Categories Print Media Review Spy Wars

Wall Street Journal Review: Spy Wars With Damian Lewis – March 19, 2020

Espionage in the Spotlight

by Dorothy Rabinowitz | The Wall Street Journal | March 19, 2020

Smithsonian Channel’s series tells shockingly true stories of the clandestine variety. In 1968, a loyal officer of the KGB is so shaken by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that he becomes an operative for British and American intelligence—one, “Spy Wars” reveals (begins Sunday, 8 p.m., Smithsonian Channel), destined to be of historic importance. This is the saga of Oleg Gordievsky—subject of the first episode of this eight-part weekly series, and a rich portrait it is. When his role of many years as a spy for the British and Americans finally becomes known to the Kremlin, quick exfiltration becomes an urgent necessity. His 1985 getaway in the trunk of a car driven by unflappable MI6 agents, who get him safely to Finland despite suspicious Russian border guards—and the howls of their alert dogs, who quiet down when the car’s driver throws them a treat—is an escape sequence to cherish.

In 2001, Robert Hanssen—one of the FBI’s most trusted agents—is unmasked as the mole who had, for 20 years, betrayed the identities of American assets in the Soviet Union and then Russia, thus ensuring their deaths at the hands of execution squads.

Continue reading Wall Street Journal Review: Spy Wars With Damian Lewis – March 19, 2020

Categories Spy Wars Video

Watch Spy Wars Episode One For Free – March 15, 2020

Spy Wars with Damian Lewis: The Man Who Saved the World (Full Episode)

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | March 15, 2020

At a time when the Cold War spying game was in full swing, Oleg Gordievsky was one of the KGB’s rising stars…and biggest traitors. For years, he provided top-secret Russian intelligence to the British, but he is best remembered for risking his life in 1983 to pull the world back from the brink of nuclear annihilation. Presented by host Damian Lewis and backed by firsthand accounts by Gordievsky himself, we detail the spy’s incredible career as a double agent and his gripping defection out of Russia.

Categories Announcement Print Media Spy Wars Trailer Video

Smithsonian Channel Enters the World of Global Espionage in Spy Wars with Damian Lewis – Feb 12, 2020

Official Press Release, Trailer, and Episode Guide

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | February 12, 2020

NEW SERIES HOSTED BY THE EMMY® AND GOLDEN GLOBE® WINNING ACTOR TO PREMIERE SUNDAY, MARCH 22 AT 8PM ET/PT

Where to watch streaming: Hulu Live, iTunes w/Amazon Prime account, fuboTV (free 7-day trial), and Vudu.

NEW YORK – February 12, 2020 – Smithsonian Channel is set to investigate some of the most shocking and explosive cases of espionage over the last 50 years. SPY WARS WITH DAMIAN LEWIS features the incredible true stories of spy wars fought in the shadows, from the turbulent years of the Cold War to the Iran Hostage Crisis and the discovery of a complex web of sleeper agents living in the U.S. – a major inspiration for the plot of The Americans. Each episode of this new eight-part series sees host Damian Lewis revealing these remarkable tales of the secretive world of government intelligence, surveillance and international conspiracy plots with interviews from the experts and eyewitnesses that lived through them. SPY WARS WITH DAMIAN LEWIS premieres Sunday, March 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel.

The series premiere episode, THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD, recounts the story of Oleg Gordievsky – a KGB agent who may have singlehandedly averted World War III. Posted to the Soviet embassy in London by the KGB, Gordievsky would become disenfranchised by the Soviet agenda and, in a shocking move, flipped to become a double agent for British intelligence MI6. What was to follow was a years-long effort by Gordievsky to pass Soviet intelligence to the British, all but preventing a nuclear Armageddon between the Soviet Union and the West.

Continue reading Smithsonian Channel Enters the World of Global Espionage in Spy Wars with Damian Lewis – Feb 12, 2020

Categories In Development/ Pre-Production News Print Media Spy Wars

Broadcasters Sign Up for A+E’s Damian Lewis: Spy Wars – Oct 11, 2019

Going Global

by Joseph O’Halloran | Rapid TV News | October 11, 2019  -and-
by Peter White | Deadline | October 11, 2019

As we head into the leading global content trade show and world’s entertainment market MIPCOM 2019 next week, A+E Networks and A+E Networks UK have signed a slew of top international broadcasters for its latest factual co-production, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.

