McMafia, the eight-part BBC1 minseries that will begin airing on AMC on 2.26, is based on a same-titled book by Misha Glenny and directed by James Watkins.

Glenny chose the name McMafia “because of how professional, organized and homogenous international gangsters have become,” it says here.

As Semiyon Kleiman (David Strathairn) tells banker Alex Godman (James Norton), “These people dress like bankers, they speak a dozen languages, they eat in the best restaurants, stay in the best hotels. But underneath all that sophistication, there’s an open grave in the Mexican desert with 50 headless corpses inside.”

McMafia “has been criticized for its stately pace and complex plotting,” a review stated. “It can feel a little po-faced, lacking the wit of a Hugh Laurie or a Tom Hollander, who both brought light and shade to The Night Manager.

“But the series is inexorably gathering momentum as plot threads are ominously drawn together. The women in Alex’s life — fiancé Rebecca (Juliet Rylance) and colleague Karin (Kemi-Bo Jacobs) — are onto him. The Russian mob is out for revenge. As the eight-part story reaches its midway point, it’s [becoming] suspenseful, unpredictable and beautifully poised.”