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
 Simon Tate 5 episodes, 1983
Philip Hynd ...
Thorley Walters ...
 Dr. Arthur Dowdall 4 episodes, 1983
Al Gillyon ...
Christine Hargreaves ...
 Jean Williams 3 episodes, 1983
 Mrs. Franklin 3 episodes, 1983
Judy Monahan ...
Joe Holmes ...
 Sam Spaulding 3 episodes, 1983
Mandy Pickard ...
 Mrs. Metcalfe 3 episodes, 1983
Gaylie Runciman ...
 Mrs. Lindsay 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 ...
Patricia Gallimore ...
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

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Release Date:

9 November 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Spionageschiff  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A Cold Wind
Sung by June Tabor
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User Reviews

Intrigue worth watching (No Spoilers)
15 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This 6-part series centers on a male journalist and a female friend who are probing the loss of a British Fishing Trawler the "Mary Castor" with all hands on board. After interviewing the surviving family members and townspeople, the pair makes significant progress in piecing the puzzle together, only to find that things are not as they appear. They also begin to become a nuisance, and potential embarrassment to a group that would like to see their efforts fail. As their inquiries are hindered or blocked at every turn, the couple begins to understand the depth of the mystery, and are also terrified to find their lives are in danger.

I haven't seen this since it was shown in the early 80's. While it's not a great work, I remember it was quite enjoyable. As with most British fiction, it's a little slow in the beginning (by American standards), but gets rolling as the circumstances of the affair are discovered.

I also particularly like the opening song as well. It's a bit haunting, and reminds me of an old English ballad.

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