A Perfect Spy (Dramatised)

  • by John le Carré
  • Narrated by James Fox, Harriet Walter, Julian Rhind-Tutt
  • 3 hrs and 59 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of the bestselling novel by John le Carré, starring James Fox, Harriet Walter and Julian Rhind-Tutt. Magnus Pym, Counsellor at the British Embassy, is hosting a dinner party at his home in Vienna when he receives an unexpected telephone call that will profoundly affect his life. Once the guests have gone, Pym breaks the news to his wife, Mary: his father, Rick, is dead. In a state of shock, he says something Mary cannot understand - 'After all these years, I'm free.'
Magnus flies back to England to attend the funeral - and doesn't return. As Mary and MI6 spymaster Jack Brotherhood desperately try to find out his whereabouts, it soon becomes clear that Pym has been keeping secrets from both his family and his employers, the British Intelligence Service. Hiding out in a remote cottage in Devon, where he goes by the name of Mr Canterbury, Magnus begins to write his memoirs - retracing his rise and fall and revealing how Rick led him step by step into a double life of deception, broken promises and betrayal... Adapted from the John le Carré novel by Rene Basilico.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A decent dramatization

This dramatization, in eight half-hour episodes, apparently dates from 1993. Rene Basilico's adaptation of the novel is skillful, though perhaps inevitably some important elements of the story (particularly to do with Pym's childhood) are omitted or only mentioned briefly. The production is good, and James Fox is excellent in the lead role. My only complaint is that some of the acting is at times a little cartoonish. It's as if the program came at a time of transition between an older, "stagey" style of voice acting and a modern, more naturalistic approach. Fortunately the problem is mostly confined to minor characters. Although this program is not quite up to the standard of the BBC's recent (superb) cycle of le Carre's Smiley novels, it is still effective and enjoyable overall. Here's hoping the BBC will release more le Carre dramatizations!
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- Christopher

Not finished yet

What did you love best about A Perfect Spy (Dramatised)?

I don't want this to end. The acting (e.g. James Fox) is top quality BBC. Story is concise adaptation of novel (which must be read to get the


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- Jahana "Impeach Obama now"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-19-2011
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited