Cambridge Spies (2003) TV

Cambridge Spies

Benedict in the small part as Edward Hunt in the story about the famous Cambridge Five.

Four-part drama about the lives of the famous quartet of the “Cambridge Five”, whose fifth man remained unknown. The other four were MacIean Donald, Guy Burgess, Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt. This group of spies was made of double agents who betrayed their country and supplied confidential information to Russia to do “the right thing”. The series covers the period 1934-1951, the year in which Burgess and MacIean moved entirely over to the Russians. It tells the story of their friendship and their beliefs.

Cambridge Spies is a BBC production based on a true story. It was first aired on 9 May 2003 and received numerous nominations (including BAFTA’s) and Awards (including the Golden FIPA Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming)

Benedict Cumberbatch had a featured part as Edward Hand in the four-part series. In 2009, Benedict played the main character of Guy Burgess in the theater production called The Turning Point.

What is it about:
1934. Four excellent Cambridge graduates are recruited as spies for Russia. Guy Burgess, Donald McIean, Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt, and a still unidentified fifth man are set to be the famous spy ring of the “The Cambridge Five”.

The series covers the period from 1935 to 1951 and tells the story of the friendship between Burgess and McIean, their youthful enthusiasm, their passion for social justice, their talent to lie – and the enormous risks they faced to pass the greatest secrets of the British kingdom to Moscow, to do the right thing, in their beliefs.


Tim Fywall

Peter Moffat

Tom Hollander (Guy Burgess), Rupert Penry-Jones (Donald Maclean), Toby Stephens (Kim Philby), Samuel West (Anthony Blunt)

Further information:
BBC Official site
BBC History Archive

Review from the set

On Youtube: