An investigation into who killed Welsh journalist Gareth Jones. Jones's greatest scoop was to reveal the starvation to death of millions in 1930s Ukraine, caused by Stalin's policies. A portrait emerges of a fiercely bright young man who preferred a journalist's life of courage and danger which took him from smalltown Wales to even hitching a lift in Hitler's private plane. However, in a 1930s world of competing ideologies, there existed a fine line between journalism and spying. This film explores to what extent this dual role, and taking on Stalin, may have contributed to his early death on the plains of Mongolia.
He said he was doing God's work on earth, but betrayed his colleagues to the KGB. Sentenced to 42 years in jail, George Blake escaped from Wormwood Scrubs five years later and fled to the Soviet Union. George Carey's film follows the strange life of this enigmatic traitor, tracking down people who knew him, and ending with an unexpected encounter in the woods outside Moscow.
Documentary exploring the murky circumstances behind the escape of one of Britain's most notorious spies. In 1963, at the height of the Cold War, a well-educated Englishman called Kim Philby boarded a Russian freighter in Beirut and defected to Moscow from under the nose of British Intelligence. For the best part of thirty years he had been spying for the Soviet Union, much of that time while holding senior jobs in MI6. Fifty years on, more questions than answers still surround his defection. Had he really confessed before he went? Was his escape from justice an embarrassing mistake or part of the plan? This film, shot in Beirut, London and Moscow, sets out to find the answers, revealing the blind spots in the British ruling class that made it so vulnerable to KGB penetration.
It was a scandal that shook the British establishment to its roots. In June 1951, the government was forced to admit that two Foreign Office diplomats had disappeared. One of them, Donald Maclean, had slipped through their fingers three days before he was due to be questioned for passing secrets to the Russians. The other, Guy Burgess, was a total surprise. He was a charming, clever Etonian, with powerful friends everywhere. And lovers too - at a time when homosexuality was illegal, Burgess made no secret of his sexual tastes. He turned out to be the most flamboyant of a ring of privileged Cambridge students who had secretly joined the Communists in the 1930s, disgusted by their own government's policy of appeasing Hitler. With the help of newly declassified documents, George Carey's film shows how the most celebrated spy ring of the 20th century grew out of the class system, sexual hypocrisy and the sheer incompetence of some people who then ran Britain.
Yuri Gagarin's flight into space was hailed by the Soviet Union as a triumph for socialist science over capitalism. But the true story is much stranger.