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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1979  
Top Rated TV #178 | Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Alec Guinness ...  George Smiley 7 episodes, 1979
Michael Jayston ...  Peter Guillam 7 episodes, 1979
Anthony Bate ...  Sir Oliver Lacon / ... 7 episodes, 1979
George Sewell ...  Mendel 7 episodes, 1979
Bernard Hepton ...  Toby Esterhase 5 episodes, 1979
Ian Richardson ...  Bill Haydon 5 episodes, 1979
Hywel Bennett ...  Ricki Tarr 5 episodes, 1979
Terence Rigby ...  Roy Bland 4 episodes, 1979
Ian Bannen ...  Jim Prideaux 4 episodes, 1979
Michael Aldridge ...  Percy Alleline 4 episodes, 1979
Alec Sabin Alec Sabin ...  Fawn 4 episodes, 1979
Alexander Knox ...  Control 3 episodes, 1979
Duncan Jones Duncan Jones ...  Roach 3 episodes, 1979
Daniel Beecher Daniel Beecher ...  Spikely 3 episodes, 1979
Beryl Reid ...  Connie Sachs 2 episodes, 1979
John Wells John Wells ...  Headmaster 2 episodes, 1979
Frank Compton Frank Compton ...  Bryant 2 episodes, 1979
Frank Moorey Frank Moorey ...  Lauda Strickland 2 episodes, 1979
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One Of Britain's Master Spies Is Working For The Enemy. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Czech | Russian

Release Date:

24 May 1981 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

König, Dame, As, Spion See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (7 parts)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The synopsis of this mini-series' source novel "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (1974) by John le Carré on his personal website reads: "Smiley and his people are facing a remarkable challenge: a mole - a Soviet double agent - who has burrowed his way in and up to the highest level of British Intelligence. His treachery has already blown some of their vital operations and their best networks. The mole is one of their own kind. But which one?...". See more »

Goofs

In episode 5, Fawn's hair is shaggy and hangs over his ears. A day later (in episode 6) it is short and trim. He's been guarding the kidnapped Toby Esterhase for the intervening period, so he could hardly have run out and got it cut. See more »

Quotes

George Smiley: You heard something about his
[Peter's]
George Smiley: murderous assignment in French North Africa, I suppose?
Mendel: Something. Whispers...
George Smiley: Peter was overmatched and he lost. His agents were hanged. No one recovers entirely from that sort of thing. That is, I wouldn't trust a man who did.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits show a set of Russian matryoshka dolls. One doll opens up to reveal a doll more irate than the other one, and the final doll is seen as being faceless. This was inspired by a line at the end of the "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" novel: "Smiley settled on a picture of one of those little Russian dolls that open up to reveal one inside the other, and another inside him. Of all men living, only Karla had seen the last little doll inside..." See more »

Alternate Versions

The American DVD edition is a syndicated edit comprised of six episodes instead of seven. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kingsman: Inside the Golden Circle (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Nunc Dimittis
Composed by Geoffrey Burgon
Sung by Paul Phoenix and the Boys of the St Paul's Cathedral Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A true masterpiece of storytelling
11 January 2006 | by blanchjoeSee all my reviews

This is not your usual spy / action story, . . .this is a story of ordinary men within an extra-ordinary world that few, if any, of us will ever be exposed to.

This is a thinking person's film, there are no setups, no story voice overs, you are required to really "watch" this story as it unfolds.

This story is an exploration of desire, anger, hatred, fear and respect, . . .it is a story of belief and manipulation, it is NOT James Bond.

This is "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" many, many years later, after a bitterness and loss have become a way of life.

This is one of the best films you will ever see.


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