Spy drama. Johnny (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving MI5 officer. His boss dies suddenly, leaving behind an inexplicable file which threatens the stability of the organisation.
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This programme contains strong language
Ah! We haven't met.
I'm putting out rubbish. Obsessively.
-Do you want me to take it downstairs for you?
-No, no, no, it's fine.
I'll do it later.
-I've been living here for a year and I've never caught sight of you. I'm Nancy Pierpan.
-How do you do?
-I'm wondering if I could ask you in for a drink.
But you seem to have company.
That is why I am asking you in.
So you've started a website?
That's right. It's a place where people can make contact.
People find it easier to talk through a machine than they do direct.
Is that so?
Couples talk best in the car because they're side by side.
-They don't have to look at each other.
-Was it you who noticed that?
It was my mum actually.
Well, this has been nice, but bad news, Ralph, I'm going to have throw you out.
What do you mean, right now?
It's my fault. I'd completely forgotten that I'd promised to talk to Johnny about his novel.
-Johnny writes novels?
-Am I going to see you soon?
-Of course. I'm going to call you.
It was great to see where you live.
It was nice for me too.
Oh, God. I'm so sorry. I want to apologise.
No need to apologise. I assume you asked the young man back and then changed your mind.
-Yes. That's what happened.
-Whose novel is that?
I would love it if you'd stay and have a glass of wine with me.
I can't. I've to go home.
It's because I'm out of practice.
You'll have to explain.
Well, it's been a long time since I asked anyone back. And, um...
Has this ever happened to you?
That you suddenly realise you've made a mistake?
I saw you on the landing it
was like you were sent from God.
It's very strange that I've never seen you before.
Do you live on your own?
I've got to work tonight, if that's all right.
Oh, God. I'm so sorry.
Call me if it happens again.
It won't happen again.
What are you thinking, Johnny?
What have you been thinking?
Why did you ask me what was I thinking?
It's unbelievable, someone who's meant to be responsible, someone who's meant to be my boss.
I thought it was funny. No need to tell me.
Well, it isn't funny. Not in a fucking lift.
Anger management, Johnny.
I can send you on a course if you like.
I don't ask you, "What are you thinking?"
Because my mind's a perfect blank. That's why.
Things are that bad I got home last night and watched the X Factor.
Yesterday was Tuesday, X factor's Saturday, so I know you're lying.
Not lying. Testing.
I'm coming your way in half an hour. Jill's office.
So, there's an awful lot of stuff going on. An awful lot of traffic.
What does that mean? Intercepts?
Among other things.
This building is swimming in information.
We have information coming out of our ears.
-So the difficult thing is to notice when someone finally tells you something important.
He thinks he can be rude to me. He thinks he can treat me how he wants because we had a wife in common.
-In my case, a long time ago.
-All your wives were a long time ago.
-Is Jill "need to know" on my wives?
-Everyone knows about your wives.
So, my point is this. I've called the two of you together.
I want to share a source.
And before we go any further, God's very excited.
-Why's God excited?
-I suppose like all Home Secretaries, God can't resist a file marked Top Secret.
You're going to read this and you're going to think, "Hold on,
"the Americans are meant to be our allies."
-I've never suffered from that delusion.
-Johnny doesn't believe in the special relationship, do you?
They're not what you'd call sharing partners, are they?
Even you can't claim to have read it already.
I've seen certain words. I gather we're back in the Middle East.
We're always in the Middle East.
I don't like faith jobs. I don't like anything to do with faith.
Still got no faith yourself, Johnny?
The sun will rise in the morning. I'm going to have a drink at six.
-That's my faith.
-Really? Lot of people in your church are there?
Most people. Most people are in my church.
You're going to want to talk to me when you've read it properly.
This country's under threat. It's under serious threat.
Our problem is we can't always tell you the nature of the threat.
If we did, we'd be giving away intelligence and that's not something I'm willing to...
-This is a bit close, isn't it? This place is a bit close?
-I thought this place was crawling with professionals?
-That's why we're eating at 11:30.
No-one'll see us, except your friends.
How are you, Johnny?
-I'm well, Rollo. And yourself?
-Trying to get used to my new profession.
I was hoping you could help me with an inquiry.
What inquiry is that?
She's called Nancy Pierpan.
Then she has a beautiful name.
-Do you know anything about her?
-Are we going to do business before we have lunch?
We're going to do business over lunch.
And you're not going to let me have a drink first?
Anche tu stai benissimo...
Sempre fedele allo stesso uomo?
-He's putting on weight.
-Well, you would know.
You haven't asked me about my new job.
-I read what you write, but some of it goes over my head.
Don't you have a double first?
I'm not really clever, Rollo. I don't have what they call a first-class mind. You were first-class.
Sure. Look where it got me.
-I'm a journalist.
-You're a journalist who still works for us.
-Don't you get the cheques?
What are the cheques going to get me - a house in Tuscany?
When? With whom?
What with a waiter?
Can't you go and do some sort of profile on her?
I work on the foreign desk, what possible interest would I have in Nancy Pierpan?
-So you do know who she is.
-You were always quick, Johnny.
Not too clever right enough, but you are quick.
-England's a small country, isn't it?
-You tell me.
I mean, multi-cultural, sure.
More chaps named Shah and Patel.
But nothing's really changed. It's run by the same old crowd.
Is it? I don't know who runs England.
The bankers did and look what happened to them.
What I'm saying is, there are still an awful lot of people named Baron and Worricker. And Pierpan.
Nancy was born in Damascus. Her father is an Arabist.
What sort of Arabist?
Romance of the desert, that sort of thing? Lawrence of Arabia?
-Why do you need to know?
-Because she's taking an interest in me.
What sort of an interest?
Making a play? Is she making a play?
She was putting out the rubbish. She pretended it was a coincidence.
Well, aren't you flattered?
What's the file? Are you going to show it to me?
Do you know?
I don't think I am!
What is this? They're saying I need a new pass, I was given a temporary.
-What's going on?
-Are you going to throw a wobbly?
