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Starring Damian Lewis in his first factual role, this new docu-drama reveals remarkable true stories behind the most gripping and significant international spy operations of the last forty years. From the truth behind the escape of US diplomats from Tehran, immortalised in the award-winning film Argo, to the spy operation which narrowly averted all-out nuclear war, to the incredible

Monday 9:00 PM et/pt on History (UK)
1 Season, 8 Episodes
October 7, 2019
Documentary & Biography
Cast: Damian Lewis
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Spy Wars With Damian Lewis Full Episode Guide

  • This is the story of Viktor Bout, and he would become one of the most famous - or infamous - Russian businessmen in history. A former spy, he became the world's most dangerous arms dealer, a man responsible for the deaths of millions worldwide. It's a tale of greed and immorality that led to one of the most audacious undercover sting operations ever conducted.

  • his episode tells the amazing story of Vladimir Vetrov, a high-ranking KGB officer and secret operative for the French Intelligence Service, during the Cold War. In December 1980, he made the decision to spy for the French Intelligence Service after spending a number of years in Paris. As a secret agent Vetrov passed more than 4,000 documents to his handlers revealing the extraordinary depth of the Soviet industrial espionage mission against the West. President Ronald Reagan's advisors manipulated the situation to their advantage, by feeding faulty technology back to the Russians in a decade-long Trojan Horse operation which fatally undermined Soviet science and technology. In February 1982, Vetrov was arrested for the murder of a bystander and the attempted murder of his mistress, KGB secretary Ludmilla Ochinkina.

  • This is the story of eight filmmakers sent to Tehran to scout locations for a big budget, Hollywood-produced sci-fi fantasy film as depicted in the award-winning film Argo. In January 1980, two CIA agents and six employees of the US embassy in Iran arrived at Mehrabad Airport, Tehran with fake passports, papers and scripts. This is the remarkable story of how one man used inspiration from Hollywood to school six frightened diplomats in the art of 'being someone else', and score a victory for the CIA, in one of the darkest moments for American foreign policy.

  • Damian tells the story of a huge spy swap between Russia and the US, involving Sergei Skripal, the intended victim of the 2018 Salisbury Novichok attack.

  • This is the story of Oleg Gordievsky, one of the West's most valuable Cold War agents who risked everything to avert a third World War. Appearing to be an ambitious diplomat stationed at the Soviet embassy in Denmark. Gordievsky was actually a Russian spy and a rising star of the KGB. After a few years in Copenhagen, he was recruited by the British and posted to London by the KGB. Whilst in London, President Reagan authorised the largest NATO war game in its history: Able Archer.From the KGB's station in London, Gordievsky passed key intelligence to the British which many believe singlehandedly pulled the world back from the brink of nuclear annihilation before being summoned by the KGB to return to the USSR immediately. Uncertain if his cover had been blown, Gordievsky was accused of being an MI6 spy. Refusing to blow his cover, he set in motion his MI6 extraction plan, leaving behind his wife and children. It would take 6 years and the collapse of the Soviet Union before his family could flee Moscow to join him. In 2007, Gordievsky was appointed 'Companion of the Most Distinguished Order' for services to the security of the United Kingdom by the Queen.

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