus is more than a sci-fi fan's paradise and/or a one-man show in multi-award-winning soccer comedy series Ted Lasso.

For those unfamiliar with the program: Slow Horses is based on Mick Herron's Slough House book series, which follows the trials and tribulations of MI5 rejects who are seemingly resigned to spending their days conducting mundane paperwork and other trivial tasks. However, despite being led by the irritable, sloth-like Jackson Lamb (Oldman), Slough House's gang of misfits – known as the titular 'slow horses' – always find a way to wrap themselves up in threats to the UK's national security. 

It's a classic underdog story with relatable and hilarious characters (Oldman's cruelly humorous Lamb is the pick of the bunch) and fun-filled, espionage-based plots that'll thrill and delight in equal measure. No shock that it takes pride of place on our best Apple TV Plus shows guide, then.

A speedy renewal – and an Apple TV Plus landmark

River Cartwright chats to Jackson Lamb in Slow Horses season 3

"Look at us, River, leading the charge into season 5 territory on Apple TV Plus!" (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Delighted as we are to hear that Slow Horses will be back for season 5, we're even more pleased that the show has finally broken a long-standing Apple TV Plus record.

Until now, no other Apple TV original had made it past the four-season mark. Indeed, only two other series – For All Mankind (ongoing) and Servant (ended after season 4) – have progressed past Apple's seemingly desirable three-season plan. Where the former is concerned, Apple hasn't officially confirmed a fifth season, although For All Mankind's continuing popularity means I expect it to be renewed.

Even if it is, it's Slow Horses that's broken new ground by galloping past the season 4 mark to make Apple TV Plus history. Other popular shows might follow suit, such as The Morning Show, Foundation, Mythic Quest, and The Snoopy Show. Meanwhile, For All Mankind's showrunners have a seven-season plan for their sci-fi hit, so Slow Horses could end up being eclipsed in the years to come if it doesn't return for more entries post-season 5.

For now, though, Lamb and his merry band of maverick agents can bask in the glow of being the first Apple TV Plus original to break the four-season barrier. If that's not worth a celebratory nap for the ever-sluggish Lamb, I don't know what is. While we wait for Slow Horses seasons 4 and 5 to arrive, watch one of these six intrigue-packed thrillers.

You might also like

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.