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The Best British Spy Shows to Stream Right Now

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.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Poll Print Media

Best TV Shows of 2023: Giving the Small Screen a Tweak

A Spy Among Friends

by John Anderson | The Wall Street Journal | December 5, 2023

It wasn’t a regular year, this 2023. Writers were on strike; actors were on strike. “Succession” lurched into the grave. Martha the Medicare Lady was making people crazier than they already were. And you know what? Shingles doesn’t care.

That said, I had assumed that this retrospective examination and contemplation of TV in the year ’23 was destined to be about the new. The novel. The innovative. Which is counterintuitive, to be sure: Television is a medium—or an industry, or whatever it is—that seems passionately dedicated to the idea that viewers don’t want to feel too passionately about anything, or have their equilibrium disturbed or their worldview assaulted. Hence the flourishing business of game shows, “unscripted” celebrity-reality series and nonfiction programming about serial murderers, which are always comforting to those of us not being murdered.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Poll Print Media

Best TV Shows of 2023: A Spy Among Friends

Nail-Biting Espionage

by Mike Hale | New York Times | November 29, 2023

TV in 2023 was like synchronized swimming. Below the surface, there was roiling and churn. The writers’ and actors’ strikes wiped out much of the production year. The hangover from the corporate binge on streaming platforms led to cancellations and cutbacks. A number of hall-of-fame series left the air, with no clear plan of, as it were, succession.

But above the waterline, the dance went on. As usual, it was challenging to whittle down my year-end list to 10. (So I picked 11.) As usual, I am listing it in alphabetical, not ranked order. As usual, I made it a rule not to repeat shows from the previous year, and as usual, I broke that rule. (I couldn’t not include “Reservation Dogs.”)

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Awards

A Spy Among Friends Wins Radio Times Screen Test Award

Best Box Set

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | November 7, 2023

The Radio Times Screen Test Awards 2023 voting results are in and A Spy Among Friends won Best Box Set on Tuesday, November 7, 2023! The public was able to vote for shows in seven key categories that made them feel good and improved their wellbeing over the past year.

Congrats to all the cast and crew. We are proud of the mini-series and its accolades.

Categories A Spy Among Friends Broadcast Media

A Spy Among Friends Available on Amazon Prime

Stream This Spy Thriller

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | September 28, 2023

A Spy Among Friends is available to stream on Amazon Prime and the first episode is free! Remaining episodes require adding a free trial of MGM+ to your Amazon Prime account, however, you can cancel MGM+ add-on at any time to avoid further fees. The television mini-series first aired on the new streaming platform ITVX in the UK back in December 2022, followed by Amazon Prime Video in Canada since February 2023 and more recently on MGM+ in the US from March 2023.

Based on Ben Macintyre’s book by the same name, Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis) is working for Britain’s SIS as an intelligence officer and is left in turmoil when he learns his close friend and colleague, Kim Philby (Guy Pearce), has been secretly working as a double agent for the KGB since 1932. Elliot interviews him in Beirut, and then Philby defects to the Soviet Union. The series was nominated in the best mini-series category at the British Academy Television Awards, announced in March 2023.

Categories A Spy Among Friends Broadcast Media

A Spy Among Friends Heads to ITV and Sky Italia

Broadcast Syndication

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | July 4, 2023

A Spy Among Friends is coming to ITV1 beginning Sunday, July 9, 2023 at 9:00 pm and Sky Italia on July 17. The television mini-series first aired on the new streaming platform ITVX in the UK back in December 2022, followed by Amazon Prime Video in Canada since February 2023 and more recently on MGM+ in the US from March 2023.

Based on Ben Macintyre’s book by the same name, Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis) is working for Britain’s SIS as an intelligence officer and is left in turmoil when he learns his close friend and colleague, Kim Philby (Guy Pearce), has been secretly working as a double agent for the KGB since 1932. Elliot interviews him in Beirut, and then Philby defects to the Soviet Union. The series was nominated in the best mini-series category at the British Academy Television Awards, announced in March 2023.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Awards Emmy For Your Consideration Print Media

Blinded By the Lies with Damian Lewis

Damian Lewis Shines in A Spy Among Friends

by Benji Wilson | Emmy Magazine, Issue #7 | June 28, 2023

As the unwitting accomplice to one of Britain’s most notorious traitors, Damian Lewis shines in A Spy Among Friends.