-Of course I'm not going to throw a wobbly. When was the last time I threw a wobbly?
Exactly. I threw a wobbly because suicide bombers killed 56 people on
the streets of London and we had no idea it was going to happen.
I didn't throw a wobbly because my pass had been blocked.
No. You're really sweet.
Who changes the passes? Who orders the passes to be changed?
Who do you think?
What did you think of the file?
-What did I think of it?
I haven't finished it yet. I haven't absorbed it.
I hardly need say, on no account is that file to leave the premises.
I didn't know if you'd make it.
-I promised I'd make it, didn't I?
-I thought you were abroad.
-Who told you that?
Mum said that. She always knows where you are.
Does she? Paranormal, is she?
You're going to have to explain these to me.
Do you want to have dinner afterwards?
I thought you'd have lots of young men. Attendant. You don't want to have dinner with me.
I hate these things more than you do.
-Max, my goodness, what are you doing here?
I collect your famous daughter.
In fact, if there's anything you can do to get me a family price...
-You still where you used to be?
-Of course I am. I like it.
Why would I change? And you, Max?
Defence? Defence procurement?
It's one business that's never going to suffer. Recession-proof.
Oh, these days I also raise a little money for the Party.
Don't look at me, I'm apolitical.
You're a-everything, aren't you, Johnny?
You're going to have to choose sides one day.
Remember, people get killed in the middle of the road.
-Did you get my invitation?
-Did I? Remind me.
-I wrote to you, college reunion.
-Oh, yes, I think I did get something.
-Give me a card, I'll call you.
-I don't have a card.
I have a website.
Wake up, Johnny.
You seem to be everywhere.
Why are you surprised? That's my business. Knowing people.
Including your daughter.
That's what I do, remember? Put people in touch.
By the way, how did Nancy like your book?
How many novels have you written?
Why do you want to know?
I'm asking you. I'm asking you a civil question.
It's my first.
You haven't said what you thought.
-Don't look at me like that.
Because I never could refuse you.
You could tell me the truth.
For once in your life, you might try telling me the truth.
Only if you insist.
All right. They look like works of despair.
If the despair isn't real, then I don't like them because they're fake.
They're unfelt. They're avant-garde protest and nothing more.
But if the despair is real,
then that hurts too because...
Because you're my daughter and I don't want you to suffer.
They're not fake.
That's what I thought.
So, what bothers you? If I'm unhappy, it's your fault?
They make you feel guilty?
The absent father? The evasive father?
The pictures are morbid.
They're morbid, Julianne.
OK, I can see it may be my problem. To do with getting older.
But why do you want to piss on life before you've even lived it?
I don't think you should say any more.
-I was wondering...
That young man you were talking to?
-I think his name's Ralph. Ralph Wilson.
Fuck, you're not even talking to me. You're working.
-Oh, come on, let me take you home.
I don't want you anywhere near me.
Do you have any honest relationships at all?
How did I know? How did I know this?
That you would come to my door.
You look unhappy. Do you want some company?
I'll come to your place.
I'm getting red wine.
I'd prefer whisky. Do you mind?
You had a rough day.
So how old's your daughter, then?
She's... Let's see, mid-twenties.
I split up from her mother when Julianne was very young.
Here you go.
That's not true.
I'm going to tell you the truth.
I split up with her when she was pregnant.
Why did you do that?
-Because I was in love with someone else.
-Do you fall in love easily?
Perhaps that's why my daughter doesn't trust me.
It was hard for her,
watching her father keep losing his heart.
-Children don't like that.
Tonight I felt I had the right to say what I thought about her work.
Clearly I didn't.
Same thing's true with writers.
You can say what you like about their personalities because they
think, "Oh, I can change, I can improve." But work's different.
-What about you?
Isn't your father a writer?
Writer and activist, yeah.
It must be odd having a famous father.
I'm actually surprised you've heard of him.
Just how famous can you be in Syria?
You were born in Damascus?
My brother was killed by the Israelis.
Two years ago.
What was he doing?
Waving a white flag.
Trying to stop the Israelis from knocking down a house.
The Israelis were building a wall through the occupied territories.
The wall went right through the house.
Been in that part of the world?
What were you doing?
-Oh, you know.
-No, I don't know. You're going to have to tell me.
-I was on holiday.
-On the West Bank?!
Where else do you go on holiday?
Maybe this is the moment...
..to tell me what's going on.
Nothing's going on.
My life was changed when my brother was killed.
He was killed by the Israeli Defence Force.
Nothing they say makes...
any sense. We don't believe a word of the official inquiry.
It's hard enough to grieve, isn't it?
grief is hard enough anyway, but...
When you don't know the truth...
Everything freezes and you can't move on.
All right, let's just forget about it.
I asked you in for a drink, that's all.
I'm like you, I go to work, I get through the day.
Since Jake died I haven't been interested in making friends.
Please, it's nothing dramatic, and I'm not asking for anything. But...
..you seem a nice man.
You see. It's almost unbearable. The way she looks.
She's so desperately in love with Lester Young, she can scarcely bear it when he plays.
# He wears high-draped pants... #
All the same...
# Stripes are yellow... #
She doesn't forget when it's her turn.
# He wears high-draped pants... #
Julianne, I wish I could find you.
I wish I knew where you were.
I made a fool of myself tonight...
..and it's not the first time.
You were right to be angry.
All right. Let's start the bloody meeting.
God knows you're hard enough to get hold of you, Benedict.
You're far grander than I am.
Would you like me to get you a cup of coffee, Home Secretary?
-Some mineral water?
-I had no idea you were going to be invited, Johnny.
Well, I am.
This is going to need long hours, Minister, it's going to need expertise and judgment.
As my mother used to say, a problem shared is a problem halved.
So, what's your next move?
Give the whole thing to the Daily Mirror? Post it on the internet?
-I'm trying hard not to be offended, Home Secretary.
Home Secretary, do you want to come back in and re-start this meeting at a lower level of tension?
I don't know about anyone else but I've got a heart condition.
I've got fatty deposits on my arteries. I have a stent.
