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Q: television shows ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: television shows
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Television
Asked by: rintin-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 09 Jan 2005 11:26 PST
Expires: 08 Feb 2005 11:26 PST
Question ID: 454591
Approximately 15 years ago I saw a funny television special and would
love to find it on dvd.  I am pretty sure it was a BBC production. I
think it was shown on our local public brodcasting station probably
out of San Francisco, KQED, but possibly out of San Jose, KTEH.  I
think it was probably one hour, one night a week, over four weeks.
(All of this is educated guessing.)   It was a comedy about two
Russian spys who had been infiltrated into England to live normal
English lifestyles, for vague future plans to spy on England.  In the
ensuing Communist  problems and downfall, they are forgotten.  I don't
remember why but their radio contact system is accidentally activated
and they assume the Communist government either wants them  back to
Russia, or to do some nefarious activity against England, neither of
which they want to do. In their "forgotten" years as English citizens
they have become more English than the average Englishman.   The
British and American secret service agencies become aware of their
existance and start spying on the spys.  Minor but very funny subplot,
one Russian spy has an English wife and children, he accidentally
takes his daughter's stuffed monkey in the car with him when they
leave.  He has to keep rembering to not leave the monkey behind on 
their travels/adventures.  Any chance this still exists on tape? 
Anyway chance to get a DVD copy?

Request for Question Clarification by thx1138-ga on 09 Jan 2005 12:37 PST
Hello rintin and thank you for your question.

Amazingly I remembered the name of the series from your description,
and yes it was very funny!

Good news = I have the name and all the details about the series,
including an episode guide.

Bad news = It is not available anywhere on DVD, video.  (Even the BBC
online classic comedies catalogue does not have it listed)

Would you like me to post the information that I have regarding the
series as the answer?

Very best regards


Clarification of Question by rintin-ga on 11 Jan 2005 20:37 PST
yes post the information as the answer, thanks
Subject: Re: television shows
Answered By: thx1138-ga on 12 Jan 2005 05:04 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello rintin, thank you for your question and subsequesnt clarification.

The television special you are thinking of is called "Sleepers" and
was first aired in the UK on BBC2 in 1991.  I have searched high and
low but unfortunately it seems that it is not available on DVD, Video
or any other kind of format. Even the BBC online store does not list
it and it is not listed on ebay either
in the UK or USA. One day it will turn up, but until then we will have
to wait.


"In 1966, a mission was inaugurated by an official named Zorin where
two KGB agents were to be placed in Britain as normal British
citizens, one in the industrial north and the other in the commercial
south, but due to circumstances they have been forgotten about for the
last 25 years. In that time, the agents have changed a lot and are now
as British as the British themselves; one is now living as Albert
Robinson, a Union official at a factory in Eccles, happily married
with three children, the other is now Jeremy Coward, a high flying
yuppie in the financial world in London.

When one of Albert's children accidentally activates his long
forgotten radio in his attic, Albert hears a Russian voice calling
him. This is a moment that is to change the lives of Albert and his
family for some time. Panicked by this communication, Albert makes
contact with Jeremy, who is somewhat surprised to hear from him. They
arrange to meet. In Moscow, the KGB decide that it is time to bring in
these sleeping agents, and Major Nina Grishina flies to London, to
join the local KGB agents in trying to find them. The arrival of a top
ranking official intrigues both CIA and MI5"

"Sleepers (8/91) 
A comedy/drama about two KGB agents (Nigel Havers, Warren Clarke) sent
deep undercover to Britain in 1966 and are all but forgotten 25 years
later. Now the agents are more British than the British, and the KGB
not to mention the CIA and MI5 want to know what happened to them.
Produced by Verity Lambert, watch for an inside joke: When the
Russians discover the secret training center underneath the Kremlin
used in 1966, the television is playing Adam Adamant Lives, the first
series she produced after Dr Who"

"Plot Summary for 
"Sleepers" (1991) (mini)
Amidst the thaw of glasnost, the Kremlin discovers that two Soviet
agents, sent to England under deep cover in 1965, have been "lost." A
beautiful and ambitious Russian agent, sent to London to track them
down, becomes embroiled in a tangle of CIA, KGB and MI-5 plots and
counter-plots as the two lost agents, now utterly assimilated, try to
avoid detection."

"Cast (in credits order)  
Nigel Havers ....  Jeremy Coward/Sergei Rublev 
Warren Clarke ....  Albert Robinson/Vladimir Zelenski 
Michael Gough ....  Andrei Zorin 
David Calder ....  Victor Chekhov 
Joanna Kanska ....  Maj. Nina Grishina 
Richard Huw ....  Igor Kostov 
Christopher Rozycki ....  Oleg Petrovski 
Annie Hulley ....  Sandra Robinson 
William Chubb ....  George Wetherby 
Alan David ....  K1 
Angus MacInnes ....  Bill Sullivan 
Ricco Ross ....  Karl Richfield 
Jane Nash ....  Serena 
James Smith ....  Roger Stanley 
Denica Fairman ....  Georgina 
Bill Rodgers ....  Sean 
Timothy Kightley ....  Harvey Braithwaite 
Andrzej Borkowski ....  Doctor 
Tomek Bork ....  Kremlin radio operator 
Tara Moohan ....  Sharon Robinson 
Ian Taylor ....  Gary Robinson 
Spencer Ridgway ....  Wayne Robinson 
Barbara Young ....  Elsie 
Paul Maxwell ....  Barrington Cabot 
Robert Austin ....  Alan West 
Patrick Moore ....  Policeman 
Patrick Godfrey ....  Magistrate 
Bob Whittaker ....  TV reporter 
Richard Durden ....  David Bancroft 
rest of cast listed alphabetically 
John Flanagan ....  Bob Riley 
Candida Gubbins ....  Alison 
Ian McKellen ....  Andre Zorin 
Geoff Hurst ....  Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) 
Nikita Khrushchev ....  Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) 
Bobby Moore ....  Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) 
Nobby Stiles ....  Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) 
Harold Wilson ....  Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)"

Thank you for your question, and if you need any clarification of my
answer, do not hesitate to ask before rating my answer.

Very best regards.


Search strategy included:
bbc sleepers spies
rintin-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00

Subject: Re: television shows
From: scriptor-ga on 10 Jan 2005 04:58 PST
I too remember the series ... I liked the scene where they
rediscovered the old "Swinging London" street in the cellar of the
Soviet secret service building where the agents were trained, complete
with a white Austin Mini.


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