When Alexander Cary, an executive producer on Homeland, called his old friend Damian Lewis, star of Homeland and Billions, and said he had the rights to Ben Macintyre’s nonfiction bestseller A Spy Among Friends, the question wasn’t, did Lewis want to do it —the question was, who might Lewis play?

The obvious answer was Kim Philby, the most notorious Soviet double agent in history, who rose high in the ranks of British intelligence in the 1940s and ’50s while funneling secrets to the Russians. But Lewis was more interested in playing Nicholas Elliott.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends Interviews Print Media

Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce Dig Into a Real-Life MI6 Double Agent Story

Best Limited Series First-Round Emmy Contender

by Hugh Hart | Los Angeles Times | June 16, 2023

He’s portrayed intense terrorist Nicholas Brody in “Homeland,” domineering mogul Bobby Axelrod in “Billions” and mercurial King Henry VIII in “Wolf Hall,” but Emmy-winning British actor Damian Lewis rarely plays the fool. Breaking type in the fact-based Cold War thriller “A Spy Among Friends,” Lewis chose to portray MI6 operative Nicholas Elliott, who’s stunned by the realization that his best friend Kim Philby is a traitor working for Communist Russia.

The MGM+ limited series, based on Ben Macintyre’s book of the same title, casts Australian actor Guy Pearce (“L.A. Confidential,” “Memento,” “Mare of Easttown”) as the lethally charming Philby. Set in 1963, “A Spy Among Friends” hopscotches through three decades of flashbacks that culminate inside a Beirut safe house: Elliott’s supposed to bring Philby back to England, where he’ll face the consequences of his treachery. Instead, Philby flees to Moscow.

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Categories A Spy Among Friends For Your Consideration Interviews Print Media

For Sony Pictures Television, Championing Creatives Means Content That Stands Apart

A Spy Among Friends

by Karen Idelson | Variety | June 6, 2023

Contributions of talented artisans on both sides of the camera are valued at the studio and are set to be acknowledged this awards season.

Whether working fervidly in the development phase or creating boundary-pushing visuals to serve a project’s narratives, Sony Pictures Television’s storytellers and artisans consistently find new ways to engage audiences and set the gold standard of crafting impactful television.

With its roster of diverse series and multifaceted talent, the award-winning television production and distribution studio aims to dominate across categories during the 2023 Emmy® race. The growing Sony Pictures Television universe features standout performances across genres, offering a glimpse into different cultural experiences and drawing inspiration from everything from the most beloved comic books to real-life spy stories.

“Across the studio’s slate, viewers have every type of story at their fingertips and can anticipate each series being crafted at the highest level of quality by the best artisans working in television today,” says Katherine Pope, president of Sony Pictures Television Studios.

A Spy Among Friends — Eyewitness to Reality

Damian Lewis applauds the writers behind the espionage thriller “A Spy Among Friends” for crafting dialogue that is detailed and authentic to the true story of a British spy for the Soviet Union.

“Alex Cary has this brilliant way of writing histories,” the actor says of the show’s writer and creator. “They read like capers and thrillers. We have photographic evidence of what these people looked like. We want to be true to who they are without doing impersonations.”

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Categories A Spy Among Friends For Your Consideration Print Media

How the A Spy Among Friends Score Creates Audible Paranoia for Its Spy Characters

Craft Considerations: Composer Dustin O’Halloran Layers Paranoia and Heartbreak Into an Experimental Score

by Staff | IndieWire | May 23, 2023

The story of Kim Philby, the high-ranking British intelligence official who turned out to be one of the biggest double agents in U.K. history (and a hero of the Soviet Union, if you take the Russian point of view), is well known at this point. Dozens of books, fiction and nonfiction, have been written about how Philby took in the great and the good of MI6 and the CIA for decades before he finally had to flee across the Iron Curtain in 1963.

This version of Philby, played with the kind of rumpled fatalism only Guy Pierce can muster, spends a lot of time keeping those friends close at the cost of his own soul, particularly Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis). But MGM Television’s “A Spy Among Friends,” which traces Philby and Elliott’s relationship from World War II to the ramifications of Philby’s defection (though not necessarily in that order) has no interest in spelling out how genuine the friendships of spies can be. It is interested in giving us the clues, hidden (among other places) in the adrenaline and emotion of the miniseries’s remarkable score.

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