The true story of a group of Cambridge University Students who are recruited to spy for the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.

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Series cast summary:
 Guy Burgess (4 episodes, 2003)
 Kim Philby (4 episodes, 2003)
 Donald Maclean (4 episodes, 2003)
 Anthony Blunt (4 episodes, 2003)
Stuart Laing ...
 Jack Hewit (3 episodes, 2003)
 Henry (2 episodes, 2003)
 Melinda Maclean (2 episodes, 2003)
 Colonel Winter (2 episodes, 2003)
 Otto (2 episodes, 2003)
 Guy Liddell (2 episodes, 2003)
 Julian Bell (2 episodes, 2003)
Colin Higgins ...
 Porter (2 episodes, 2003)
 James Angleton (2 episodes, 2003)
 The Queen (2 episodes, 2003)


The true story of a group of Cambridge University Students who are recruited to spy for the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 May 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cambridge kémei  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


This production's producer Mark Shivas said of this mini-series: "Burgess, Maclean, Philby and Blunt believed that what they were doing was not betraying their country, but serving it. But how long can you hold on to youthful idealism? Peter Moffat's script is about friendship, passion and conviction - it's about how far they were prepared to go to realise their ideals, and their unshakeable faith in their beliefs."" See more »


During the waiter's strike it appears to be daytime inside the great hall and night time outside. See more »


[repeated line]
Guy Burgess: February the nineteenth.
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Version of Philby, Burgess and Maclean (1977) See more »


by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

23 May 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The BBC has once again shown that they can still create top quality drama. While there may be some historical issues with the script, one has to admire the fact that the characters are portrayed accurately and convincingly. Having just seen the last of the four-part series, I can comment that for entertainment value it is top notch.

Sure, some may argue the historical facts are inaccurate, or that the light spun upon the situation is somewhat different to how it was at the time, but much information about the infamous Cambridge spies is uncertain at best - in particular Kim Philby (Toby Stephens) is somewhat a mystery even today. Do not be fooled into thinking that this series is a documentary, it isn't. However, you will be forgiven for thinking that you are watching the actual events, with the locations, pieces and acting all first class.

Watch it with an open mind, as if it is fictional. You will be greatly rewarded, excited and even humoured at how four masterminds underplayed the archaic MI6 for their principals. I'd certainly recommend it.

Overall: 9/10 - Losing the ultimate 1 mark for seeming rushed in parts and sometimes making it hard to understand the relationships between the very complex characters - particularly at the start of the series.

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