CAMBRIDGE SPIES DRAMA NOT DOCUMENTARY
Let me ask you something, if you want to learn something what do you do? Do you turn on a programme that you know to be
a drama on BBC2 and expect everything to be historically correct? No. So then let me ask why so many critics have decided
that that is whats wrong with Cambridge Spies?
I don't watch a drama to receive historically correct facts. I watch it to be entertained. Had I wanted to learn facts
and figures about Philby, Burgess, Blunt and Maclean I would watch a documentary go on a website or God forbid read a book.
If I wanted to be entertained by four exceptional British actors with a story that had basis in truth then I would be satisfied
by Cambridge Spies. And I was.
Cambridge Spies seemed to me an excellent drama. Thats "drama" not "historically accurate piece of television." Its cast
is superb and I have no difficulty with the filming nor the direction nor -as some people have ranted about- the dialogue.
The cast, handle themselves marvellously and anyone complaining about the nudity are either jealous or annoyed they didn't
People are forever picking on drama, its not original enough or its dumbed down. And they accuse drama of trying to be
so modern that each shot is seen from four different angles and then played in reverse. They should be glad Cambridge Spies
came along. It has some beautiful, well thought out shots (Tom Hollander, blood and rain) and comes across as a well loved
The cast is British, thank goodness, these days it seems to be fashionable to cast Americans fortunately in telly land
its not as fashionable and we get a chance to see the fantastic Tom Hollander as Guy Burgess, who should be snapped up by
every casting agent in the country. Also Samuel West, Toby Stephens (and notice this review refuses to put who their parents
are, Im sick of that. Why should you be judged on who your parents are?) and Rupert Penry Jones make up the quartet of dashingly
handsome spies. All four are terrific showing that we as a country are not devoid of talent, quite the opposite in fact, we
have hundreds of intelligent actors but less and less intelligent and meaningful scripts.
It seems to me that critics have found that this show is good but they have to slate the accuracy to make some sort of
The individual performances should be savoured, Samuel West puts in an excellent turn as Anthony Blunt the last of the
four to be found out (thats historically accurate by the way!) the scenes with the late Queen mother (played by the lovely
Imelda Staunton) are to be giggled at. Hollander is superb and you are very aware of his enjoyment of Burgess. I would also
like to complain about several articles about Hollander calling him "diminutive," he might be in height but he has enough
talent to last him four hundred life times, "diminutive" seems so condescending and patronising don't use it again you know
who you are.
Cambridge Spies never claims to be historically accurate, it even sports a disclaimer at the start of each show and as
Friday at nine isn't Scheduled ad History A level then it doesn't (or shouldn't) matter.