Earlier this year we reported here that Spy Wars was heading to the Smithsonian Channel for US markets, a joint venture between CBS Corporation’s Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute. And now it seems other broadcasters will be joining Smithsonian Channel’s lead. The docu-drama currently airing on History UK and Blaze in the UK will now be available in the following markets: Blue Ant (Canada); POP TV (Slovenia); Bilibil.com (China); TVNZ (New Zealand); Historia and Atresmedia (Spain). A+E Networks says that multiple other deals are in negotiation. No word yet when television viewing audiences in other countries will see Damian hit their small screens, but rumor has it early 2020 for US customers.

In the series, award-winning actor Damian Lewis unpacks some of the most thrilling covert missions in modern-day history with the help of new declassified information, high-profile experts, and intelligence officers who were there. The program ranges from the most notorious spy exchange of recent times to the fake film production that freed Americans during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis to in-depth profiles of the world’s most skilled and lethal double agents and has been described as James Bond meets every John le Carré thriller you’ve ever read.

Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is executive produced by Alaska TV’s Chris Fouracre, Ian Lamarra, and Paul Sommers in association with Lewis’ own recently launched Rookery Productions with brother Gareth Lewis.

Read the rest of the original article at Rapid TV News
Secondary Source: Deadline

Categories Interviews Print Media Spy Wars

Spy Wars: TV Real Interview – Oct 3, 2019

Spies Next Door

by Mansha Daswani | TV Real, World Screen | October 3, 2019

Damian Lewis talks to TV Real about what appealed to him about the docudrama, which is being rolled out by A+E Networks.

Lewis already knew a fair bit about espionage before signing on to executive produce and present the A+E Networks U.K.-commissioned series Spy Wars. He did, after all, play an MI6 agent in Our Kind of Traitor, based on the John le Carre novel, and a U.S. prisoner of war who returns home and is hailed as a hero as he secretly plots a terrorist attach in Showtime’s Homeland. Damian Lewis: Spy Wars sees the British actor recounting notable stories of espionage from the last four decades, spanning from the Cold War all the way through to the contemporary war on terror. The eight-part series produced by Alaska TV in association with Lewis’s own Rookery Productions sees him speaking directly to camera and features expert interviews and dramatic reenactments.

TV REAL: Tell us about the genesis of Spy Wars. How did you come to be involved in the show?

LEWIS: My brother [executive producer Gareth Lewis] was already involved, he was going  to be directing parts of it. He said, Do you want to do this? I said, I don’t really do factual, I’m not a presenter. But I got sucked into these eight spy stories. I came on as a co-producer and tried to get to the bottom of what makes a man or woman do heroic or traitorous things on behalf of their country. That was it really. It came to me by invitation and my curiosity was tickled.

TV REAL: As you got into the details of these stories, what were some of the things that surprised you?

LEWIS: To be honest, a lot of what happens in the spy world is pretty unscientific. There’s still quite a lot of buccaneering and derring-do, if you like. It’s not risk-averse. It’s pro-risk, and often it can seem a bit chaotic, a bit ramshackle, and even at times a bit amateurish. Exotic words like “dead-drop” and “brush past” and things like that can simply be someone walking into a supermarket with the same plastic bag and putting it down and then each leaving with each other’s bag. It’s not exactly high-tech. While you’re looking for a slightly more sci-fi, James Bond aspect to these stories, they don’t exist. So the challenge for us was how to make the stories gripping and suspenseful. We tried to get into the minds of the individuals and what was at stake for them. What are the documents in that bag? What happens if that individual is caught? Why is the individual doing it? If the individual is a KGB officer and he’s caught, he’s going to be executed. If he’s a Western intelligence officer, he’s going to be imprisoned for life. We were trying to find out why these men and women are motivated to do these things. The motivation is often grubby and personal. It can be for simple revenge, a need to be heard, a need to belong to something, to be loved. People turn traitor for all these different reasons. So the surprise was constantly the grubbiness! And the desperation that’s there. And the extreme risk that these people are prepared to take in order to keep going.

Continue reading Spy Wars: TV Real Interview – Oct 3, 2019