Smiley's People

Season 1 Episode 2

The General's Big Fish

Aired Unknown Sep 27, 1982 on BBC Two
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Episode Summary

The General's Big Fish
After Vladimir's death, Smiley tries to retrace the last movements of the General. He talks to several Russian exiles living in London and finds the negative of an astonishing photograph.

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  • George Smiley begins his long search, not only for the murderes of his friend Vladimir, but for the reason the old man was murdered.

    From small beginnings, a story of titanic significance for the British Secret Service is uncovered - and, as with "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", George Smiley must find the truth with little enough help from his erstwhile colleagues, the so-called professionals. The personal story - Smiley's quest to avenge his friend's horrible death - becomes subsumed into what are regarded - by others - as larger concerns. But it's the personal element that keeps Smiley patiently asking his penetrating questions, and in the end, he finds the answers are even more personal to him than he had supposed. Incidentally, this intriguing episode features an early TV performance by future star Alan Rickman, who provides a moment of comic relief.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Smiley: You haven't been talking to anyone on the other side of the business, have you? Anybody who might help get rid of a tiresome old man who's making a bore of himself? No? Well, well. I've reached an age where I'm allowed to ask, you know.

    • Mikhel: To the Bolsheviks, we exiles remain enemy number one. Anathema. Where they once destroyed our culture and our churches, where they can, they destroy us. And they are right to be afraid of us. One day, we shall defeat them.

    • Smiley: He never asked for Hector. Never his postman. Why not? That was always the procedure in the old days. Why did he cut out Hector?
      Mikhel: Hector was no good for him. He told me, "Our good postman Hector is like the City banks. When it rains, he takes away the umbrella."

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