BBC Four unmasks The Spies of Warsaw

The BBC is getting back in the spy business. BBC Four has commissioned two 90 minute films based on Alan Furst’s novel, The Spies Of Warsaw.  Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais penned the adaptation for Fresh Pictures.

The BBC says of the project:

The characters of Alan Furst’s best-selling spy novels roam the foggy nights and steal across the rainy, cobbled streets of Prague, Berlin, Warsaw, Rome, and Paris. Furst’s protagonists join the ranks of the Resistance in one way or another. They include faded nobility, b-movie filmmakers, newspapermen, ship’s captains and compromised businessmen as well as waiters, shopkeepers, jaded intellectuals, tarnished grand dames, and boozy British secret agents. Together they march in the underground army that seeks to fight back against the Nazi occupiers.

Spanning the decade from 1933 to 1943, as the Germans slowly consolidate their political stranglehold on Europe, Furst’s stories are portraits of subjugated peoples who try to resist the suffocating inevitability of Hitler’s regime. They show the potency and the importance of espionage and pure intelligence in the run up to the war. Furst captures the history as well as the humanity.

I wonder if the forthcoming Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy somewhat inspired this project…

Book Jacket:

War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, in Warsaw, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-François Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of the city. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations. Risking his life, Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal characters, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.

You can read an excerpt here.