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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 »
Based on a little known 1848 novel by Anne Bronte, Tara Fitzgerald stars as an enigmatic young woman who moves to 19th Century Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone ... See full summary »
Quirky comedy comprised of numerous humorous news programmes spliced not-so-randomly together. Enjoy the stuffed-shirt stylings of ex-Babylonian Claudia Christian, young Cadbury Cookiecrunch and the voice of Lloyd's TSB.
BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, Jane Tranter, once said of this production which she supervised: "This is an ambitious drama for BBC TWO - a fresh take on the story of the Cambridge Spy ring, which begins at the start of their spying careers. [Writer] Peter Moffat has drawn out its contemporary resonance for a modern audience focusing on their steadfast belief in communism and the passions that drove them to betrayal and huge personal sacrifice." See more »
An exterior shot in Cambridge prominently features black-and-gold pedestrian signposts that did not appear in English cities until several decades later. See more »
A very highly fictionalised account - but why did it need to be? The story of the Cambridge Five really did deserve better than this.
As drama it can't be faulted, but as a depiction of historical events it left much to be desired. We British are prone to look down upon the American TV movie, and for all the same reasons that were evident in the Cambridge Spies.
The story of the Five is well known enough for me not to have to point out the inaccuracies involved in this production, but beyond that I had no real sense of time and place, and certainly no sense of the evil these men did and the horrors and tragedies that came about as a result of their activities. In four hours there was room enough to get it right.
Some events were tick-boxed in glib exchanges, others rendered risible
the horror of Guernica reduced to one aged aeroplane with German
markings, a mother, her son, the rattle of gunfire, the inevitable priest who rushes to the aid of the dead boy.
Philby lost his stammer, MacLean's bisexuality was never hinted at, Burgess became almost a paragon of virtue compared with the reality of the man, and Blunt...
The appeal of this series was, whatever the BBC might say, that it was based around real events. In that case I feel the viewer has a right to expect factual accuracy, otherwise the fictionalisation may as well have extended to the substitution of fictional names for the characters, and the excising of the "what happened next" text before the end-credits.
As BBC drama this was well up to standard, as BBC factual drama it took a long step in the wrong direction.
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