Benedict, I can take this file out of the room, cross the river to SIS
and your department will be royally fucked.
The service has been royally fucked many times - usually by
your government jumping on us like Rover with a hard-on - and we've always survived the experience.
With respect, Minister, politicians come and go.
I've counted them in and I've counted them out.
And if you want to get rid of me, you can.
That's on the record, by the way. I'd like to go walking in Patagonia.
I've heard the wild life is extraordinary. Johnny went.
-He loved it.
So, if you want a new DG, go ahead, get one.
I'll gather up my whole family and take them on a packet boat to Antarctica.
And a double bonus, I won't be around for the end of the Atlantic alliance.
Anthea, it won't have happened on my watch.
OK, what are the Americans up to?
The Americans are up to what we always suspected they were up to.
This is different. This is proof.
If this is true, they have prisoners all over the world who don't officially exist on black sites.
-So it appears.
-Unknown sites that don't exist either.
These prisoners are telling them things, which they then don't have the courtesy to tell us.
Worse than that. Specifically, the Americans are failing to
keep us abreast of things that are happening on our own doorstep.
If we're willing to trust intelligence obtained by torture.
-Where did you get this?
-Well, I thought that might be your next question.
-It is my next question.
-I thought it might be.
And don't give me any of that Jesuitical bullshit about not revealing your sources.
I can't reveal my sources.
Benedict, you and I can play the game...
Seems like we've already begun.
But, at the end of the road, you work for me. Remember, people don't vote for you, they vote for me.
They don't like the people who work in the dark.
They don't know the people who work in the dark.
And if they did, would they be reassured?
My view is we go to the Americans.
-We speak to the Americans direct.
We tell them we know what they know,
that they have a network of sites where they're illegally detaining and torturing prisoners.
We frighten them by naming the sites.
Thailand, Afghanistan, Morocco, Poland, Romania.
Show them we're not idiots.
Because you're going to tell your allies that they've been lying to you.
-You have to think through the implications.
-Are you saying I haven't?
You also have to remember that going back to the Americans might endanger my source.
You'd need my permission.
-What would you prefer me to do?
-If it were my call?
-Please. Imagine that.
Right now I'd prefer you to do nothing.
If you want me to do nothing, why did you give me the file?
Because I don't want you to be able to say I didn't give you the file.
-Further down the road?
-Exactly. I answer to you.
You gave me the file so that I would do nothing?
I gave you the file so that you would know everything.
-Johnny Worricker thinks it makes sense.
-Johnny's an excellent judge.
Weak on tactics occasionally but strong on strategy.
Is that what you think? You back Johnny, do you?
Johnny's my best friend. Since Cambridge.
Well, then perhaps "best friend" can tell us what the argument for doing nothing is.
The argument for doing nothing, minister, is that, as yet, you know so little.
-And you shouldn't move until you know more.
-One simple thing.
Her Majesty's Government has always denied complicity in torture.
You've stood up in Parliament many times. You've said it in the press.
Changing the story is going to be embarrassing.
Well, it's only going to be embarrassing if people find out.
How will they find out?
Why would this intelligence leave this room? Who here would leak it?
-I hope that question answers itself.
-I hope it does. I hope so too.
And, anyway, remember, I thought the claims were true at the time.
When I made the claims, I didn't know they were untrue.
That may or may not be sufficient defence. These things can get messy.
You said, "One simple thing." What's the second simple thing?
Oh. I haven't talked to Benedict about this, minister.
So? Does "best friend" need permission to speak?
Very well, it's this. Has anyone actually read this thing?
I don't mean cast your eyes over it.
I mean, read it. Jill..?
Yes, I believe I've read it.
-Home Secretary, you say you didn't know the Americans had these prisoners.
-I didn't know.
And you had no proof they'd been torturing them. I take your word.
But perhaps someone else in your government did.
-Take another look at the bottom of page eight.
-What's on page eight?
You haven't read it, have you? I thought not. Page eight, please.
American source quoted saying, "Downing Street already knows about this."
I imagine that's what's
There are two possibilities, aren't there?
Either our source is wrong and the Americans lied to all of us,
in which case Downing Street is going to be furious.
Or our source is right and the Prime Minister knew everything all along.
He just didn't bother to tell you.
Now, I'm not sure which of those two possibilities you prefer.
-It's been an interesting meeting.
-Thank you. It has indeed.
I'm going to do as you suggest and leave this for a day or two.
Anna will be in touch.
You keep staring at that painting.
It's from the Government art collection. Don't blame me.
-I didn't choose it.
-Actually, it was painted by my daughter.
Christ, then you're in more trouble than I am!
I'm glad you said that.
-About page eight.
I was hoping someone would say it and I'm glad it was you.
I wasn't sure.
I wasn't sure whether to speak.
No, it was a good move.
It means the game's in play.
You. I need to talk to you.
I need a word. Urgently.
Not here. Somewhere discreet.
Traditionally, it's the stationery cupboard.
-What were you doing?
-At that meeting. What were you up to?
-What was I up to?
I'm an intelligence analyst, I was analysing intelligence. What's wrong with that?
First thing wrong - you never mentioned it.
You blurt out this extraordinary allegation before you talk to us? Before you tell us?
What's happened to you - suddenly you can't speak? Well?
Do you know the source? Do you trust the source?
-Of course I don't know the source. I don't need to.
-You don't need to?
Jill, if Ben says it's good, it's good.
Oh, right, I forgot! You were at college together.
That just about sums up this whole fucking place.
What's the problem, Jill? I don't get the problem.
When are you going to wake up? There's a revolution going on and you haven't noticed.
-What sort of revolution?
-You live in the past.
You still think there's something called pure intelligence.
The world has changed. Brits are being killed by Brits, on British streets.
-If you don't know what I'm saying, I'm not spelling it out.
-Why would you spell it out?
Get your hands off. I'm not one of your conquests.
Are you going to charge me with assault in a cupboard? You asked me in. I'll counter-sue for enticement.
Sure. If you're still here next week.
