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Hayley Atwell and Vanessa Kirby narrate an eclectic mix of stories past and present, told by the real spies behind some of the world’s greatest operations. What secrets did they know? What were their skills? And what would YOU do if you were in their position? From SPYSCAPE, the Home of Secrets.
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True Stories, Told By True Spies
True Spies Teaser
Week by week, mission by mission, you’ll hear the true stories behind the world’s greatest espionage operations. You’ll meet the people who navigate this secret world. What do they know, what are their skills and what would you do in their position? This is True Spies.
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TEAM ALPHA PART I: THE TIP OF THE SPEAR
October 17, 2001. The dust of 9/11 has barely settled. America and the world are reeling. In Afghanistan, eight CIA officers - a crack team of linguists, tribal experts and paramilitaries - are the first Americans to infiltrate Taliban territory after the attacks. Their mission is to ensure that al-Qaeda does not strike again. They are Team Alpha. In Part I, Vanessa Kirby joins CIA linguist David Tyson and author Toby Harnden to tell the true story of Team Alpha's first foray in to a dangerous and unpredictable new theatre of war. Could you adapt to a new reality?
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SEXPIONAGE PART III: THE LOVER, THE AX, AND LEON TROTSKY
Throughout history, spies have used sex, seduction, and emotional manipulation to achieve their shadowy aims. In this three-part anthology, Vanessa Kirby joins espionage authors Henry Schlesinger and Michael Smith to uncover the real stories behind some of history's most explosive honeytrap operations. In Part III, Michael and Henry share the real spy story behind one of history's most famous murders. When Ramón Mercader attacked Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky at his home in Mexico, the evidence suggested a crime of passion. In reality, it was the culmination of a long and intricate honeypot operation by Stalin's secret service. Could you get close enough to kill?
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SEXPIONAGE PART II: ANNA CHAPMAN
Throughout history, spies have used sex, seduction, and emotional manipulation to achieve their shadowy aims. In this three-part anthology, Vanessa Kirby joins espionage authors Henry Schlesinger and Michael Smith to uncover the real stories behind some of history's most explosive honeytrap operations. In Part II, Henry Schlesinger reveals the unlikely life and times of a celebrity spy. In 2010, Russian property entrepreneur Anna Chapman was exposed as one of 10 deep-cover agents working on US soil. Armed with SVR tradecraft, nightlife connections, and charm to spare she was linked to a variety of rich and influential men as she rose through the upper echelons of Western society - waiting for the moment to strike. Could you play the long game?
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SEXPIONAGE PART I, OPERATION DIAMOND
Throughout history, spies have used sex, seduction and emotional manipulation to achieve their shadowy aims. In this three-part anthology, Vanessa Kirby joins espionage authors Henry Schlesinger and Michael Smith to uncover the real stories behind some of history's most explosive honeytrap operations. In Part 1, Michael Smith relates an audacious plot by the Israeli Mossad in the turbulent 1960s. Mossad officers targeted Iraqi pilots, hoping to seduce them into defecting with a MiG-21 - the next-gen fighter plane favored by Israel's enemies. In a bloody and dangerous mission spanning three continents, the outcome played a part in changing the face of the Middle East. How far would you go to level the playing field?
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Episode 110
THE SPY'S SON, PART II, DARK INHERITANCE
When he was arrested in 1996, Jim Nicholson - nicknamed 'Batman' - was the highest-ranking CIA officer to be convicted of espionage for the Russian Federation. Ten years later, he did it again. Join Vanessa Kirby for the first ever True Spies duology - a tale of spy-craft, treachery, and a toxic father-son relationship. In Part 2, DoJ Attorney Ethan Knight shines the spotlight on Nicholson's son, Nathan, who was manipulated by his incarcerated father into continuing his espionage work. But before long, his spy fantasies turned sour. Could you live a double life?
