Alec Guinness plays Le Carre's George Smiley to a tea (albeit a good old english tea). All though the cold war has ended, this brillant British espionage thriller will never date. Look out for Patrick Stewart as the little touched on villan Karla.
When this program was filmed and aired for the first time I personally had only just been born. So it is through the novels of John Le Carre (AKA David John Moore Cornwell), that I first visited the inner working world of the Circus. In Australian schools they actually "force" the kids to read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, however as I had already read it, I simply moved on to the other books. Both the TV series for Tinker Tailor and Smiley's People and very faithfull to the books, and I must confess that when I re-read the books the picture of George Smiley in my mind's eye will always be Alec Guinness, and Karla will also always be Patrick Stewart. I do wish however that the series had also included the book Honourable Schoolboy as it is the bridge between Tinker tailor and Smiley's People, which I would have thought (given the fact that it was a more action orintated novel) would have been a logical choice to make into TV.
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