What is the connection between a penniless Russian woman in Paris and the brutal murder of an old man in a London park? And so begins a new conundrum for George Smiley to sort out.


Simon Langton


John le Carré (novel), John le Carré (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alec Guinness ... George Smiley
Curd Jürgens ... The General
Eileen Atkins ... Madame Ostrakova
Dudley Sutton ... Oleg Kirov
Michael Gough ... Mikhel
Vladek Sheybal ... Otto Leipzig (The Magician)
Bill Paterson ... Lauder Strickland
Anthony Bate ... Oliver Lacon
Michael Elphick ... Detective Chief Superintendent
Ingrid Pitt ... Elvira
Paul Herzberg Paul Herzberg ... Villem Craven
Stephen Riddle Stephen Riddle ... Nigel Mostyn
Harry Walker Harry Walker ... Murgotroyd
Trevor Cooper ... Sergeant Pike
Renny Krupinski ... Attaché Kuznetsov


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. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

20 September 1982 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Alan Rickman shows up as the Hotel Clerk! See more »


George Smiley: Vladimir was one of the best agents we ever had.
Lauder Strickland: Because he was yours, you mean?
George Smiley: Because he was good.
Lauder Strickland: He was potty.
George Smiley: He was loyal and honourable. In a shifting world, he held fast. So, yes, he was potty.
See more »

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