A dramatization of the missions and adventures of the greatest spy in British history.

On Disc

at Amazon




Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Sandbaggers (1978–1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The missions of an elite British Intelligence covert operations unit.

Stars: Roy Marsden, Ray Lonnen, Jerome Willis
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
A Perfect Spy (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man, there is little doubt that his father Rick was the most influential character in ... See full summary »

Stars: Ray McAnally, Rüdiger Weigang, Alan Howard
One Against the Wind (TV Movie 1991)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mary Lindell 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 »

Director: Larry Elikann
Stars: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Anthony Higgins
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

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.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A Millionairess and a doctor cannot marry until they meet conditions set-up by their respective parents.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Sophia Loren, Peter Sellers, Alastair Sim
Callan (1967–1972)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

David Callan is the top agent/assassin for the Security Service (British counterintelligence), but he is an embittered man who performs his duties "for Queen and country" under duress. This... See full summary »

Stars: Edward Woodward, Russell Hunter, Lisa Langdon
Drama | Musical | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.

Stars: Michael Gambon, Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley
State of Play (TV Mini-Series 2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A thriller set in London, in which a politician's life becomes increasingly complex as his research assistant is found dead on the London Underground and, in a seemingly unrelated incident, a teenage pickpocket is shot dead.

Stars: John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, Bill Nighy
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Allied agents attempt to infiltrate the Nazis' rocket research site.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Sophia Loren, George Peppard, Trevor Howard
Adventure | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale


Series cast summary:
 Sidney Reilly 12 episodes, 1983
 Narrator 11 episodes, 1983
 Cummings 10 episodes, 1983
 Dzerzhinsky 6 episodes, 1983
Jeananne Crowley ...
 Margaret 5 episodes, 1983
 Savinkov 5 episodes, 1983


A dramatization of the missions and adventures of the greatest spy in British history.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The epic adventures of Britain's greatest spy [DVD Australia] See more »


See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 September 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Reilly - As de espías  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


(12 parts) | (DVD)


See  »

Did You Know?


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 this show. 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 »


Mrs. Fried: Live for the present, die for the future.
See more »


from "The Gadfly"
Written by Dmitri Shostakovich
Theme music of the miniseries (opening and closing credits)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Superb series, one of the best of its kind. No, the best.
22 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

Fabulous work by Neill, as usual, in this early work. This series, for the most part historically accurate, covers the almost unbelievable espionage/covert ops careers in history by a man virtually unknown until this series ran. Fascinating perspectives on the political machinations going on in Europe & Asia at the time, most of which Sidney Reilly was involved in at one time or another. This is almost never seen since its initial few runs on PBS, but if it comes back, do NOT miss it. I wish I had taped it now....

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Zach Braff tackles acting and directing on his new show "Alex, Inc.," and we take a look at the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time.

Watch the show