A Spy Among Friends
by Staff | Vulture | December 6, 2023
The small-screen British spy genre is packed with some of the most tonally diverse marvels under the sun — pick one show, and you’ll bear witness to a beautiful assassin stabbing a man to death with a needle. Pick another, and a guy is giggling his way through the silliest MI-5 training imaginable. Whatever your taste, there are spy gadgets, thrilling chases, secret identities, and twisty betrayals throughout this list of good ol’ fashioned espionage shows for your (incognito) browsing pleasure.
Celebrate the fresh, I thought ambitiously. But in surveying what I’d seen over 2023 (you can’t see everything; that hasn’t changed), the shows that really popped were series I’d seen before, even if they did put a tweak on their own winning formulas.
A Spy Among Friends (2022)
Deception — both deceiving others and catching adversaries in their lies — is considered a key part of the job when you’re a spy, but Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service was still caught flat-footed when it was discovered that one of its own, Kim Philby (played here by Guy Pearce), was a double agent working for the KGB. Based on Ben Macintyre’s 2014 book of the same name, A Spy Among Friends depicts one of the most embarrassing episodes in British espionage history by focusing on the long friendship between Philby and fellow spy Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis).
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