Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Season 1 Episode 4

How It All Fits Together

Aired Unknown Oct 01, 1979 on BBC Two
out of 10
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Episode Summary

How It All Fits Together
Peter Guillam is put under pressure by the Circus and Ricki Tarr becomes unstable. To find answers George Smiley must examine his personal life as well as his past with the Circus, especially in regard to Control. He also reflects on his one meeting with Karla.

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  • Did it really all begin so long ago, when Smiley went to India and met the unspeaking Russian who has become his nemesis?

    None of the guest stars in "Tinker, Tailor" had as brief a role as Patrick Stewart, who has no dialogue at all, and yet, in his few silent minutes on-screen, provides the perfect counterweight to Alec Guinness, etching an unforgettable portrait of cunning, patient malevolence. We believe absolutely that the infamous Karla, so much spoken of throughout the series, is every inch as clever and as dangerous as we have been told. The episode also shows us, for a matter of seconds, the cigarette lighter which proves to be of such importance in the unravelling of the plot, and which re-appears, briefly, but with devastating impact, at the end of "Smiley's People".moreless
Warren Clarke

Warren Clarke


Guest Star

Alec Sabin

Alec Sabin


Guest Star

Majorie Hogan

Majorie Hogan

Alisa Brimley

Guest Star

Hywel Bennett

Hywel Bennett

Ricki Tarr

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Smiley: Let's not be melodramatic. Control would disapprove. He died of old age. A little early...

    • Bland: It isn't ordinary flight information, Peter. The source is very private.
      Esterhase: Ultra, ultra sensitive, in fact.
      Guillam:(sarcastically) In that case, Toby, I'll try and keep my mouth ultra, ultra shut.

    • Mendel: I've seen it happen before. Tough ones who crack at 40. They lock it all away, pretend it isn't happening and all of a sudden you find them at their desks, the tears pouring on the blotter.

    • Smiley: Have you noticed, Peter, that whenever I really trouble one of our acquaintances with my questions, he'll raise the matter of my failure as a husband... to confound me. Instructive!

    • Guillam: So Karla's fireproof. He can't be bought and he can't be beaten.
      Smiley: Not fireproof, because he's a fanatic. I may have behaved like a soft dolt, the very archetype of a flabby Western liberal, but I'd rather be my kind of fool than his.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode contains Patrick Stewart's only appearance in the entire series. Although he plays a major character in the plot, he doesn't utter one word in his long scene with Alec Guinness.