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Episode 109
THE SPY'S SON PART I, BRINGING DOWN BATMAN
When he was arrested in 1996, Jim Nicholson - nicknamed 'Batman' - was the highest-ranking CIA officer to be convicted of espionage for the Russian Federation. Ten years later, he did it again. Join Vanessa Kirby for the first-ever True Spies duology - a tale of spycraft, treachery, and a toxic father-son relationship. In Part 1, veteran CIA case officer John Maguire tells the story of his strangest mission, an operation on American soil to bring down one of his own colleagues. Could you befriend a traitor?
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Episode 108
NETWORK REQUEST
LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, is a part of working life for millions of people around the world. But do you really know who you're connected with? Vanessa Kirby joins former DIA officer J.T. Mendoza on a cross-agency collaboration to take down Kevin Patrick Mallory, an American traitor recruited online by a hostile foreign power. Do you think before you click?
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Episode 107
I WAS NEVER HERE
True spies work in all sorts of far-flung locales - but some assignments are closer to home. For Andrew Kirsch, a Special Operations officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the suburbs of Toronto hold as much intrigue as Moscow or Baghdad. Vanessa Kirby joins Andrew on a nail-biting infiltration mission to unmask a home-grown terrorist, right in his back yard. Could you spy in suburbia?
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Episode 106
HIDDEN HAND
Deep in the jungles of Central America, right-wing 'Contra' guerrillas face off against government forces. Major Alex, a Honduran Army officer, trains and supplies the Contras on the ground. Except Major Alex isn't a Major at all - he's Ric Prado, CIA. Vanessa Kirby joins Ric as he recalls the most nail-biting moments from his time undercover. Could you survive the jungle? From SPYSCAPE, the home of secrets. A Cup And Nuzzle production. Series producers: Gemma Newby, Joe Foley. Produced by Leo Hornak. Music by Nick Ryan.
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Episode 105
UNDERCOVER IN THE OLD WEST
In the Old West, money talks and six-guns shout. All too often, it's not a world that rewards subtlety. Enter Charlie Siringo, a detective with the world-famous Pinkerton Agency. Vanessa Kirby joins Charlie to outwit outlaws, bust fraudulent prospectors, and bring the hammer down on union toughs. Could you survive the Frontier?
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Episode 104
THE SPY WHO COULDN'T SPELL
Some stories are too fascinating to go untold. Author and journalist Yudhijit Bhattacharjee tells them. When he heard about a dyslexic spy who came close to selling some of America's most dangerous secrets, he had to know more. With the help of the FBI agent who brought the traitor to justice, he spent years researching this incredible tale. Could you put the pieces together?
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Episode 103
KING OF SCOTLAND YARD
It's 2003, and Coalition forces have taken Baghdad. A conference is held to portion out the contracts that will sustain the occupation. The United Kingdom sends a minister to negotiate their share - but the war-torn city is too dangerous for him to travel alone. Enter Carlton King - a senior protection officer with the Metropolitan Police Special Branch. With no time, three handguns and a broken sat-phone, Carlton and his tight-knit team must prepare the ground for the Minister's visit. Could you guarantee his safety?
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Episode 102
PURE GREEN GREED
In 1992, the Cold War is all but over. But for FBI Special Agent John Whiteside, the counterespionage case of a lifetime is about to begin. An anonymous source reports a traitor within the NSA, active during the height of the Vietnam War. He thinks he's gotten away with it - but the crimes of the past call for modern justice. Could you turn up the heat on a cold case?
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Episode 101
THE MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN
In the remote mountains of Northern Idaho, there's no shortage of places to hide. Fortunately, Deputy US Marshal Marc Cameron is an expert seeker. It's 1996, and a dangerous fugitive has taken refuge in the dense forests of Bonner County. Vanessa Kirby joins Marc on an audacious operation to lure the outlaw into the open. Could you hunt the deadliest game of all?
