Suspicions are aroused when a British trawler goes missing... Tom Wilkinson leads the astonishing BBC Cold War drama inspired by real events. Enter a nightmarish world of political ... See full summary »






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Series cast summary:
Tom Wilkinson ...  Martin Taylor 6 episodes, 1983
Peter Eyre ...  Francis Main 6 episodes, 1983
Lesley Nightingale Lesley Nightingale ...  Suzy Summerfield 6 episodes, 1983
Michael Aldridge ...  Sir Peter Hillmore 6 episodes, 1983
Paul Geoffrey ...  Simon Tate 5 episodes, 1983
Philip Hynd Philip Hynd ...  Evans 5 episodes, 1983
David Burke ...  Rokoff 5 episodes, 1983
Thorley Walters Thorley Walters ...  Dr. Arthur Dowdall 4 episodes, 1983
Al Gillyon Al Gillyon ...  Hoskins 3 episodes, 1983
Christine Hargreaves Christine Hargreaves ...  Jean Williams 3 episodes, 1983
Vivienne Martin ...  Mrs. Franklin 3 episodes, 1983
Judy Monahan Judy Monahan ...  Christy 3 episodes, 1983
Joe Holmes Joe Holmes ...  Sam Spaulding 3 episodes, 1983
Mandy Pickard Mandy Pickard ...  Mrs. Metcalfe 3 episodes, 1983
Gaylie Runciman Gaylie Runciman ...  Mrs. Lindsay 3 episodes, 1983
Malcolm Tierney ...  Harding 3 episodes, 1983
Malcolm Hebden ...  Tom Silvers 2 episodes, 1983
Bridget McConnell Bridget McConnell ...  Mrs. Huninger 2 episodes, 1983
Bjørn Sundquist Bjørn Sundquist ...  Erik Starvik 2 episodes, 1983
Jean Boht Jean Boht ...  Mrs. Silvers 2 episodes, 1983
Don Henderson ...  Jack Fielding 2 episodes, 1983
Jimmy Nail ...  Metcalfe 2 episodes, 1983
David Ryall ...  Sir Philip Strang 2 episodes, 1983
Jackie Shinn Jackie Shinn ...  Clerk 2 episodes, 1983
Terence Harvey ...  Travis 2 episodes, 1983
Patricia Gallimore Patricia Gallimore ...  Nurse 2 episodes, 1983
Erik Øksnes Erik Øksnes ...  Nils Jakobsen 2 episodes, 1983
William Fox William Fox ...  Marcus Carpenter 2 episodes, 1983
Michael Lees ...  Captain Huninger 2 episodes, 1983
Toralv Maurstad Toralv Maurstad ...  Dr. Bjørnson 2 episodes, 1983
Trini Lund Trini Lund ...  Mrs. Starvik 2 episodes, 1983


Suspicions are aroused when a British trawler goes missing... Tom Wilkinson leads the astonishing BBC Cold War drama inspired by real events. Enter a nightmarish world of political cover-ups of international consequence in the last decade of the Cold War in this six-part BBC drama. When an ordinary British fishing vessel and its 36-man crew mysteriously disappears off the coast of Norway, journalist Martin Taylor (Tom Wilkinson) is determined to find out why. His father was on board, and is now missing. His investigations soon lead him to run up against the twin barriers of Royal Navy stonewalling and an impenetrable Soviet Politburo. The notorious finale shocked audiences when it was first aired in 1983. The haunting theme 'A Cold Wind', sung by June Tabor, was so popular it was released as a single. Spyship is based on the fictional novel by Brian Haynes and Tom Keene, former reporters who researched the real life sinking of the FV Gaul in 1974 which was shrouded in mystery. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Astonishing BBC Cold War Drama






UK | Australia | USA



Release Date:

9 November 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Spionageschiff See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A Cold Wind
Sung by June Tabor
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User Reviews

Comments on the BBC series "Spyship" broadcast in 1983
17 April 2005 | by gbm-5See all my reviews

I saw this series when it was broadcast in 1983 and it was excellent, if a little slow to get started.The theme tune "A Cold Wind", was sung by the incomparable June Tabor and was released as a single in the year of broadcast.A haunting tune written for the series, it suited the series perfectly.The story of a trawler which went down in open sea with no apparent explanation.It was first thought to have been sunk by the Russians, then a journalist, with the aid of a female friend, started to find out otherwise.As the series progressed, the two found their lives were in danger and were being thwarted in their efforts to get to the bottom of the tragedy.It has a quite stunning finale and is well worth a viewing.

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