The Cambridge Spies

Season 1 Episode 1

Episode One

Aired Friday 9:00 PM May 01, 2003 on BBC Two
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Episode Summary

Episode One
While at Cambridge university two students, Philby and Maclean, are approached by Intelligence officers and requested to spy. It does not take Philby too long to realise that it is not the British Intelligence services who want them, but the Russians. They agree to spy for the Russians and, once the school year ends, Kim is sent on assignment to Vienna, where he marries committed communist Lettie Friedman. Once back in England, Philby's runner,Blunt, tells him that the marriage is not in the interests of the mission, and Philby has to end it.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • At the beginning of the episode the choir consists of young boys but the voices that can be heard are that of a full choir with basses and tenors etc. The singing is not synchronised with the mouth movements of the choir.

    • QUOTES (16)

      • Burgess: Look! Isn't he beautiful? His name is Julian Bell. He frightens me because he burns so brightly. Bright, beautiful flames burn out.

      • Blunt: Are you still here?
        Burgess: Of course I'm still bloody here, I'd have to bugger the dean to get sent down!

      • Burgess: Disingenuousness isn't part of your character, Kim, don't pretend it is.

      • Burgess: Is it the uniforms Gibbons?
        Gibbons: Keep out of this...
        Burgess: Rowing eights, rugby fifteens...large groups of men wearing the same clothes, is that the attraction?
        Gibbons: Shut up!
        Burgess: But the best clothes are worn over in Berlin, aren't they? Black boots, leather belts... Click your heels Gibbons. Click, click, click.
        Gibbons: I'm warning you, keep out of this!
        Burgess: Keep out? But that's the whole point isn't it? Not keeping out.

      • Burgess: Vladivostok, Moscow, the Kuznets Basin and Cambridge, coldest places on earth. And of the four, Cambridge, permanently the 19th of February. Look at that, February 19th in a face.

      • Burgess: Isn't it appalling? The dollops… It's an Empire breakfast, the British Empire is run by men who go out every morning with heavy dull dollops in the belly, and it all starts here. Talking of dollops, 'morning dollop.

      • Philby: You've been watching me.
        Burgess: Is that a question or a statement, or has it not made up its mind what it is yet?

      • Maclean: That girl, do you think I should… talk to her?
        Philby: No.
        Maclean: No?
        Philby: I think I should talk to her!

      • Blunt: I'm in bed with Virginia Woolf's socks.
        (Julian Bell starts stroking Blunt.)
        Blunt: Not in front of the socks!

      • Maclean: A betrayal is a betrayal whether the betrayed knows it or not.

      • Burgess: From quadrangle to quadrangle to quadrangle; my life mapped out in squares.

      • Burgess: My mother had to give evidence about how he died. She did it very well, of course, as only an English woman of decent heart and stout bosom can, rising splendidly above the banal and the absurd. It's how I'd like to be remembered.
        Maclean: Rising splendidly above the banal and the absurd?
        Burgess: As an English woman of stout heart and decent bosom.

      • Burgess: Her calls for help were in fact small bleats of pleasure.

      • Blunt: Even when you're silent the noise is unbearable… the sound of your heart pumping away on your sleeve, the cacophany of your gawp.

      • Philby: Blunt, Burgess and Bell sounds like firm of solicitors in Tumbridge Wells.

      • Philby: It's a simple, unavoidable choice, Donald. Communism or fascism. Everything in the middle has gone to sleep. To fight fascism, you have to be a communist. Anything else is just appeasement.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)