Mar 11, 2011

Upcoming Spy DVDs: Circles of Deceit

Acorn will release another obscure British spy series this May—this one from the Nineties. Circles of Deceit stars ITV mainstay Dennis Waterman (The Sweeny, Minder) and, as far as I can tell, consists of four TV movies made in 1995 and '96: Circle of Deception, Dark Secret, Kalon and Sleeping Dogs. Information on the series seems kind of scarce (and I've honestly never heard of it before now), so I'll let Acorn's copy do the speaking:
Former special-forces operative John Neil (Dennis Waterman, New Tricks, The Sweeney) remains on call for the brass at Britain’s security services. Whether taking on Irish terrorists, tracking down professional assassins, or pitting his wits against ruthless drug dealers, the ex-SAS man harbors no illusions about the work he’s doing--or the people he serves. He faces down deadly adversaries as well as devious bosses who keep him on a need-to-know basis, forcing Neil to rely on his instincts and his training in a world of betrayal, danger, and deceit.

Top British actors guest star in these four feature-length dramas, including Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius), John Hannah (The Mummy), Peter Vaughan (The Remains of the Day), Kate Buffery (Trial & Retribution), Clare Higgins (Silent Witness), and Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey, [and The Prisoner, of course!]).
Cool!  I love it when spy things I've never heard of pop up on the horizon.  I didn't even realize that there were any of these ex-SAS/spy things that were such a staple of British broadcast and cinema in the Seventies and Eighties made in the Nineties.  I can't wait to see this! Circles of Deceit, a two-disc set, comes out on May 17. Retail is a steep $49.99, but it's currently available to pre-order on Amazon for substantially less.


Jonathan Melville said...

Even though I live in the UK I've never heard of these TV movies. Here's hoping we see them released here soon.

Anonymous said...

Same here - I live in the UK and for the life of me, I can't recall any of these.

They sound interesting anyway.

Tanner said...

Weird! I'd assumed that some UK readers would chime in with opinions of these telefilms, but apparently they're just as obscure over there as they are here. (Which only makes them cooler to discover on DVD - in my eyes, anyway.)

Maybe when Rob from The Medium is Not Enough gets back from his vacation, he'll pipe up about this. He seems to know every UK TV show/movie/miniseries from that era...

Steve said...

These aren't really TVM's as such but a one-off drama and a three-part spin-off series from the era of British television when (thanks to Inspector Morse) there was a trend for making feature-length rather than one hour instalments. The original Circle of Deceit was broadcast in 1993 and revolved around an ex-SAS man infiltrating the IRA after his family has been killed in a bomb-blast, as a self-contained story it was quite enjoyable but seemed to lack the scope for a full series, buoyed by good viewing figures the network (ITV) commissioned one anyway (with the lead character now working as sort of international troubleshooter) but unhappy with the results they shelved the series eventually using them as filler with little promotion by which time audiences had long-forgotten the successful original (the last episode finally went out more than two years after production). At the time it was ITV's policy not to pay programme-makers for their product until it had been broadcast, so the approach taken with Circles of Deceit probably saved them alot of money.