The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »
Mary Linden works for the French Red Cross in Occupied France during World War II and helps allied soldiers who have been shot down to escape to the unoccupied side. Her activities are ... See full summary »
Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »
Len Green is a bank robber. During his long career as a getaway driver, he has served many sentences and spent a fair proportion of his life behind bars. Now middle-aged, with a very ... See full summary »
Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative... See full summary »
In 1895 Sidney Reilly had an affair with Ethel Lillian Voynich, a married Russian author. In 1897 Voynich wrote a popular novel, The Gadfly. It was rumored that the adventurous hero of the novel was based on Reilly. In 1956, the novel was made into a movie and Dmitri Shostakovich was commissioned to compose the music. The same music, "The Gadfly-Romance", is heard as the theme to the Reilly: Ace of Spies television production. See more »
Nadia Massino did not marry Alfred Nobel - he died a bachelor in 1896 and according to the series, Reilly met her in the 20th century. Feliz Dzerzhinsky never met Reilly, and did not carry out the interrogation or execution. Reilly also was not connected with the forged letter that toppled the British government. See more »
Live for the present, die for the future.
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Sex, murder, intrigue, moves and countermoves, all the stuff that really juicy mini-series are made of...and its a true story. The original introduction that ran with the PBS showing stated that Ian Fleming used Sidney Reilly as the basis of James Bond. Sidney, as played by the great Sam Neill certainly embodies all the trademark qualities of that later spy...a way with a gun and the ladies, a wry sense of humor and a cold, calculating methodolgy. The series covers the time period of the Great Game, when Europe, Russia and England tried to out move each other in access to the newly emerging oil fields of the Middle East. Echoes of that period
approximately (forgive my fading memory) 1895 to 1922 - are still
bouncing around the world. Sam Neill is extraordinary as the first great professional spy who set the standard for those who came after, changing it from a gentleman's game to a deadly serious career path. I remember watching some news footage at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union. The reporter said that people were tearing down a statue of the founder of the KGB in front of its Headquarters. "Felix Derzhinsky in front of the Lubianka Prison!" I called out to the TV... I knew because of having watched its birth in Sidney Reilly... eventually, the news got it right. If you love history and great drama...this is for you.
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