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Episode 100
Q, FOLLOWED BY U
It's World War I and German submarine technology terrorizes the British Navy. Fortunately, Captain Gordon Campbell is anything but traditional. He's at the helm of the first 'Q-boats' - heavily armed sub-busters ingeniously disguised as civilian ships. Vanessa Kirby sets sail with Captain Campbell on a secretive mission to take back the oceans. Could you stare down a torpedo?
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Episode 99
CATCHING NORIEGA
It's 1989, and the US has invaded Panama. The country's corrupt leader, General Manuel Noriega, goes into hiding. Martha Duncan of the Defense Intelligence Agency is tasked with tracking him down - and she'll do whatever it takes to bring him into the open. Vanessa Kirby joins the hunt for Panama's most wanted. Could you catch a dictator?
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EPISODE 98
LORD OF THE HIGHWAY
Uruzgan Province, Southern Afghanistan. An Army convoy rumbles in on the dangerous highway from Kandahar, bringing vital supplies to American troops. This is facilitated by Matiullah Khan, a local warlord with connections in the Afghan government. When two US soldiers are assassinated by an Afghan ally, Naval intelligence officer Matt Cricchio suspects that Khan might be behind the attack. Vanessa Kirby joins Matt on a mission to bring him down.
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EPISODE 97
HAVANA SYNDROME SPECIAL
Two years after the US resumed diplomatic relations with Cuba, American intelligence officers on the island began experiencing strange and debilitating neurological symptoms. Before long, the phenomenon began affecting US officials around the world. Veteran CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos was afflicted during a trip to Russia in 2017 - and he's been fighting ever since. Vanessa Kirby joins Marc, Russia expert John Sipher and Dr. James Giordano to analyze the personal, political and medical possibilities behind the mysterious Havana Syndrome.
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EPISODE 96
THE ACE OF SPIES
Who was Britain's Ace of Spies? Nobody really knows but the name he used was Sidney Reilly - and nobody did it better in the early 20th century. Reilly reckoned with oil barons, his personal pride, and the rise of Communism during his decades on the edge.
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EPISODE 95
OPERATION BLACK BISCUIT
Undercover ATF Agent Jay Dobyns was shot during his first week of work. He went on to spend 27 years in the field. That should tell you something about a man who risked his personal health and happiness to infiltrate one of America's toughest biker gangs, the Hells Angels. Jay had to prove himself worthy of membership - and the price of admission was murder. Could YOU earn your patch?
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EPISODE 94
THE MOLE
When health issues ended Ulrich Larsen's career in the kitchen, the Danish chef embarked on an altogether more dangerous livelihood - spying on North Korea. After gaining the trust of the Korean Friendship Association in Denmark, he was sent to the isolated dictatorship as an envoy, where he gathered evidence of sanction-busting deals in arms and narcotics. Could YOU become the Mole?
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EPISODE 93
OPERATION GOLDENROD
During the 1980s, a rash of hostage situations in the Middle East threatened American lives. In response, President Ronald Reagan authorized legislation that empowered the FBI to hunt the hostage takers down - any time, any place. Former Assistant Director Oliver 'Buck' Revell led the first operation of this kind - a daring plot to capture a Lebanese hijacker off the coast of Cyprus. Vanessa Kirby joins Buck for a make-or-break mission in the Med. Could YOU make history?
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EPISODE 92
HUNTING THE WOLVERINE
In the desert of Southern Afghanistan, CIA case officer Douglas Laux is on the hunt. He's traced a number of deadly IED attacks to a shadowy figure with ties to the Taliban. Now, his mission is to bring him down before more US personnel are killed. To do so, he'll have to push himself - and his assets - to the limit. How long could YOU take the heat? From SPYSCAPE, the HQ of secrets.
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EPISODE 91
THE CONSULTANTS
Jeff Miller and Nick Brockhausen are two ex-Green Berets who share a brotherhood forged in battle. Their philosophy? Where there's war, there's money to be made. And if you can do a little good at the same time, all the better. In the 1990s, Jeff and Nick decided to open a commando training school for Bosnian forces in the besieged capital of Sarajevo. But first, they needed funding. Vanessa Kirby follows them on a gonzo adventure replete with political intrigue and deadly near-misses in the heat of war. Could YOU make a difference - and a fortune too?
