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
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.
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
From Espionage to History
by Debashine Thangevelo | Cape Argus / IOL / International | November 4, 2019
Damian Lewis is a recognizable face on the big and small screen. Of late, he has been praised for his roles as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and Bobby Axelrod in Billions. He was also cast as Steve McQueen in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood. And let us not forget his role as Nicholas Brody in Homeland.
Having covered a gamut of genres, from espionage to history, it does make his latest stint as a narrator for History’s Damian Lewis: Spy Wars almost surreal.
“This Mossad mission, I’m sure 98% of people watching won’t have heard of this story. So, I think it’s a little glimpse through a window of what they did; it’s an incredible story. You will sit and watch and be utterly engaged. I think that’s true of all our stories. Even the Argo story – we come in from a slightly different angle with a bit more backstory, from the intelligence part of it rather than the film making aspect of it.”
On being a part of this project he adds, “As soon as you put yourself in front of a camera, or in front of an audience, as a performer, there’s a whole intricate web of thoughts that run through your head – how you want to be presented and how can you successfully be a credible part of your show, your story, whatever it is – and we had to work quite quickly.”
“I was flying in and out of New York from Billions and we had a budget, obviously, we had to be aware of.”
Continue reading Lewis Pulls Covers Off Espionage – Nov 4, 2019
I Spy With My Little Eye…
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | August 21, 2019
UK’s History Channel has updated their website to indicate Damian Lewis: Spy Wars will air it’s first of eight episodes on Monday, October 7, 2019! The factual series will reveal the remarkable true stories behind some of the most gripping and important international spy operations of the last forty years. Packed full of espionage, surveillance, undercover work, and covert operations, the series brings forth these real events as well as the profound personal and geopolitical consequences for all involved. Utilizing innovative and highly stylized reconstructions, Spy Wars was shot on location in London, Moscow and Israel.
Be sure to visit our Gallery here for not only promo photos, but some behind the scenes photos as well!
Episode Titles/Plot Descriptions:
EPISODE 1: THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD
This is the story of Oleg Gordievsky, one of the West’s most valuable Cold War agents who risked everything to avert a third World War. Appearing to be an ambitious diplomat stationed at the Soviet embassy in Denmark, Gordievsky was actually a Russian spy and a rising star of the KGB. After a few years in Copenhagen, he was recruited by the British and posted to London by the KGB. Whilst in London, President Reagan authorized the largest NATO war game in its history: Able Archer.
From the KGB’s station in London, Gordievsky passed key intelligence to the British which many believe single-handedly pulled the world back from the brink of nuclear annihilation before being summoned by the KGB to return to the USSR immediately. Uncertain if his cover had been blown, Gordievsky was accused of being an MI6 spy. Refusing to blow his cover, he set in motion his MI6 extraction plan, leaving behind his wife and children. It would take 6 years and the collapse of the Soviet Union before his family could flee Moscow to join him. In 2007, Gordievsky was appointed ‘Companion of the Most Distinguished Order’ for services to the security of the United Kingdom by the Queen. Monday 7th October at 9pm.
Continue reading Spy Wars Teaser Trailers, Air Dates, and Episode Titles/Descriptions – Aug 21, 2019