Categories A Spy Among Friends Print Media

A Double Agent, a Lifelong Friend and a Personal Betrayal: A Spy Among Friends

Now Streaming In UAE on TOD

by Enid Grace Parker | The Khaleej Times | December 15, 2022

Wondering what to binge-watch this weekend? Why not check out the 6-part series A Spy Among Friends, an intriguing tale of espionage, friendship, and betrayal that dramatizes the true story of Britain’s most notorious double agent and defector, Kim Philby. Philby is played by Australian actor Guy Pearce (Neighbours, Memento) while Homeland star Damian Lewis takes on the role of his lifelong friend, MI6 agent Nicholas Elliott. Based on the New York Times best-selling book by Ben Macintyre, A Spy Among Friends chronicles Philby’s deeply personal betrayal, uncovered at the height of the Cold War, which resulted in the gutting of British and American Intelligence.

Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Lewis – who received a CBE from Britain’s King Charles on December 14 – told City Times in a recent virtual group interview that roles based on real life are “more challenging” but “always more interesting” to him.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Print Media Review

A Spy Among Friends Dramatizes The Treachery of Kim Philby

“All the Thrills, Intrigue and Skulduggery of its Source Material”

by Staff | The Economist | December 14, 2022

“If i had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friends,” E.M. Forster wrote in 1938, “I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” The English author’s words are used as an epigraph to “A Spy Among Friends”, Ben Macintyre’s bestselling book of 2014 about Harold “Kim” Philby, as well as for a new television adaptation. Yet the British intelligence officer and double-agent made no such choice: he betrayed his country, his friends and his family for decades and without remorse.

Philby’s name is synonymous with treachery on a colossal scale. Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, John Cairncross and Donald Maclean—the other members of the Cambridge Five, a spy ring—committed many duplicitous deeds for their Soviet masters, but none can claim the title of Britain’s most notorious spy. Philby played his high-stakes game of double-cross so ruthlessly, so successfully and for so long that he acquired a different level of infamy after he was unmasked.

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Categories CBE Events Helen Honors Print Media

Damian Lewis Set to Receive Royal Honours

Royal Honours for FeedNHS

by Danny Halpin | Evening Standard | December 13, 2022

Damian Lewis, William Roache and AstraZeneca’s chief executive Sir Pascal Soriot are among a number of people due to be recognised with honours at an investiture ceremony on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.

Lewis, star of the award-winning shows Homeland and Band Of Brothers and who started a fundraiser to feed NHS staff healthy meals, will be made a CBE for services to drama and charity; while Roache, who holds the world record for the longest-serving TV actor in a continuous role for playing Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, will be made an OBE.

French-born Sir Pascal will be knighted for services to UK life sciences and the response to Covid-19 at the ceremony at Windsor Castle, after his company developed a vaccine and sent billions of doses around the world.

Paralympic athletes Karen Tonge and Sophie Wells and TV presenter Matt Baker are also to receive honours. Tonge, chair of Para Table Tennis, will be made an OBE for services to Paralympic table tennis after years of promoting the sport at a grassroots level. Para-equestrian Wells, who won gold at the London Paralympic Games in 2012, will also be made an OBE for services to equestrianism.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Print Media Video

VIDEO: Nick Murphy Explains Why A Spy Among Friends Deliberately Jumps Around

“The Jump-Around Is Part Of The Point”

by Brenna Cooper and David Opie | Digital Spy | December 12, 2022

A Spy Among Friends director Nick Murphy has has explained his reason for the show’s confusing narrative, saying it was a deliberate choice to “discombobulate” viewers. Throughout the series, the show jumps between several locations across 30 years as it tells the story of Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis) and KGB double agent Kim Philby (Guy Pearce). Murphy explained that it was a conscious decision from the beginning not to explicitly label each location and year, in order to focus on the show’s emotional storyline.

“The show jumps around over 30 years in London, Berlin, Moscow, Vienna, Istanbul… We made a decision quite early to not caption things as we jump around, because it would become this endless litany of captions on screen,” he told Digital Spy in a video here.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Print Media Video

VIDEO: Damian Lewis and Alex Cary Discuss A Spy Among Friends’ Saddest Scene

It Is Even More Heartbreaking Than You Think

by Jacob Sarkisian and David Opie | Digital Spy | December 11, 2022

A Spy Among Friends‘ first episode ends with a heartbreaking scene, but the makers of the show have explained the personal connection that makes it sadder than you think.

In the scene, Damian Lewis’ character watches Guy Pearce’s character on stage. As he watches, he starts to cry. However, Pearce’s character isn’t actually there and it’s all in the mind of Lewis’ character. Watch video here.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Print Media Review

REVIEW: TV – A Spy Among Friends

Superb Cast and Top Drawer Script

by Alison Rowat | Herald Scotland | December 10, 2022

When the TV adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy appeared in 1979 it was judged unsurpassable in its field. Alec Guinness as George Smiley? Only a fool would try to match that.

Then came the 2011 film with Gary Oldman, and spy tale traditionalists wobbled. Ditto BBC1’s The Night Manager five years later, with Tom Hiddleston’s BTM as its USP. I hear good things about Slow Horses (Disney+), which I’m saving till the sad day I finish the novels.

In short, the competition in spy dramas is intense. Given this, ITVX, the new streaming service that replaces ITV Hub, was taking a chance having A Spy Among Friends as its curtain raiser. From a minute in, however, it was clear everything was going to be all right on the opening night.

Set in the world of posh chaps who swear in a devilishly attractive fashion, A Spy Among Friends starred Damian Lewis as Nicholas Elliott, sent to Beirut to sort out the problem of his old pal and fellow MI6 agent Kim Philby (Guy Pearce). When Philby defected to Russia there were questions to be answered back in London, and MI5’s Lily Thomas (Anna Maxwell Martin) was the steely Durham rose doing the asking.

The cast was superb and the script by Alexander Cary (Homeland) from the book by Ben Macintyre, top drawer. “I’m not a traitor,” said an affronted Philby to his Russian handler. “I’ve been loyal to Marxism and to the Soviet Union my entire adult life.” It was the movie quality production, though, that lingered longest. From post-war Beirut to grim old London, you could almost smell the money spent.

Read the rest of the original article at The Herald Scotland

Categories A Spy Among Friends Print Media Review

REVIEW: Stunning Spy Thrillers on the Streaming Services

Brilliantly Constructed

by David Pollock | The Courier | December 10, 2022

Christmas has come early for fans of high-quality British spy thrillers, with two excellent and very different espionage series now up on streaming television.

The new kid on the block is the one with the classic feel, a six-part adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s 2014 book A Spy Among Friends (ITVX). Macintyre’s work has been a telly flavour of this year, with the recent BBC hit SAS Rogue Heroes also adapted from one of his works.

The Kim Philby Affair
The original A Spy Among Friends was subtitled ‘Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal’, and it told the story – or rather, the network of stories and characters – behind the 1963 defection of high-ranking Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, now MI6) agent and Soviet spy Philby to Russia.

Adapted by writer Alex Cary and starring Guy Pearce as Philby and Damian Lewis as his friend and colleague Nicholas Elliott, the show is an account of the saga which begins in the aftermath of the spy’s flight to Moscow from Beirut.

Elliott is under suspicion as an accomplice, as he was the last British agent to debrief Philby over several days in a bugged Beirut apartment.

The first episode is slow but brilliantly constructed, one of those thrillers that’s so pitch-perfect in its writing that much of the tension comes in waiting for each new line of crisply-delivered dialogue. Conversations are conducted like swordfights, rather than exercises in simply filling the plotting gaps.

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