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Tradecraft Through the Decades
by Staff | The Independent | December 8, 2022
New ITVX drama A Spy Among Friends explores the incredible story of two real-life MI6 spies – Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis) and Kim Philby (Guy Pearce) – whose decades-long friendship fell apart when Philby was revealed to be a treacherous double agent, spilling secrets to the KGB. Here historian Guy Walters explores the key techniques and kit spies like Elliott and Philby used during the Cold War era – and which ones are still being employed today.
When it comes to tradecraft – the techniques and technologies used in modern espionage – our minds often go straight to the not always entirely accurate (or plausible) rocket-firing cigarettes, grenade-launching pens and lazer-beaming watches from the spy films and shows we grew up on. Yet in real life, though some tradecraft is just as fiendishly clever, impressively high-tech and actually out-there as the gadgets and gizmos dreamed up by Hollywood, other examples represent far simpler, trusted techniques that allow agents to capture and share information efficiently and discreetly, with only a steel nerve and a cool facade required.
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“Lewis and Pearce Especially Share Phenomenal Chemistry”
by Chris Connor | Yahoo! Entertainment | December 8, 2022
A Spy Among Friends, the most high profile launch title for new UK streaming platform ITVX, retells the well-trodden story of the Cambridge Five. The spy ring — comprised of Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross — operated in the UK from the 1930s to the 1950s, and have been well-documented on TV and film, most notably in 2003’s Cambridge Spies, starring Samuel West, Toby Stephens and Tom Hollander.
The latest take on the story takes a different approach to the story, building it around Kim Philby, here played by Memento and LA Confidential star Guy Pearce and his friendship with Damian Lewis’ Nicholas Elliott.
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The Enigma and His Charismatic Traitor
by Rebecca Nicholson | The Guardian | December 8, 2022
The story of the notorious MI6 agent and Soviet spy Kim Philby has been told numerous times before, but A Spy Among Friends (ITVX) has a fresh bash at it, using Ben Macintyre’s book of the same name as its source and inspiration. The stakes are high. This is one of the flagship dramas to launch ITV’s revamped online player and new subscription service. It comes with a starry cast and what should be an irresistible tale of intrigue, double-crossing and suspense, stretched out over multiple locations from Istanbul, Beirut and London to Moscow and Ohio.
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A Decorated Folder for Kim Philby
by Damianista | damian-lewis.com | December 6, 2022
Guy Pearce was Amon Warmann’s guest on Pilot Podcast to chat about A Spy Among Friends, the six-part mini-series arriving on the new streaming platform ITVX on December 8. You can see a glimpse from the podcast in Amon Warmann’s tweet below and you can listen to the podcast in its entirety here.
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A Beautiful and Sort of Tragic, Sad Relationship
by Rachael Davies | Herald Scotland | December 6, 2022
A Spy Among Friends’ Damian Lewis and Anna Maxwell Martin tell Rachael Davis about the ITVX series’ true story of espionage and betrayal.
It’s 1963: the height of the Cold War. International politics is fueled by secrecy and duplicity, as psychological warfare, propaganda and espionage – not to mention the latent threat of nuclear attack – keeps world leaders looking over their shoulders and into the shadows.
In England, Nicholas Elliott, played by Damian Lewis, is working for MI6 as an intelligence officer. He has a very close, long-standing friendship with Kim Philby, his colleague in intelligence.
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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.