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by SpyHards Podcast | Twitter | December 5, 2022
This week’s episode of SpyHards Podcast has Agent Scott and guest operative Jeff Quest from the Spy Write website engage in a little old school espionage while delivering an exclusive declassified preview of the ITVX limited series A Spy Among Friends. In addition to decoding the first two episodes they also talk to author Ben Macintyre and show creator Alex Cary about translating the story from page to screen. Listen to the episode here or any pod app of your choice.
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A Ruthless MI6 Traitor Ruined the Life of His Closest Colleague
by Ben Macintyre | The Times | December 5, 2022
One winter morning a decade ago, I took a walk on Hampstead Heath with my friend David Cornwell, better known as the novelist John le Carré. I was suffering from what David called “post publicatio tristis”, the strange melancholy that descends after you have published a book and wonder if you will ever write another.
“What is the best unwritten story of the Cold War?” I asked him, blatantly fishing for inspiration.
Without hesitation he replied: “The relationship between Kim Philby and Nicholas Elliott.” I knew of Philby, of course, the notorious KGB spy, but I had never heard of Elliott.<
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A Spy Among Friends ITV Review: Four Stars
by Dan Einav | Financial Times | December 5, 2022
In the second world war, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) had among their ranks one of the most successful spies in history. Trouble was, Harold “Kim” Philby was so adept at espionage that not only did he deceive his enemies, but also his allies at MI6.
An original series made for ITV’s shiny new streaming service, ITVX, A Spy Among Friends is an carefully crafted intelligence thriller about Philby — the Englishman who was outed as a double agent for the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. Like the recent BBC hit SAS Rogue Heroes, the show is a dramatisation based on an immersive history by the author Ben Macintyre. But where the former was a hot-headed affair, this six-parter is poised, patient and, fittingly for a story largely set during the cold war, touched by a certain froideur.
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BAFTA Worthy Performances
by Sabrina Barr | Metro | December 5, 2022
Damian Lewis has opened up on a ‘beautifully written’ scene from his new show A Spy Among Friends that had to be cut in the final edit, which has been dubbed an ‘acting masterclass’.
The upcoming thriller series, which is set to premiere on ITVX this week, is based on a book of the same name, telling the true story of an MI6 agent called Kim Philby who was revealed to be a double agent for the Soviet Union’s KGB at the height of the Cold War.
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“Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce Act Their Socks Off”
by Joel Golby | The Guardian | December 3, 2022
Double agents are everywhere. Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce act their socks off. But nobody knows what ITVX is – no matter what the secret service say. The thing with A Spy Among Friends is that it’s very good – intricate, deft and thrilling with just the right sort of TV set pieces to keep things rollicking around – but also a lot of it is just “two people having a conversation in a room, both of them smoking in a very 60s way”, and you do have to actively watch it to know what’s going on.
There’s fun old-school espionage and big old-fashioned tape recorders and men in their shirtsleeves sweating in rooms while listening to a bug, and everyone keeps offering each other tea in a way that seems too deliberately innocuous to be anything other than a ruse. Guy Pearce is playing opposite Damian Lewis and they are both acting their absolute heads off, which is always fun. And there is no way this whole thing doesn’t end with a clever twist.
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“Spies, Breakfasts and Buttocks”
by Chris Hewitt | Empire Online | December 2, 2022
This week’s episode of the Empire Podcast is joined by the brilliant Damian Lewis and Nick Murphy, star and director respectively of the ITVX drama, A Spy Among Friends . Lewis and Murphy occupy the third and fourth chairs with remarkable grace, fielding questions about spies, breakfasts and buttocks, while tackling this week’s listener question, about the best time jumps in movies and TV. Listen to episode #543 via PlanetRadio player here or any pod app of your choice.
by Benjie Goodhart | Saga Magazine | December 2, 2022
A Spy Among Friends – Episode 1/6 – Thursday 8th December – ITVX
On the basis of the first episode, A Spy Among Friends is well worth a look. The six-part drama series is based on Ben Macintyre’s bestselling factual account of secret service agent Kim Philby’s 30-year career spying for the Soviet Union, and his defection to the USSR in 1963.
Guy Pearce stars as Philby, and the story primarily centers around his friendship with fellow Secret Intelligence Service spook Nicholas Elliott, played with characteristic aplomb by Damian Lewis. The story jumps backwards and forwards in time (sit up straight and pay attention, this is not one to watch while doing a Su Doku on your phone) but the gist of it is that Elliott feels profoundly betrayed by his erstwhile friend and colleague.
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A Spy Among Friends
by Phil Harrison | The Guardian | December 2, 2022
Guy Pearce and Damian Lewis star in a hugely stylish spy drama. A Spy Among Friends about the doomed friendship between spies Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis) and Kim Philby (Guy Pearce) is an immersive treat. It’s told via the regretful Elliott’s debriefing by MI5 agent Lily Thomas (Anna Maxwell Martin) after Philby’s treason has been revealed. These jolly good public school chaps are already steeped in British reserve and the art of never quite saying what you mean, which proves to be the perfect preparation for the life of a spy. It was this distance and ambiguity that enabled Philby to infiltrate and nearly destroy their world. A very English betrayal, stylishly rendered.
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ITVX Showcase Event
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | December 1, 2022
Damian and A Spy Among Friends co-star Anna Maxwell Martin attended the ITVX showcase event in London back on November 15, 2022. View images from the event here. The event celebrated the upcoming December 8 launch of new streaming service ITVX, which will feature more than 10,000 hours of free programming, including Spy.
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Kim Philby Was Such a Good Spy, He Was Toxic
by ITVX | Twitter | November 30, 2022
Damian Lewis and Ben Macintyre discuss MI6 intelligence officer Nicholas Elliott. The new drama mini-series will be available for streaming on ITVX in the UK beginning December 8, BritBox AU on December 9 and MGM+ in 2023 in the US.
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Guy Pearce Remembers the Late Helen McCrory on This Morning
by Charlotte Dean | Daily Mail Online | November 30, 2022
Guy Pearce has discussed filming A Spy Among Friends with Damian Lewis shortly after his late wife Helen McCrory‘s death in April last year. The actor, 55, said he could feel the Peaky Blinders actress’ ‘essence’ on set as they filmed the drama together, during an appearance on Wednesday’s This Morning.