-The Prime Minister, Alec Beasley, today described Britain and America
as two countries with shared values and common purposes.
Nothing, he said, could divide our two countries in the worldwide fight against terror.
The Prime Minister is visiting Washington at the request of the President.
Well, it's great to be here.
For me it's a home from home.
Oh, I see. What, you're just going to go home?
Yes, d'you mind? I was thinking of going home.
It's choir practice in 40 minutes and the M4 is hell.
-And you're not going to tell me what you're up to?
-What am I up to?
-That's my question.
-It's pretty obvious, I'd have thought.
I've put a bomb in the water and I'm waiting to see where the dead fish land.
And you didn't think it best to warn me first?
Or am I one of the fish?
If you don't trust me, Ben, who DO you trust?
Distrust's a terrible habit, do you find that?
There's a fine line, isn't there, between calculation and deceit?
Must do better.
You're right. I should have shown you page eight.
Johnny, I'm sorry.
Good. Tomorrow, we're going to talk it over, you and I,
and we won't do it on the fourth floor.
Because this is about the survival of the department,
and the Prime Minister.
Coffee shop in Ebury Street.
The old team.
CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS
Do you have any idea what time it is?
'I knew you'd be up.'
I'm feeding the chickens.
The point is this - I've had a row with Julianne.
Yes. She told me. She had every right to be angry.
-She'd asked you to stay because she wanted to tell you something.
-What did she want to tell me?
That she's having a baby.
-I don't believe you.
-It's true. She's pregnant.
-'Do you know who the father is?'
-I don't. She hasn't told me.
-She hasn't told you?
-Johnny, it's the 21st century.
How many more times? People keep saying that, like it justifies everything,
'every piece of stupidity.'
Julianne's not being stupid. She knows what she's doing.
She wouldn't take it on if she couldn't see it through.
Is she all right?
When will I see her?
Johnny, you need to watch out.
-Who was that?
So you gave him the news?
One egg or two?
I'm sorry. I wanted to see you were all right.
I'm all right.
It's funny, I came to find you last night.
It sounded as if you had company.
-Why did you come looking for me?
-Oh, because I'd bought you a CD.
Can I come in?
Yes. Yes, you can come in.
I know. It's a little overwhelming. I started collecting years ago.
Believe it or not, I started with £100.
It grew from there.
You've got good taste. That's Christopher Wood.
There's no plan. I've just always bought what I've liked.
They must be worth a fortune.
Yeah. But that's not why I do it.
My second wife had very good taste.
How many wives have you had?
Fewer than five.
Oh. Do you really have it?
Of course. Why would I lie to you?
-Oh! Thank you.
My daughter's pregnant.
It turns out that's what the row was about.
I thought it was about art, but it wasn't.
She knew I was going to be upset, because I don't think the father's around
so she was frightened that I'd judge her.
I don't really know what it is you do.
I assume you're some sort of secret service.
The other night I was pissed off because you wouldn't tell me.
What makes you think I'm in the security services?
Because most people can tell you why they visit the Middle East.
And the person I was with last night was my dad.
-Oh, I see. He's in London?
-You just worked that out? Is that your professional training?
No. It's more my nerves.
Why are you nervous?
Because I find myself confiding in you.
Do you? Do you really?
Or are you just pretending?
I think it's brilliant because I can tell everyone I live opposite a spy.
-I'd rather you didn't but...
-Don't you think we have to be honest? You and I?
I mean, isn't that important? At this point?
'It's not about Julianne.'
Then what is it about?
RADIO: 'Yesterday, stock exchanges reacted sharply to demonstrations
throughout the Arab world.
'The Chancellor said, "These are volatile times..."
You should come down right away.
The sooner you get here the better.
Worricker is here. OK. I've got to go. Bye.
What's the verdict?
-It's a heart attack. There's a coroner coming.
Of course, real coroner.
You're going to examine him? That's going to help, is it?
-Who did you call first?
-Are you from Downing Street?
-I was asked to take charge.
You're not taking charge. I am.
I'm not sure.
Have you rung her yet?
I might have guessed. You're going through his stuff.
Not going through it, taking it away.
Then you'll go through it.
If you think with his podgy fingers he could work that thing...
I was there when he had his first heart attack and the second. They were identical.
The doctor warned him. He said, "You're living in injury time."
So you're not going to tell me there's anything suspicious.
-I don't want a circus.
And I most certainly don't want a territorial spat
with that woman downstairs.
Had he talked about dying?
He was worried about the future.
But he said whatever mess he left behind,
he could trust you to clear it up.
Benedict was honest and hard-working and he looked things in the eye.
So I'd say it's important that you don't let him down.
Julianne, it's your father.
I've got bad news. Can you call me?
Or call your mother.
I may be hard to get hold of for a while.
You must be Mr Worricker? Joseph Pierpan.
How do you do?
-My daughter's told me so much about you.
Nancy says you know a lot of influential people.
-You work at the Home Office?
-Oh, she told you.
My son was murdered. Can you imagine?
And I'm daily mocked by people who refuse to admit who did it and why.
-Do you have children?
I'm not going to detain you.
But it would mean the world to us if you could help.
-This is kind of you.
-Why is it kind of me?
Don't you think it might be what I want as well?
-What are they saying up your way?
-They're saying it was a heart attack.
-Do you have any reason to think differently? You went up there.
I saw the guilty egg.
We were at university together. Ben was my tutor.
We even went on the Vietnam marches together. He recruited me.
First, counter-espionage, then counter-terrorism. There is no difference.
He still said it was dishonourable work you could do
-in an honourable way.
-The better man?
I betrayed my wife and he married her.
I never knew if he did it for her or he did it for me.
I'm in his debt.
He was an all-round decent person.
-When is your husband getting back?
-He's not getting back.
-Because we had a disagreement.
Yeah, I'm up the Suwannee.
I work for an unprincipled maniac. God, she's as mean as cat meat.
And meanwhile I'm trying to hold down my pathetic high-powered job.
-You want to get out?
-I don't have the courage.
I don't have the guts.
