Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Season 1, Episode 1

Return to the Circus (10 Sep. 1979)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama, Thriller
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 113 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?


In the distant shot of Jim Prideaux pulling away from a border crossing, adjacent to the Mobil petrol station and later when we see him driving away from the rear, he is driving a Mercedes Benz W114/115 (vertical headlamp cluster and short, 'fatter' tail lamps) however, the closer shots taken at the Czech border and thereafter are of a 'newer' Mercedes Benz W123. 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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