Revisiting The First 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

Play associated audio

John Le Carre's Cold War espionage novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is enjoying a resurgence among today's audiences.

Gary Oldman stars in a 2011 film adaptation of the book — often called Le Carre's finest — as master spy George Smiley, recalled from forced retirement to root out a traitor in the top ranks of the British intelligence service.

While the 2011 film may be some viewers' first introduction to the story, many others will remember the iconic 1979 BBC mini-series starring Alec Guinness. The multi-part series slowly unraveled a labyrinthine tale of intrigue, petty rivalries and bureaucracy against a dreary Cold War backdrop.

John Irvin, director of the original series, joins NPR's Neal Conan to talk about how he crafted his adaptation and why the story still resonates today.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Southside With You' Has Us Asking: Where Is The Love In Black Movies?

The movie Southside with You is opening in theaters. The film follows Michelle and Barack Obama's very first date, and shows something we don't get too see too often in film: black romance.
NPR

Ramen Noodles Are Now The Prison Currency Of Choice

Ramen will buy anything from smuggled fruit to laundry services from fellow inmates, a study at one prison finds. It's not just that ramen is tasty: Prisoners say they're not getting enough food.
NPR

Episode 721: Unbuilding A City

Why is it so hard to knock down 17 vacant houses in a shrinking city?
WAMU 88.5

Want To Play Video Games Made In D.C.? Here's Your Chance.

An event called District Arcade brings together 23 locally made video games.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.