Cambridge Spies (2003)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | History
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,077 users  
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In 1934, four brilliant Cambridge men are recruited to spy for Russia. Fueled by youthful idealism, a passion for social justice and a talent for lying, they take huge personal risks to ...

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Title: Cambridge Spies (2003– )

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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)
Darrell D'Silva ...
 Henry (2 episodes, 2003)
 Melinda Maclean (2 episodes, 2003)
 Colonel Winter (2 episodes, 2003)
 Otto (2 episodes, 2003)
Angus Wright ...
 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)


In 1934, four brilliant Cambridge men are recruited to spy for Russia. Fueled by youthful idealism, a passion for social justice and a talent for lying, they take huge personal risks to pass Britain's biggest secrets to Moscow. Based on true events.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


Drama | History



Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 May 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cambridge Spies  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Anthony Blunt is given a sporran by "Queen Mary". The Queen he is seen conferring with several times is Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother. See more »


Anthony Blunt: You kept your socks on.
Julian Bell: My Aunt Virginia gave them to me. They're hers. "Whatever you do, don't take the socks off. Not under any circumstances."
Anthony Blunt: I'm in bed with Virginia Woolf's socks.
See more »


Version of Philby, Burgess and Maclean (1977) See more »


by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
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User Reviews

BBC Production of the highest class
27 February 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This BBC presentation is, like the 4 spies involved, quintessentially British. The settings are supreme, particularly the depictions of life at Cambridge as an undergraduate, which is where we first meet the 4 characters whose effect on 20th century history, may never be fully appreciated. The story follows their lives and adventures up until Burgess and McLean defect in 1951. The settings apart, what lifts this production out of the ordinary and into the sublime, is the casting and the performances from everyone involved. The 4 leads played by Samuel West as Blunt, Toby Stephens as Philby, Tom Hollander as Burgess, Rupert Penry-Jones as McLean are, all of them, perfectly cast. And.............. there are also memorable contributions from Anthony Andrews, moving and dignified as King George VI, Imelda Staunton, wonderfully cryptic and tart as the late queen mother, John Light as the outsmarted and frustrated James Angleton and not least Marcel Lures as the dignified KGB officer who acted as contact to the four. I have already watched this twice and will do so again as there is so much to enjoy with repeated viewings. Particularly memorable scenes include their outrageous celebrations on their last day at Cambridge, Philby getting himself and his companions out of a jam in Vienna by dint of his unshakable belief in the power of his British Passport (One of many delicious ironies), McLean's unconventional courting of future wife Melinda, Blunt's scenes with the Royals and unforgettably, Burgess' way of getting himself declared "persona-non-grata" in USA. Hollander's "God Bless America" scene is one of the many highlights in the production and is as good a piece of bravura acting as anything that might come from a Brando, a Pacino or a De Niro. But there are goodies everywhere. You will not need to be a History Buff to enjoy this, but you will conclude as I did, that yet again,

"Nobody comes close to doing this kind of thing quite as well as the Beeb."

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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