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Brit Pinks hand Stalin a late victory

By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. (articles ) | Apr 23, 2003

A BBC television drama called The Cambridge Spies not only glamorizes the Stalin-era Soviet moles Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt by portraying them as heroic anti-Fascist idealists but fabricates a grotesquely partisan picture of 1930s England, according to a story in the London Telegraph. Scriptwriter Peter Moffat defended his fictions by claiming he was writing a drama rather than a documentary:

Moffat admitted yesterday that he had made up a scene in which an upper-class, Right-wing Cambridge student loudly refuses to apologise for knocking over a drink held by Philby's girlfriend because she is a Jew. It did, however, reflect the political feelings at the university at the time, he added. And another scene in the drama, in which the same student and a group of his friends beat up a group of Trinity college waiters who go on strike, was also invented, he said.

Oleg Gordievsky, a defector from the KGB and historian of Soviet intelligence, previewed three of the four episodes and was flabbergasted and infuriated by the historical inaccuracy, calling the series a "piece of KGB propaganda." Though The Cambridge Spies is scheduled to begin on May 9, most of us will have already guessed the moral: two legs bad; four legs good.

Donald Maclean's neckwear is by Hérmès of Paris.

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