They're going to go after you, you know?
-What you hadn't guessed?
Jill Tankard took me into a cupboard and told me
there was no such thing as pure intelligence.
Well, then. They don't trust you.
They'll use Benedict's death. There's going to be a departmental shake-up.
-They've been setting you up.
-Setting me up? How?
They're going to say you put Benedict up to it.
It was you that gave Benedict the source.
I didn't. I didn't give him his source.
I only saw the file for the first time this week.
-I know that.
-I don't know the source.
But they don't care.
They are going to tie a tin can around your tail
and run you out of the building.
They don't like you, Johnny.
-Do they have a reason?
Well, the usual reason. They think you're anti-American.
-All right, they just feel you have more fun than they do.
I've got a question.
I mean, I don't mind if you don't answer.
I don't mind. I'll answer anything.
When I said, "I only saw the file for the first time this week,"
and you said, "I know."
-Oh, yes. So?
-How do you know? It's important, Anna. How do you know?
How do you know I hadn't seen the file?
I know because when I started sleeping with you, I made a decision.
I decided to trust you.
-It's a bit arbitrary, isn't it?
But so far you've never let me down.
-North Utsire, northerly becoming cyclonic, four or five,
occasionally six in far north, becoming variable three later.
South Utsire, northwesterly, five or six veering easterly
or southeasterly four or five, becoming variable three later.
Nothing if not predictable.
Johnny? Johnny. Are you there? It's Jill.
I'm answering. Good morning, Jill.
'Have you forgotten? We're due to meet.'
-We have a meeting.
-Well, that's it.
'Problem is, I've got that tickle you get at the back of the throat
-'when you know you're going to be ill.'
-Where are you?
'Aren't I at home? I'm in Battersea, aren't I?'
That's not what it says here.
-'This is hardly the day to go under cover.'
You're playing with the toys.
-Are you playing silly buggers?
-'No, not at all.'
I thought it was YOU playing silly buggers. Very much so.
-After yesterday, we're on amber. Everyone has to open their safe.
-I'm happy to open my safe.
There's nothing in it but half a bottle of brandy and some shaving cream.
But I can't do it today.
Not if the whole department's to avoid the flu.
You think with Benedict gone, you move up a peg.
You don't, you move down.
I hope to God you know what you're doing.
-Ah, Mr Eliot, I thought I heard you.
-It's so long since we saw you.
-I've been travelling.
I'm only in this country for a couple of days.
-'The death has been announced of Benedict Baron,
'the director general of MI5.
'Baron will be remembered for his policy of making
'the security service more accountable.
'Under his direction, the secretive organisation...'
The Road House. Rather a come down, isn't it?
Isn't this where you used to meet Gerry Adams?
-Is it, Rollo? You'd know better than me.
-Who are you this time?
-My name's Eliot. After the poet.
-Tom Eliot, you idiot.
-Never heard of him. What does he do? Christmas cards?
-Two coffees, please. You vanished.
-I was in Israel.
-Good. Do I owe you?
-It's fine. The paper paid.
-Are you going to open it?
-I'd rather hear it from you.
-She's perfect, isn't she?
-Is she? Tell me.
If they'd invented her, they couldn't have done better.
-Tell me who THEY are. I'm assuming SHE is Nancy.
-Is there anyone else in your life?
-Nobody at all?
-Since you ask.
-Well, Nancy is a perfectly-pitched creation.
-Is she? Is she a creation?
If you want to know, it all stacks up. She had a romantic-looking brother who was killed.
There was one of those Israeli army inquiries where they conclude
that the Israeli army never does anything wrong.
Her father is indeed an impeccable Arab scholar,
living a quiet and saintly life in Damascus.
There she is, the wronged woman, the grieving sister.
Waiting for you.
Brilliantly rehearsed, learnt her lines, ready to go.
What are you saying? Too good to be true?
I didn't ask you to pimp for me, Rollo. Nor did I ask you to vet a girlfriend.
-She's not a girlfriend, she's a neighbour.
-Yeah. She's kind of a fantasy neighbour, isn't she?
Perfect for an old spy who's lost faith in the old values.
-I haven't lost faith.
-No. I still believe in them.
The purpose of intelligence is to find the truth, not to confirm what we believe.
We look for what's there, not for what we want to be there.
When they wanted communists, we gave them communists.
-Now they want Arabs, we give them Arabs.
-What has really changed? Nothing.
I know what you're going through. You must be in a tricky place.
Bad day for Ben but it wasn't great for me.
Ben ran his own agents and kept them close.
There are a few people waking up in your position. Benedict did a good job on you.
The whole service believes you leaked security secrets to a newspaper for money
because that's what Benedict told them.
There's a flap going on, isn't there? A turf war, that's what I'm hearing.
-Are you? Where are you hearing that?
-Don't give me that
answer a question with a fucking question lark!
-I didn't go on the interrogation course, I wrote it!
I went to Israel for you on what could be a wild goose chase.
I dipped into the Tel Aviv beach scene. Got a tan on every inch of my body.
Even so, you owe me this!
All right. What this is about,
Benedict had proof. The Americans have sites. Black sites.
-Of course they do.
-Yes, but now we can tell you where they are. We can draw the map.
Why is that news? That's not news. You could hear the screams for the last ten years.
Bits of intelligence, we're so careful not to inquire where they came from.
-They came from torture chambers. We knew that.
We didn't have evidence. And this is actually different.
-Why? Why is it different?
-Because it establishes who knew.
Who's known all along.
So, who knew? Who knew the sites?
Our Prime Minister. Our Prime Minister knew.
-Party of one, is he? Dining alone?
Table by the fucking window.
Our Prime Minister had access to American intelligence
which might have helped save British lives and he didn't tell us.
He didn't tell anyone.
-OK, OK, I'm getting a picture here.
-I'm glad you're getting a picture.
-Presumably our Prime Minister didn't tell us because he doesn't trust us.
He didn't tell his Home Secretary because he doesn't trust her.
-Our Prime Minister doesn't trust anyone.
-That's the way it looks.
