In Paris, a Russian émigré is approached by a ginger-haired Russian official and told that her daughter Alexandra may be allowed to join her in the West. Madame Ostrakova had been given permission to join her husband who had defected to the West but at a great cost: she was forced to leave her infant daughter behind. She follows instructions and applies for a visa for her daughter at the Russian Embassy. When weeks go by and she hears nothing, she writes to a former Soviet General, Vladimir, who now lives in London. He realizes something important in what she says and contacts the Circus, headquarters of the British Secret Service. When he is found dead on Hampstead Heath, George Smiley is called out of retirement to tie up any loose ends and ensure the old General's death doesn't raise any of his former connections to the Service.
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Alan Rickman shows up as the Hotel Clerk! See more
Vladimir was one of the best agents we ever had.
Because he was yours, you mean?
Because he was good.
He was potty.
He was loyal and honourable. In a shifting world, he held fast. So, yes, he was potty.