Series 1
First Principles
A Proper Function of Government
Is Your Journey Really Necessary?
The Most Suitable Person
Always Glad to Help
A Feasible Solution
Special Relationship

Series 2
At All Costs
Enough of Ghosts
Decision by Committee
A Question of Loyalty
It Couldn't Happen Here
Operation Kingmaker

Series 3
All in a Good Cause
To Hell With Justice
Unusual Approach
My Name is Anna Wiseman
Sometimes We Play Dirty Too
Who Needs Enemies
Opposite Numbers

My Name is Anna Wiseman
'You want me to maim her.'

An ageing NATO analyst and Burnside protªgª wants do defect, and work as a double agent from inside the USSR. The plan is vetoed, but she is desperate to go. Slowly and silently, her motive become clear.

Wiseman has cancer. She’s dying and wants to accomplish something before her sands run out. Wiseman expects she will be exposed as a double agent. She hopes to use her show trial to bring attention to the dissident movement inside the USSR.

The plan is opposed. Burnside decides to go ahead with it anyway, and mounts a private operation of his own.

Casting Burnside in the role of a human rights activist isn’t entirely unbelievable, but it does fit in with his practical nature. The over-the-top statement of principles by Anna at the end of the episode works for some, and not for others.

It certainly captures the sense of what was at stake in the era. How rare for a television program to effectively interrupt itself to make a political appeal for dissidents.

There’s a nice bit of editing where the shots of the serene Anna Wiseman are intercut with shots of Mike tearing into her flat. It’s nice to see Mike a bit angry for a change, particularly when he demands, ‘I’m being set up again, aren’t I?’

Production note
This is the first of the three episodes not penned by Ian Mackintosh. Charles Gidley Wheeler, who also wrote Who Needs Enemies, wrote it. You can learn more about him at his website.

Personnel file
The new D-Int won’t appear until Who Needs Enemies but he’s mentioned by his first name in this episode when Peele says, ‘and Paul agrees with me.’ Mike mentions the recently departed Edward Tyler: ‘Tyler was a damned efficient director of intelligence, even if he was sending half of it to the KGB.’ And Anna Wiseman worked with Tyler years ago.

Sense of style
Fyodor has quite the facial hair, doesn’t he?