Suspicions are aroused when a British trawler goes missing... Tom Wilkinson leads the astonishing BBC Cold War drama inspired by real events. Enter a nightmarish world of political ... See full summary »






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Series cast summary:
 Martin Taylor (6 episodes, 1983)
 Francis Main (6 episodes, 1983)
Lesley Nightingale ...
 Suzy Summerfield (6 episodes, 1983)
 Sir Peter Hillmore (6 episodes, 1983)
Paul Geoffrey ...
 Simon Tate (5 episodes, 1983)
Philip Hynd ...
 Evans (5 episodes, 1983)
 Rokoff (5 episodes, 1983)
Thorley Walters ...
 Dr. Arthur Dowdall (4 episodes, 1983)
Al Gillyon ...
 Hoskins (3 episodes, 1983)
Christine Hargreaves ...
 Jean Williams (3 episodes, 1983)
 Mrs. Franklin (3 episodes, 1983)
Judy Monahan ...
 Christy (3 episodes, 1983)
Joe Holmes ...
 Sam Spaulding (3 episodes, 1983)
Mandy Pickard ...
 Mrs. Metcalfe (3 episodes, 1983)
Gaylie Runciman ...
 Mrs. Lindsay (3 episodes, 1983)
 Harding (3 episodes, 1983)
 Tom Silvers (2 episodes, 1983)
Bridget McConnell ...
 Mrs. Huninger (2 episodes, 1983)
Bjørn Sundquist ...
 Erik Starvik (2 episodes, 1983)
Jean Boht ...
 Mrs. Silvers (2 episodes, 1983)
Don Henderson ...
 Jack Fielding (2 episodes, 1983)
 Metcalfe (2 episodes, 1983)
 Sir Philip Strang (2 episodes, 1983)
Jackie Shinn ...
 Clerk (2 episodes, 1983)
 Travis (2 episodes, 1983)
Patricia Gallimore ...
 Nurse (2 episodes, 1983)
Erik Øksnes ...
 Nils Jakobsen (2 episodes, 1983)
William Fox ...
 Marcus Carpenter (2 episodes, 1983)
 Captain Huninger (2 episodes, 1983)
Toralv Maurstad ...
 Dr. Bjørnson (2 episodes, 1983)
Trini Lund ...
 Mrs. Starvik (2 episodes, 1983)


Suspicions are aroused when a British trawler goes missing... Tom Wilkinson leads the astonishing BBC Cold War drama inspired by real events. Enter a nightmarish world of political cover-ups of international consequence in the last decade of the Cold War in this six-part BBC drama. When an ordinary British fishing vessel and its 36-man crew mysteriously disappears off the coast of Norway, journalist Martin Taylor (Tom Wilkinson) is determined to find out why. His father was on board, and is now missing. His investigations soon lead him to run up against the twin barriers of Royal Navy stonewalling and an impenetrable Soviet Politburo. The notorious finale shocked audiences when it was first aired in 1983. The haunting theme 'A Cold Wind', sung by June Tabor, was so popular it was released as a single. Spyship is based on the fictional novel by Brian Haynes and Tom Keene, former reporters who researched the real life sinking of the FV Gaul in 1974 which was shrouded in mystery. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

9 November 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Spionageschiff  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A Cold Wind
Sung by June Tabor
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User Reviews

A Disappointment
17 December 2014 | by (Scarborough, Australia) – See all my reviews

Tempted by the positive reviews, we decided to purchase the DVD. It did not live up to our expectations. The production was obviously dated but even making allowances in that area, it does not forgive the woeful acting. Most of the cast were well known at the time or have achieved some status since.Perhaps they were hamstrung by a thin script. They seemed unable to cope with the slow direction. For example, in the scene when the hero finds himself in the water, is he ever going to manage to get out as he crawls across the mud? And then we wait for ages to find out if he can ascend the ladder.Who were the various villains and what did they represent? It was never clear. One saving grace; the ending was quite unexpected; perhaps another half mark?

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