Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Season 1, Episode 1

Return to the Circus (10 Sep. 1979)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Thriller
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 117 users  
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Retired espionage veteran George Smiley is called out on a top secret mission: to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.



(novel), (dramatisation)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Hepton ...
Terence Rigby ...
Michael Aldridge ...
George Sewell ...
Roddy Martindale
Anthony Bate ...
Hywel Bennett ...
Milos Kirek ...
Czeck Guard
Alec Sabin ...


Control, the ageing head of British Intelligence (the "Circus"), sets up Operation "Testify": he sends secret agent Jim Prideaux to Czechoslovakia where he is to get the name of a Soviet spy (or "mole") inside the Circus. But Prideaux falls into a trap... Written by Mark Treuthardt

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller






Release Date:

10 September 1979 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Peter Guillam's car has the registration number TJK 571 S. That would have been issued between August 1977 and July 1978. In later episodes, two other cars have T-registrations, from 1978-79. The action in the novel is supposed to be taking place in about 1973. See more »


[first lines]
[the Witchcraft committee - Toby Esterhase, Roy Bland, Percy Allenine and Bill Haydon - gather for a meeting]
Percy Alleline: Right! We shall start!
See more »

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