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ABOUT THE SHOW

Edgy spy thriller

When a defecting KGB officer reveals the existence of a devastating Soviet plot, code-named Operation Glass, the charismatic but paranoid head of MI5, known simply as Daddy, assembles a secret committee of spies and intelligence officers to investigate. Are they the best? Or are they the only ones he trusts in a world where double agents, secrets and lies are normality?

They are Bobby Waterhouse, the louche and ambitious head of counter-espionage; Sarah Montag, his dry-witted and fiercely clever deputy; her husband Alan Montag, their cheerful and guileless expert in bugging and interception; Jim Fenchurch, a stoic and sceptical Special Branch police detective and Wendy Straw, the naïve and impressionable secretary.

Finally, there’s operative Joe Lambe; a troubled but genius interrogator, he’s able to read every tic and giveaway of human nature. But Joe has more to him than meets the eye – a dark past and a dangerous secret.

The exact nature of the threat is unclear. All they know is that the Soviets are reactivating sleeper agents across the UK and giving them all a task. Every episode the team receive a new name on the list. Each name is a new traitor to investigate, a mission into the unknown and a step closer to understanding Operation Glass.

Characters

The Game

Joe Lambe

Played by Tom Hughes

Joe is a gifted intelligence officer who is an expert at undercover work. He’ll go to any length to gather the intel he needs, including flirting with the enemy. MI5 makes good use of his brooding good looks and charm, but bedding forgotten wives isn’t the career Joe was destined for.

Everything in his life changed after he met and recruited Yulia, a chef in the Soviet embassy. Though the affair was brief, it was charged with the kind of intensity and desperate immediacy that can only happen in wartime. And after years of service, Joe allowed himself the hope of a new life without secrets or deceit. But when Joe loses his lover in a brutal way, he returns to MI5, bringing the weight of his secrets with him.

When Daddy recruits him in the mission to stop the Soviet plot, Joe accepts; hoping to redeem himself and prove his loyalty to his country, but mostly because the mission will lead him to his lover’s killer. Can he start afresh or will he be forever consumed by a quest for revenge?

The Game

Daddy

Played by Brian Cox

Powerfully built, both physically and intellectually, Daddy is the mastermind that holds MI5 together. No one knows his real name, only his ironic nickname. A man of immense political power, and a Whitehall veteran, Daddy knows the true scale of the threats facing Britain.

Bearing the scars of the multiple failures of MI5, Operation Glass is Daddy’s last chance to restore the reputation of the agency. But will his specially selected committee be loyal to him, or loyal to themselves? For Daddy has his own secrets that could jeopardize everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

His growing infatuation with an exquisite Chinese dancer, too young and too beautiful for him, is a dangerous game for a powerful married man.

The Game

Bobby

Played by Paul Ritter

Bobby Waterhouse is the arrogant, louche and ambitious Head of K Branch (counter-espionage), who will do anything to get ahead. Harrow, Oxford, and the Secret Service have given him confidence, wit, and an impressive address book that gets him access to every corner of the British Establishment. But at home, he is like someone living in a country under occupation, treading on eggshells for fear of antagonizing his ferocious mother, Hester. While he’s good at his job, Bobby’s successes aren’t quite enough to ensure his place in line for the top job.

Lacking respect, and having never been married, engaged or even involved with a suitable woman, his domineering mother has noticed. And though homosexuality has recently been legalized, the Hesters of this world see things differently, as do Bobby’s enemies on both sides of the Iron Curtain. If the world knew his secret, Bobby’s carefully built image and career would crumble around him.

The Game

Sarah Montag

Played by Victoria Hamilton

Wry, sardonic and very bright, the chances are Sarah will be the first female director of MI5. She’s worked hard to progress in the boorish male-dominated world of espionage and Daddy has noticed. Though Bobby Waterhouse desperately seeks Daddy’s throne, it is Sarah – Daddy’s girl - who looks set to be his successor. Hers is the opinion everyone seeks and her instincts are invaluable in this shadowy world.

Sarah, though universally liked, can be incredibly tough when she needs to be. Married to colleague Alan Montag, she is one of the few senior officers who maintains a happy home life alongside her work.

While her timid husband would blink in bewilderment when insulted, Sarah returns the blow with devastating accuracy and protects her husband like a lioness. But will her ascendance up the ladder tamper with the delicate balance she’s managed to maintain at home?

The Game

Alan Montag

Played by Jonathan Aris

In the 21st Century, Alan Montag would most likely be a multi-millionaire software maker. But this is the 1970s and his wizardry is most useful for MI5. A part of the assembled team, the eccentric, disheveled and enthusiastic Alan has a phone number length IQ, egg stains on his tie, and is utterly immune to the wearying politics and power plays of MI5.

Thankfully he has the small but fearsome Sarah Montag, his wife, to watch out for him. His devotion to her is almost tangible, and Alan is never happier than when working at her side. Although he is talented, it’s Sarah whose career is beginning to glitter, and her marriage to this loveable oddball has raised many an eyebrow. But their affection is genuine, their relationship strong and loving, and Alan would do absolutely anything to protect her.

The Game

Jim Fenchruch

Played by Shaun Dooley

Jim Fenchurch is the Special Branch police liaison assisting the MI5 team with their new investigation. Jim has a simplistic, perhaps idealistic, view of the world and is almost aggressively plain speaking. The notion of treachery almost bewilders him. A volatile and punchy outsider, he’s not constrained by the MI5 hierarchy and free to comment on methods and modes of conduct he finds baffling.

Jim sees things in black and white, but will soon come to realise that in the world of espionage, life is lived in a shadowy grey. MI5 must break rules to keep the Soviets at bay, making Jim uneasy. But being thrown into partnering with Joe Lambe, he’ll learn first-hand about the dangerous work that goes on to keep the world safe from nuclear war and he may come to understand the complexities of espionage.

The Game

Wendy Straw

Played by Chloe Pirrie

Wendy has been a secretary at MI5 for a few years. While Sarah Montag climbed to a power position, progression for women is still a battle. So when Wendy is loaned to the team from the Nannies, Wendy sees it as a chance to prove herself and get one step closer to a crucial promotion to junior desk officer, following in the footsteps of the revered Sarah.

The youngest member of the team, Wendy is there to take notes and assist them all, but in doing so, she sees deeper than anyone else. And in the politically treacherous world of MI5, she must be careful about the alliances she makes. When unexpected support comes from the conniving Bobby Waterhouse, Wendy may get a lot more than she bargained for.

Next on...

Episode 4, Series 1

Tuesday February 27 at 21:00

Series 1, Episode 4

Discovering the KGB is one step ahead, Joe tries to convince the team to run a double agent scheme - a perilous game that understandably makes his colleagues uneasy. 4/6

Episode 5, Series 1

Tuesday March 6 at 21:00

Series 1, Episode 5

Alan is forced to make a decision that can make or break his and Sarah's relationship. Meanwhile, leaked information threatens the investigation and the lives of the team. 5/6

Episode 6, Series 1

Tuesday March 13 at 21:00

Series 1, Episode 6

The team is reeling from a KGB bombing and the mole's confession, but with Operation Glass hurtling towards a shocking climax, MI5 is running out of time to piece the puzzle together…

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