George Smiley is one of the most brilliantly realised characters in British fiction. Bespectacled, tubby, eternally middle-aged and deceptively ordinary, he has a mind like a steel trap and is said to possess `the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin'. This dramatisation, set in London in the late 1950s, finds Smiley engaged in the humdrum job of security vetting.
But when a Foreign Office civil servant commits suicide after an apparently unproblematic interview, Smiley is baffled. Refusing to believe that Fennan shot himself soon after making a cup of cocoa and asking the exchange to telephone him in the morning, Smiley decides to investigate - only to uncover a murderous conspiracy with its roots in his own secret wartime past. Starring the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a distinguished cast including Kenneth Cranham, Eleanor Bron and Anna Chancellor, this tense, thrilling dramatisation perfectly captures the atmosphere of le Carre's masterful debut novel.
2 CDs. 1 hr 30 mins.