Because he stands alone, THE true saviour of his nation
and everyone else except him is a wishy-washy liberal fuck.
-They don't believe. Then what happened?
-Benedict finds out.
-Through a source.
-A source of his own? A source whose name you don't know?
That is the interesting bit. What does Benedict do in that situation?
On discovering his Prime Minister hides secrets from his own security service.
Of all the things Ben could do, what does he do?
Remember your first day, Rollo? First day in the service?
Of course. Monday morning, 10am. You gave the first lecture.
And what did I say?
Never share intelligence you don't need to share.
Consider - Benedict is given lethal information about his Prime Minister.
What does he do with it?
He gives it to Anthea. He gives it to you.
What was his plan, then? Bring down the government?
-The weather's changing.
-It certainly is.
-Feels like the end of an era.
-Is for me. I'm fucked.
I live out my life inventing stories for a national newspaper.
I can't even come to the funeral.
Rollo... Rollo, you have me.
Sure. And how long are you going to last?
I thought it would be you.
-Don't be ridiculous. Why?
-Because I dreamt of you this morning.
-I had my Johnny dream.
-Who ever taught you to lie like that?
Who do you think? So how many years since I saw you?
I guess five. You sold me a little Gertler, remember?
You are sure? You really want to sell it?
Christopher Wood. Died at 29, threw himself under the train.
-I wouldn't sell it if I were you.
-I have to.
Bad times? Why did you bring it here?
There are places in London you'd get much more.
Because you have a safe. Because you have cash.
-How do you know?
-Because you showed me.
-Well, will you take 60?
-Do I have any choice?
-Bel Ami by Hermes.
That daughter of yours... she's doing well.
-Does she still adore you?
-I think she does. She's just scared of showing it, that's all.
And you, Johnny? Still winging it on charm?
I'm late. Thank you, Leona.
I've got to go.
-'Dad, it's me.'
At last, where are you? I've been worried sick.
'I know. I couldn't leave Mum by herself.'
Julianne, are you at the farm?
-Dad, a man came to see me.
-What man? Who?
I don't know. He came to my studio.
-He wanted to know where you were.
-'What did you say?'
I told him the truth.
I said I hadn't seen you.
Then I packed a bag and I came up to Mum's.
Julianne, I'm going to see you so soon, I promise.
Stay at your mum's, whatever you do. I need to talk to you.
'He said they're looking for you.'
Now here's a surprise!
Julianne, I have to go, I'm sorry, Stay where you are. Please.
Blow me down.
-I thought the shy boy wasn't coming.
What made you change your mind?
You know. Whim. Caprice.
HE PRAYS IN LATIN
Thank you. Good evening.
The Prime Minister will now say a few words.
Thank you. Thank you.
I don't want to spoil such a wonderful occasion
with a long speech.
As my daughter says, "Daddy, you spoil everything."
But I would like to say a few words, if I may, about liberal values,
and the price of defending them in the modern world.
What do you think?
What do you think of him?
I don't know. I've never known what to make of him.
At least he believes what he says.
Is that enough?
The Prime Minister wants a word. Not now.
We'll tell you when.
Sorry. It's past one.
He had a long phone call.
The White House doesn't admit we're in a different time zone.
Ah, Johnny...it's been a long time.
So it has.
-I'm surprised you could make it.
-I heard you had flu.
-Who told you that?
-Why? Isn't it true?
-Maybe the beginnings. The onset.
Oh, and having just lost the DG, I didn't think you'd come.
I'm sorry, everyone, but we're going to need some privacy.
I remember when peace first came to Northern Ireland,
I took Ben for a drink.
In those days I was just an MP.
Benedict said, "The Cold War's over, Northern Ireland's fixed.
"This could be very bad news for the service."
All honour to Ben, but it turned out he was wrong.
-On the contrary.
-We're busier than ever.
That's the problem, isn't it?
There's so much intelligence, ceaseless intelligence,
and there's barely time to consider it.
The difficult thing being to decide what's important.
-And what's not.
Basic point. There are times when the interests of the government
and the interests of the country are coincident.
You can't put a cigarette paper between them. Do you agree?
-Do you agree?
So I need to be clear.
I'm contemplating re-organisation. Had you heard that?
-As a matter of fact, I had.
-Really? Who from?
A Department of Homeland Security.
It would be a popular move,
after the failures of the last ten years.
Let's have a Royal Commission to give us cover,
then let's reconfigure the services entirely. Why not?
I hardly need say, for everyone already in place,
it could mean huge advancement, Johnny...huge opportunity.
Or its opposite.
Quite. You understand me.
There's one other thing I'd like to discuss.
Before he died, Benedict gave you a file.
My own view is, that file should not have been distributed.
For that reason, I'd like it returned.
I don't know what to say.
I don't carry secret files about my person,
so I don't have it with me.
After all, I came here tonight for social reasons.
I find that very hard to believe.
You don't strike me as a overly sentimental kind of person.
Didn't you come because you wanted to talk to me?
I think we both know we have a question to answer, Prime Minister.
And what question is that?
Why do you imagine Benedict gave me the file?
-You tell me.
-Why did he show it around?
-Why did he do that?
-I have no idea.
-He showed it to the Home Secretary.
What's your view?
Given the sensitivity of the subject matter.
My guess is Benedict knew he was ill.
Sorry. He'd already had a heart attack?
-But also his arm was dragging.
I noticed at a meeting with the Home Secretary.
It's a familiar sign. He couldn't pick up his papers.
-What meeting was that?
-I think Benedict knew he was dying.
He handed out the file because he wanted certain issues discussed.
He wanted everything out in the open.
And so, whatever else, we must respect his wishes.
He was my friend, so for me it's a matter of honour.
Do you know the famous saying about the yellow box?
I've not heard it, no.
Do not enter the yellow box unless your exit is clear.
I wonder where you think your exit is.
I don't have an exit, sir. I don't have a strategy.
I'm not thinking that far ahead.
I'm very conscious, Prime Minister, that I've been
forced into an area closer to politics than it is to security.
