ITV’s historical docuseries Secrets of the Spies explores the dark world of international espionage from World War II to the present century
Secrets of the Spies follows some of the most important real and fictional figures in British espionage.
The ITV history series was released on streaming service Britbox this March but is now broadcast on ITV.
Secrets of the Spies uncovers the hidden role that spies played, and still play today, in shaping global events during World War II
Based on archive material, previously secret documents and expert interviews, the series paints a picture of life as a spy.
What is “Secrets of the Spies” about?
The series consists of three hour-long episodes, and each episode deals with a different element of espionage.
Episode one examines the techniques spies use and the type of character a spy must have to lead a double life.
The second episode focuses on infamous assassination attempts by spies.
The final installment in the series explores the art of disinformation, blackmail and exploitation.
Secrets of the Spies revisits Britain’s best-known secret agent, James Bond, and its creator, Ian Fleming, who used his experience working for Naval Intelligence during World War II as inspiration for the character.
The series also examines the lives of three real-life spies – Roman Czerniawski, Kim Philby and Aimen Dean.
Who was Roman Czerniawski?
Roman Czerniawski was a captain in the Polish Air Force and a double agent during World War II.
He set up a spy network in France in 1940, but the network was uncovered by the Germans, who sent him to England to work as an agent for the Reich.
Instead, Czerniawski turned himself in to British authorities and agreed to work for them as a double agent, codenamed Brutus.
He then played a significant role in Fortitude South, a deception campaign designed to convince the Germans that the Allies would invade Europe through the Pas de Calais rather than Normandy.
Who Was Kim Philby?
For decades, Kim Philby was a British intelligence officer and double agent for the Soviet Union.
Initially, Philby worked as a journalist, covering the Spanish Civil War and the invasion of France, although he had been recruited by Soviet intelligence as early as 1934.
Philby began working for British intelligence in 1940 but continued to work as a double agent for the Soviets, leaking vital information to Moscow.
In 1963 it was revealed that he was a member of the Cambridge Five, a British spy ring working for the Soviets. After being unmasked, he fled to Moscow, where he remained until his death in 1988.
Who is Aimen Dean?
Born in Saudi Arabia in 1978, Aimen Dean joined the Islamist extremist group Al Qaeda before being recruited by MI6.
As a teenager, Dean fought as part of the Bosnian Mujahideen in the Bosnian War and witnessed the execution of 200 prisoners by beheading.
He later joined al-Qaeda, where he taught Islamic theology to recruits — but disillusioned with the killing of civilians, he left the group.
He was captured by Qatari intelligence and given the option to join MI6, which he agreed to do – Dean then spent the next eight years traveling between London and Afghanistan passing information to MI6.
When is Secrets of the Spies on ITV?
The next episode of Secrets of the Spies airs on Tuesday 16 August at 9pm on ITV. The remaining episodes will air weekly at the same time.
All episodes are currently available to watch on Britbox.
Is there a trailer
Yes, there is, and you can watch it right here: