In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.
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1979  
Top Rated TV #156 | Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 George Smiley (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Peter Guillam (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Sir Oliver Lacon / ... (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Mendel (7 episodes, 1979)
...
 Toby Esterhase (5 episodes, 1979)
...
 Bill Haydon (5 episodes, 1979)
...
 Ricki Tarr (5 episodes, 1979)
...
 Roy Bland (4 episodes, 1979)
...
 Jim Prideaux (4 episodes, 1979)
...
 Percy Alleline (4 episodes, 1979)
Alec Sabin ...
 Fawn (4 episodes, 1979)
...
 Control (3 episodes, 1979)
Duncan Jones ...
 Roach (3 episodes, 1979)
Daniel Beecher ...
 Spikely (3 episodes, 1979)
...
 Connie Sachs (2 episodes, 1979)
John Wells ...
 Headmaster (2 episodes, 1979)
Frank Compton ...
 Bryant (2 episodes, 1979)
Frank Moorey ...
 Lauda Strickland (2 episodes, 1979)
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Storyline

George Smiley has been retired for about a year when he finds a friend from the Circus, his old outfit in British Intelligence, sitting in his living room. He is taken to the home of an advisor to the Prime Minister on intelligence matters, where he finds evidence that one of the men in the senior ranks of his old agency is a Russian spy. Smiley is asked to find him, without official access to any of the files in the Circus or letting on that anyone is under suspicion. With only a few old friends, his own powers of deduction, and secrecy as weapons, Smiley must unearth the spy who turned him out of the Circus. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The acclaimed BBC production of John le Carré's classic spy story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

29 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

König, Dame, As, Spion  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (7 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This mini-series television adaptation of a John le Carré novel was first broadcast in the 10th Anniversary year of the earlier John le Carré theatrical feature film adaptation The Looking Glass War (1970). See more »

Goofs

In episode 6, Bill Hayden writes a cheque for his girlfriend and tears it out of the cheque-book. He then writes her name and address on a slip of paper. In the next shot he is shown ripping a (blank) cheque from the cheque-book and handing it to Smiley along with the slip of paper. See more »

Quotes

Roy Bland: As a good socialist, I'm going where the money is. As a good capitalist, I'm sticking with the revolution because if you can't beat it, spy on it.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits show a set of Russian matryoshka dolls. One doll opens up to reveal a doll more irate than the other one, and the final doll is seen as being faceless. This was inspired by a line at the end of the "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" novel: "Smiley settled on a picture of one of those little Russian dolls that open up to reveal one inside the other, and another inside him. Of all men living, only Karla had seen the last little doll inside..." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forever Ealing (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Nunc Dimittis
Composed by Geoffrey Burgon
Sung by Paul Phoenix and the Boys of the St Paul's Cathedral Choir
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User Reviews

 
Just about as good as it gets
11 November 1999 | by (Lafayette LA USA) – See all my reviews

Sir Alec Guinness is so good at being George Smiley that John LeCarre claims he can no longer write the character about without seeing Guinness' face. The supporting cast is uniformly excellent, and the script captures the novel almost flawlessly. It takes six hours because the story is complex and ranges over many years and many characters, but it is so well-written and acted that the any viewer with an attention span longer than that of a gnat can easily keep track of who did what and when, so that the ultimate unmasking of the traitor may be a surprise, but it is not a shock.


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