What I was saying earlier, in times of national emergency,
the two are the same.
Nothing is more dangerous than when people make mischief
by trying to separate them out.
But surely that's something you'll take up
-with your Home Secretary?
-Yes. I'm working on that.
Right now I'm working on you.
If the file is correct, it suggests that you had intelligence
which you failed to share.
You knew the names of potential British terrorists,
but you failed to pass them on
because you didn't want to reveal where you got them.
You risked lives.
And you knowingly misled parliament about illegal practices.
Let's look at the facts.
The man who compiled that file is dead.
And with him died the knowledge of who its source was.
I don't know the source. Do you?
You know as well as I do, without a source your file is worthless.
The allegations can't be corroborated.
Therefore the allegations can't be correct.
Is that what you're telling me, sir? It's false?
The allegations are false?
What time is it?
Just gone two.
All other copies of the file have been returned.
I want yours back within 12 hours.
Two o'clock tomorrow, shall we say?
You've been a loyal servant of this country for many years.
I'm not expecting you to throw it all away.
No, nor am I.
It's late, can we get you a room?
No, thank you, I'm staying at a friend's.
Good night, sir.
Good night, Max. Good night, Ted.
How did it go?
I want Special Branch.
Yes. But I'm freezing.
Where are we going?
I love it.
This is what you do for a living?
I had a feeling that if I asked a favour,
you were the sort of person who'd come through.
You trust me? Why on earth would you trust me?
Because that's the job. Deciding who to trust. That's what the job is.
-Also, you told your father I worked for the Home Office.
You trust me because I lied?
What were you doing in Cambridge?
-Why, seeing the Prime Minister, of course.
-Anyone behind us?
-Are we going back to London?
Two rooms, please.
One room. Two beds, please.
Don't we need to talk?
I don't want to spoil the evening, but I have a question.
-The first time we met, the young man...
Tell me, how did you know him?
He came to the meetings.
For the campaign? He just turned up? Out of the blue?
He said he was keen to help.
-What's this about?
-I got you something.
Something to thank you for coming to fetch me.
What is it?
It's the truth about your brother's death.
I got hold of the Shabak report.
How on earth did you do that?
It's powerful stuff.
You're right, Jake was killed in cold blood.
There was a cover-up.
You've a cast-iron case for manslaughter, you might get murder.
It's all in there.
Have you read it?
The problem is going to be with using it.
Why shouldn't I use it?
Because everyone will know where you got it.
How would they know?
You're not cut out for this line of work, are you?
Tell me what you mean.
I mean, you live opposite me.
We share a landing.
Do you want a drink?
Um...am I driving?
Not with me, you're not.
They say you can only begin to mourn once you know the facts.
Do you think that's true?
I'm mourning too.
Who? Who are you mourning?
My oldest friend died, a couple of days ago.
He made an allegation.
An allegation that, as yet, I've failed to make stick.
It must be tough.
Well, it is.
He left me a job to do and my life's not...
..worth living until I see it through.
I just got my life back.
I don't suppose you'll let me thank you.
I think I'd die if you thanked me.
I think some people have been quite surprised by your new appointment.
Yes, well, as you know the Prime Minister
and I haven't seen eye to eye on every issue.
But recently events have thrown us together, and do you know what?
'We've found we actually like each other.'
'You get on?'
'Extremely well. We've always got on on a personal level
-'and now we want to work together...'
-I didn't hear you get up.
-Good morning, how are you?
-Better, much better.
Do you know the Home Secretary?
-The one who says we can't be free because we have to be safe?
-Thank you, Mr Eliot.
-Thank you very much.
-She's our Deputy Prime Minister.
-I thought we didn't have one.
We do now. Beasley's saying he thinks of her as his natural successor.
She's been bought.
-We need to go to work. You coming with me?
-Try and stop me.
As you know some prime ministers designate a deputy, some don't.
It's a mark of how well we are now working together
that the Prime Minister wanted to give me this particular job title.
-Emma, how are you?
You haven't met, have you? This is Nancy Pierpan.
-So sorry to hear your news.
She's my neighbour.
She's kindly doing a stint as my chauffeur.
Go to the barn. She's waiting for you.
Do you think Nancy could possibly have a cup of coffee?
I'm so sorry. I said terrible things.
It's my fault. I've been stupid.
I'm a bad father.
Just put my mind at rest.
It's not...Ralph Wilson, is it?
-Ralph Wilson? Why would it be Ralph?
-Because I saw you together.
-Are you out of your head?
-Is that what you've been thinking? Is that what you think of me?
-I didn't know what to think.
If you must know... it was a conceptual artist.
Oh. Good. Well, I'm glad conceptual artists are good for something.
How long did it last?
It lasted a week.
A good week?
Then your daughter's in with a chance.
How do you know it's a girl?
Because I had a girl.
I don't know why I bothered to make you all lunch,
-God knows I've got enough to do.
Everyone says Benedict knew he was dying,
so why didn't he at least leave us an order of service?
Did he ask for anything in particular?
Oh, you know. Stuff about... England.
So typical, so typical of him.
I don't think Benedict gave a damn about England, did he?
Except as some version of paradise. Imaginary. Like all paradise.
-I'm sure it's what the Belgians feel about Belgium.
-I'm sure they do.
And the frigging Albanians.
And you're no use. You like jazz.
Johnny, can you come with me, please?
There was a politician.
An American politician came here for lunch. A couple of weeks ago.
I don't suppose you remember his name?
He piloted his plane to the local airfield.
You didn't mention this before.
I was angrier before.
Is the plane enough of a clue?
It's not certain,
but there's a fair chance I'm going to have to leave the country.
I have a feeling this week may not end well.
I'm running out of rope.
They're not going to make me Deputy Prime Minister.
Will I see you at the funeral?
Try as in you will or try as in you won't?
He's on his way.
-Do you care to tell me what you're doing?
-What you do for a living.
Aren't you in the surveillance business?
Going through your things and seeing what's there.
Don't worry, I don't do guns or violence.
