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A Spy Among Friends

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A Spy Among Friends
Promotional poster
Based onA Spy Among Friends
by Ben Macintyre
Written byAlexander Cary
Directed byNick Murphy
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Executive producers
  • Alexander Cary
  • Bob Bookman
  • Alan Gasmer
  • Peter Jaysen
  • Patrick Spence
  • Nick Murphy
ProducersChrissy Skinns
Damian Lewis
Production companies
Original release
Release8 December 2022 (2022-12-08)

A Spy Among Friends is a British espionage thriller television series, starring Guy Pearce, Damian Lewis, and Anna Maxwell Martin. It is based on the book by Ben Macintyre, adapted by Alex Cary and directed by Nick Murphy.[1] It was available to stream on ITVX in the United Kingdom from December 2022, Amazon Prime Video in Canada from February 2023, and MGM+ in the United States from March 2023.


In 1963, Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) is working for Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) as an intelligence officer and is left in turmoil when he learns his close friend and colleague, Kim Philby (Pearce), has been secretly working as a double agent for the KGB since 1934. Elliot interviews him in Beirut and then Philby defects to the Soviet Union.



No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [2]
1"Boom-ooh-yatatatah"Nick MurphyAlexander Cary8 December 2022 (2022-12-08)
2"The Admiral's Glass"Nick MurphyAlexander Cary8 December 2022 (2022-12-08)
3"Allegory of the Catholic Faith"Nick MurphyAlexander Cary8 December 2022 (2022-12-08)
4"Vodka"Nick MurphyAlexander Cary8 December 2022 (2022-12-08)
5"Snow"Nick MurphyAlexander Cary8 December 2022 (2022-12-08)
6"No Man's Land"Nick MurphyAlexander Cary8 December 2022 (2022-12-08)


Principal photography took place in London, England and Romania, and finished in spring 2022.[3]


Broadcast in the United Kingdom on the streaming service ITVX was moved with a delay in the launch of ITVX from 1 November 2022[4] to 8 December 2022.[5] In February 2023, the series became available in Canada via Amazon Prime Video.[6] The series became available on MGM+ from 12 March 2023 in the United States.[7] In the UK, it was first broadcast on free-to-air ITV1 in July 2023.[8]


Critical reception of A Spy Among Friends was mixed, with Rebecca Nicholson of The Guardian writing, "There are plenty of small thrills to be had from a world built on codes and double meanings."[9] Stephanie Bunbury of Deadline Hollywood wrote that the "unfolding of their negotiations" was "not seat-of-your-pants televisual excitement, but it is the stuff of sustained intrigue".[10] Jay Skelton of Reel Mockery called A Spy Among Friends "frustrating to watch".[11] Nick Hilton of The Independent wrote that "there is much to enjoy about A Spy Among Friends".[12]


The series was nominated in the best mini-series category at the British Academy Television Awards, announced in March 2023.[13]


  1. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (2 November 2021). "Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce in BritBox and Spectrum's 'A Spy Among Friends' – First Look Revealed". Variety. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  2. ^ "A Spy Among Friends (ITVX)" (Press release). ITV. 18 November 2022. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  3. ^ "A Spy Among Friends Heads to ITV and Sky Italia". Damian Lewis. 4 July 2023.
    - Cannon, Nicholas (15 June 2022). "A Spy Among Friends: Cast, first look, and everything we know". What to Watch.
  4. ^ White, Peter (6 October 2021). "Damian Lewis & Guy Pearce Lead Cold War Limited Series 'A Spy Among Friends' for Spectrum Originals & BritBox UK". Deadline.
    - Goldbart, Max (2 March 2022). "A Spy Among Friends Coming To ITVX". Damian Lewis.
  5. ^ Gregory, Elizabeth (8 December 2022). "ITVX: From A Spy Among Friends to Litvinenko to Riches, what's on ITV's new streaming platform?". Evening Standard.
  6. ^ Hertz, Barry (16 February 2023). "5 Things to stream this weekend: Prime Video's crafty A Spy Among Friends, plus peak Tom Cruise". The Globe and the Mail. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  7. ^ Villei, Matt (10 January 2023). "'A Spy Among Friends' Sets Release Date". Collider. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  8. ^ "A Spy Among Friends: Release date, cast, plot and trailer". RadioTimes.com. Retrieved 29 June 2024.
  9. ^ Nicholson, Rebecca (8 December 2022). "A Spy Among Friends review – don't take your eyes off this star-packed espionage thriller". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  10. ^ Bunbury, Stephanie (7 October 2022). "TV Review: Damian Lewis & Guy Pearce In 'A Spy Among Friends'". Deadline. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  11. ^ Skelton, Jay (10 December 2022). "A Spy Among Friends Season 1 Episode 1 Recap". Reel Mockery. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  12. ^ Hilton, Nick (8 December 2022). "ITV's big-budget adaptation A Spy Among Friends is like a mug of mulled wine – review". The Independent. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  13. ^ Fallon, Heather (22 March 2023). "'The Responder', 'This Is Going To Hurt' lead 2023 Bafta TV nominations". Screen Daily. Retrieved 22 March 2023.

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