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 »
This is the story of Magnus Pym, from his childhood to the end of his career in middle age. As a young man, there is little doubt that his father Rick was the most influential character in ... See full summary »
The Right Honorable James Hacker has landed the plum job of Cabinet Minister to the Department of Administration. At last he is in a position of power and can carry out some long-needed reforms - or so he thinks.
After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.
The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »
George Smiley has been retired for about a year when he finds a friend from the Circus, his old outfit in British Intelligence, sitting in his living room. He is taken to the home of an advisor to the Prime Minister on intelligence matters, where he finds evidence that one of the men in the senior ranks of his old agency is a Russian spy. Smiley is asked to find him, without official access to any of the files in the Circus or letting on that anyone is under suspicion. With only a few old friends, his own powers of deduction, and secrecy as weapons, Smiley must unearth the spy who turned him out of the Circus.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Jim Prideaux goes off on his abortive mission to Czechoslovakia at the end of March. Following this scene is a strap-line that says "six months later". That should put the continuing action at the end of September. However we see snow on the roads, and Roddy Martindale saying to George Smiley in the restaurant "... I do hope you're not going to tip him. It's a guinea at Christmas". See more »
Got a rabbit to pull out of your hat, Percy? You've got that Britain-can-make-it look about you. Very intimidating.
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In the closing credits, the church prayer "Nunc dimittis" is played. This prayer describes Simeon's wish to depart this world after having witnessed the newborn Messiah. In context, this theme is used to bid farewell to the viewer. See more »
You Needn't Love John le Carre to Want to See This Series
Although it helps to love John le Carre's novels, particularly those set during the Cold War, this series and its sequel, "Smiley's People," should be seen for their quality, which may be unsurpassed by anything on television before or since. Alec Guiness as George Smiley is the principal attraction, of course. He could do more with an eyebrow or a subtle change of expression than most actors can do with their entire bodies and vocal skills. But these two series are also distinguished by casts that are superior from top to bottom, products of the Royal Shakespeare Company and other British companies and academies. Ian Richardson is the best known member of this particular cast, other than Guiness himself, and he does an absolutely remarkable job. "Tinker, Tailor..." also offers the first glimpse of Patrick Stewart as "Karla," Smiley's chief antagonist, a leading figure in "Smiley's People." Americans used to see BBC films as part of the "Masterpiece Theatre" series on PBS, sometimes on "Mystery," another PBS staple. And the BBC is still turning out remarkable work. But "Tinker, Tailor..." and "Smiley's People" are unsurpassed -- complex, brilliantly plotted with characters (and not just Smiley) who challenge actors to do their very best work. While many of John le Carre's novels have been made into feature films (some of them quite good), they lend themselves better to the series mode, which allows for more detailed exposition and fuller development of character. They may be great literature (as le Carre's admirers insist) or polished pot boilers (as his critics argue), but they make for wonderful television. And you come away from these two series with the conviction that Smiley was MADE for Alec Guiness, that no one alive (or dead) could have done half as well.
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