How did you get in? That's a deadlock with a combination.
We still have skills in the public sector
you don't in the private. Contact, contact!
Nancy, you can come up now.
This is an expensive outfit.
I was wondering who'd staked such a serious investment.
-Then I saw the photo on the fridge.
-I had you marked from the beginning.
-I know you did.
-From the moment I met you.
-I've been taking photos of your operation.
-Are they on that camera?
And sending them to a computer. You're Jill Tankard's little boy.
Nothing to say?
This is the man who pretended to support your campaign.
I can't believe what you did. I can't believe it.
-How far would you have taken it?
-I'd have slept with you...
for Queen and country, I would. I wasn't interested in you. I was interested in him.
I'm meant to believe that it was a coincidence?
An M15 man just happens to live opposite a known subversive?
-I'm not a subversive.
-Then what the fuck are you?
Ralph, it's time to have a word with your mum.
I'm going to leave early. Please cancel all my appointments.
He's back in contact.
What made you choose this place?
Best reason. Because the food is good.
Hello. I've got whisky, but my friend usually drinks white wine.
So. Interesting choice. How does it feel to be unemployable?
What's in the bag? Have you brought me the file?
-I've been calculating how long you've been working this racket.
-You're running a cowboy unit out of Downing Street.
-I don't think you can call it a cowboy unit.
-We answer to the Prime Minister.
-So do we.
-What's your point?
The Prime Minister never liked the security services because we were always bothering him with facts.
So he started his own intelligence unit, am I right? Dealing directly with the Americans?
In traditional practice,
the torturers are meant to be held at arms' length.
You have no proof.
Well, as a matter of fact, I do. I've found Ben's source.
I've spoken to Ben's source.
I don't believe you.
Believe what you like.
And will that source go on the record? Can you produce that source?
That's a gamble you're going to have to take.
Johnny, you're bluffing with an empty hand.
Is the Prime Minister willing to take that risk?
I know the source.
Face it, the world's changed. What are the British going to do?
Get new allies? Allies who behave better?
Benedict was on to you, wasn't he? That's why he put the file out.
He knew you were betraying your own department.
Reporting to the Prime Minister isn't betrayal.
You financed a piece of private enterprise and employed your own son.
I've taken photographs of his premises.
Fuck this. This isn't the Student Union, I'm not here to debate.
The world's moving on and it's time it did.
Because you guys with your public school ties
and your "after you, old chap" didn't make much of a job of it, did you?
Last meeting of the club, Johnny. Last meeting of the club.
In the last 48 hours, you've broken every rule in the book.
You are no longer in your service, you will never work again,
your pension is gone.
If you blow the whistle now, you'll also go to prison.
Is that what you want?
Because that's what lies ahead if you don't give me that file.
-I'm willing to cut a deal.
-What's the deal?
No Royal Commission. No re-organisation.
-Is that all?
Publication of the internal Israeli report on the death of Jake Pierpan.
-We leak it.
The government admits it's shocked at the cover-up in the occupied territories. That's the deal.
-You know it's impossible.
-It's the quid pro quo.
You give me something, I give you something.
Think about it, this is far worse.
Isn't the temptation of heroism coming a little late in your career?
I've watched you work. I always admired you.
I thought, "Johnny's clever, Johnny keeps out of trouble.
"Johnny's a lucky man. He's got a life."
Don't you have a life? Jill?
It's the girl, isn't it? You're doing this for the girl.
They come and go, don't they, Johnny?
They come and go.
Not this time.
Is the file in there?
-Is that Allegra?
-'I believe my friend Rollo gave you a document.'
Go ahead. Broadcast. You have my permission.
DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES
-What are you doing?
Looking for the next great novel.
They don't seem to understand that feelings are interesting, but the world is interesting too.
-Want some coffee?
-I have to say goodbye.
What does goodbye mean?
If you want a Saab, it's waiting in Cambridge.
You'll have to pay the parking charges,
but it's nicer than your Peugeot.
This is a small painting you might like.
It's by the same artist, but not as good.
-I couldn't possibly take it.
-You can take it.
You're going to live for many years and be an old woman,
and this way, you'll always have something decent on your wall.
Are you going to tell me why you have to go?
I've cut a deal.
They've gone along with it, but they don't like it.
They'll make my life not worth living.
Would you like me to come with you?
I couldn't ask you to do that.
I'm not really used to the idea of having feelings again.
It's...dangerous, isn't it?
Too dangerous for you?
I'm frightened. I fuck everything up.
-This is very kind of you.
We're heading north.
CHURCH ORGAN PLAYS
We're here today to remember the life of Benedict Baron.
The hymns and readings have been chosen by his family,
and the first hymn by his oldest friend, John Worricker.
I Vow To Thee, My Country.
# I vow to thee, my country
# All earthly things above
# Entire and whole and perfect
# The service of my love
# The love that... #
'The government today responded officially to the document
'obtained by the BBC, which reveals that the peace campaigner
'Jake Pierpan was gunned down in the occupied territories
'when he was clearly holding a white flag.
'The Prime Minister, Alec Beasley, today visiting his constituency,
'acknowledged the strength of public reaction to the revelation.'
'Even at times of national crisis,
'certain basic human freedoms have to be protected.
'We must never stop insisting on telling the truth to our enemies,
'but sometimes we have to tell the truth to our friends as well.
'That's a difficult duty,
'but between democracies with shared values, it's an essential one.'
# And there's another country
# I've heard of long ago
# Most dear to them that love her
# Most great to them that know... #
'Politicians on all sides in Britain are today expressing their shock
'at the news that the Israeli Army suppressed a highly critical Shabak report,
'which established the truth about the death of a British peace campaigner...'
I wonder, could we change the station?
Anything you want?
I'd like some jazz.
SMOOTH JAZZ PLAYS ON RADIO
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Spy drama set in London and Cambridge. Johnny Worricker is a long-serving MI5 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file which threatens the stability of the organisation. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny's striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan seems too good to be true. Johnny is forced to walk out of his job, and then out of his identity to find out the truth.