Dustin O’Halloran (Lion, Transparent, Like Crazy, Ammonite, The Old Guard, The Essex Serpent) has recently been scoring the upcoming Britbox UK/Spectrum limited series A Spy Among Friends. The show is created by Alexander Cary (Homeland, Lie to Me) and stars Damian Lewis, Guy Pearce, Anna Maxwell Martin, Stephen Kunken and Adrian Edmondson. The 6-part spy thriller is based on the New York Times best-selling book by Ben Macintyre and centers on the defection of notorious British intelligence officer and KGB double agent Kim Philby through the lens of his relationship with his MI6 colleague and close friend Nicholas Elliott. Cary & Lewis are also executive producing the Sony Pictures Television, ITV Studios and Veritas Entertainment Group production with Patrick Spence (Peaky Blinders, Fortitude), Bob Bookman & Peter Jaysen (The Mosquito Coast), Alan Gasmer (Vikings), as well as Nick Murphy (The Awakening, Blood) who also directed all episodes. O’Halloran has previously co-scored the Murphy-directed 2019 BBC/FX television adaptation of A Christmas Carol. A Spy Among Friends will premiere later this year on BritBox UK and will debut in the U.S. on Spectrum.

 

  1. Eva Daniels says:

    On the subject of spies, traitors et al, if you’re as interested in the Secrets of Spies like John le Carré, Philby et al as we are you are going to love this non-promotional anecdote about real spies and authors from the espionage genre whether you’re a le Carré connoisseur, a Deighton disciple, a Fleming fanatic, a Herron hireling or a Macintyre marauder. If you don’t love all such things you might learn something so read on! It’s a must read for espionage cognoscenti.

    As Kim Philby (codename Stanley) and KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky (codename Sunbeam) would have told you in their heyday, there is one category of secret agent that is often overlooked … namely those who don’t know they have been recruited. For more on that topic we suggest you read Beyond Enkription (explained below) and a recent article on that topic by the ex-spook Bill Fairclough (codename JJ). The article can be found at TheBurlingtonFiles website in the News Section. The article (dated July 21, 2021) is about “Russian Interference”; it’s been read well over 20,000 times and is very current: just ask Donald and Boris.

    Now talking of Gordievsky, John le Carré described Ben Macintyre’s fact based novel, The Spy and The Traitor, as “the best true spy story I have ever read”. It was of course about Kim Philby’s Russian counterpart, a KGB Colonel named Oleg Gordievsky, codename Sunbeam. In 1974 Gordievsky became a double agent working for MI6 in Copenhagen which was when Bill Fairclough aka Edward Burlington unwittingly launched his career as a secret agent for MI6. Fairclough and le Carré knew of each other: le Carré had even rejected Fairclough’s suggestion in 2014 that they collaborate on a book. As le Carré said at the time, “Why should I? I’ve got by so far without collaboration so why bother now?” A realistic response from a famous expert in fiction in his eighties.

    Philby and Gordievsky never met Fairclough, but they did know Fairclough’s handler, Colonel Alan McKenzie aka Colonel Alan Pemberton CVO MBE. It is little wonder therefore that in Beyond Enkription, the first fact based novel in The Burlington Files espionage series, genuine double agents, disinformation and deception weave wondrously within the relentless twists and turns of evolving events. Beyond Enkription is set in 1974 in London, Nassau and Port au Prince. Edward Burlington, a far from boring accountant, unwittingly started working for Alan McKenzie in MI6 and later worked eyes wide open for the CIA.

    What happens is so exhilarating and bone chilling it makes one wonder why bother reading espionage fiction when facts are so much more breathtaking. The fact based novel begs the question, were his covert activities in Haiti a prelude to the abortion of a CIA sponsored Haitian equivalent to the Cuban Bay of Pigs? Why was his father Dr Richard Fairclough, ex MI1, involved? Richard was of course a confidant of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, who became a chief adviser to JFK during the Cuban missile crisis. So how did Greville Wynne and Oleg Penkovsky fit in? You may well want to ask John Profumo but it’s a tad late now!

    Len Deighton and Mick Herron could be forgiven for thinking they co-wrote the raw noir anti-Bond narrative, Beyond Enkription. Atmospherically it’s reminiscent of Ted Lewis’ Get Carter of Michael Caine fame. If anyone ever makes a film based on Beyond Enkription they’ll only have themselves to blame if it doesn’t go down in history as a classic espionage thriller.

    By the way, the maverick Bill Fairclough had quite a lot in common with Greville Wynne (famous for his part in helping to reveal Russian missile deployment in Cuba in 1962) and has also even been called “a posh Harry Palmer”. As already noted, Bill Fairclough and John le Carré (aka David Cornwell) knew of each other but only long after Cornwell’s MI6 career ended thanks to Kim Philby shopping all Cornwell’s supposedly secret agents in Europe. Coincidentally, the novelist Graham Greene used to work in MI6 reporting to Philby and Bill Fairclough actually stayed in Hôtel Oloffson during a covert op in Haiti (explained in Beyond Enkription) which was at the heart of Graham Greene’s spy novel The Comedians. Funny it’s such a small world!