Play for Today: Season 2, Episode 1

Traitor (14 Oct. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 34 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Dishillusioned by his rich, aristocratic upbringing in Britain, top foreign office diplomat Adrian Harris became a spy for the Russians. He escaped to Moscow after being found out and it is... See full summary »

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Title: Traitor (14 Oct 1971)

Traitor (14 Oct 1971) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Adrian Harris
Jack Hedley ...
James
Vincent Ball ...
Simpson
Neil McCallum ...
Blake
Jon Laurimore ...
Thomas
Lyndon Brook ...
Sir Arthur Harris
Diana Fairfax ...
Lady Emma
...
Michaelov
...
Duty Clerk
John Quentin ...
Craig
John Saunders ...
Schoolmaster
Sean Maddox ...
Little Adrian
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Storyline

Dishillusioned by his rich, aristocratic upbringing in Britain, top foreign office diplomat Adrian Harris became a spy for the Russians. He escaped to Moscow after being found out and it is there that, a few years later, a group of Western journalists come in search of his story. He disgusts them with his drunken ranting, but, unknown to them, he has good reason to conceal his true feelings. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

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Drama

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14 October 1971 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in John Le Mesurier: It's All Been Rather Lovely (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
unforgettable and i never forgot it
23 June 2010 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most memorable single acting performances I have seen in 50 years of watching the box.

Le Mesurier is simply outstanding. Dennis Potter's script certainly gives le Mesurier something decent to do, of course: it's a gift to an actor. But this particular actor makes a meal of it, breaking down before our eyes. Such an apparently mannered performer, so familiar to us all from "Dad's Army" -in this, he simply does familiar things in a slightly different way, to devastating effect. Manners and breeding, and he's somehow so SEEDY. One would never say that le Mesurier was 'wasted' in comedy, but it's splendid to see just how deep-beneath-the-skin he can go, and with such total control. Technique working in service of insight. He KNOWS this guy, and he's merciless.

I suspect that this was made 'as live' - it has that intensity you got with long-take scenes shot in slightly constricted sets. There is a real feeling - SO rare in television - of watching a performance rather than a paste-up.


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