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EPISODE 90
UNDERCOVER WITH THE NIPSTERS
Writer and researcher Julia Ebner makes a living out of infiltrating extremist groups. In the divided political landscape of the 21st century, some of those groups are making a play for the mainstream. Enter Generation Identity - a European far-right organisation putting a millennial gloss on old and dangerous ideas. Vanessa Kirby follows Julia as she goes undercover with the Nazi Hipsters - Nipsters, for short. Could YOU blend in?
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EPISODE 89
TRADECRAFT PART 4
The tools in a spy's arsenal are more varied than you might think. But they all come under one name: Tradecraft. In our fourth round of insights from the world of espionage, Vanessa Kirby meets brave investigators, wily whistleblowers and whip-smart spycatchers in the ultimate digest of the series so far. Could YOU master the craft?
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EPISODE 88
TRADECRAFT PART 3
The tools in a spy's arsenal are more varied than you might think. But they all come under one name: Tradecraft. In our third round of insights from the world of espionage, Vanessa Kirby meets daring undercovers, sweet-talking case officers and spies who shaped history in the ultimate digest of the series so far. Could YOU master the craft?
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EPISODE 87
STALIN'S ROMEO SPY
In the fall of 1973, journalist Emil Draitser met an aging Soviet super-spy. His name was Dmitri Bystrolyotov, and for him, sex and secrets went hand-in-hand. At the time, Emil could scarcely believe what he heard - much less publish it. Thirty years later, long after the collapse of the USSR, Dmitri's story could finally be told. Vanessa Kirby enters a world of seduction, secrets, and lies between the wars. Could YOU mix business and pleasure?
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EPISODE 86
WHITE TRAITOR
To her colleagues, South African journalist Sue Dobson appeared to be a pro-Apartheid conservative. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, she was a trained paramilitary and secret agent, infiltrating the government's propaganda wing on behalf of the African National Congress. Vanessa Kirby relates an incredible story of bravery in the face of bigotry. How hard would you fight for a better future?
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EPISODE 85
ASSET TERMINATED
Today, veteran CIA operative Doug Patteson is an expert in his field. But as a rookie Case Officer in South-East Asia, he still had a lot to learn. When the Agency put him in an awkward position, Doug was forced to find the middle-ground between his personal code and the life he chose. Could YOU always put the job first?
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EPISODE 84
MOONLIGHT MAZE
It's 1999, and DoD intelligence officer Bob Gourley is at the vanguard of the US Government's defense against cyber-espionage. He's joined a task force charged with uncovering the shadowy hackers who have been siphoning America's scientific secrets for 3 years. If he wants answers, Bob needs to navigate cutting-edge tech, inter-agency backbiting, and the machinations of an old enemy. Could YOU stop a hacker in their tracks?
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EPISODE 83
MONKEY BUSINESS
Spy. Counterspy. Mercenary. Informant. Ricardo 'Monkey' Morales was all these things and more. Rising from humble beginnings in Cuba, he served within various intelligence agencies before becoming notorious in the criminal underworld of 1980s Miami. But when the FBI came knocking, he mounted a daring wire-tap operation against the city's powerful drug lords - Operation Tick Talks. Which side would YOU choose?
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EPISODE 82
ME AND THE MULLAH
It's 2011, and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is intensifying. Shawnee Delaney, a case officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency, is determined to be the one to bring him in. But her source on the ground - an Islamic scholar with ties to al-Qaeda - proves to be a difficult man to recruit. To succeed, she needs to figure out what motivates him - and fast. Could YOU make the killer pitch?
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EPISODE 81
THE WAR DRIVER
When it comes to cyber espionage, white-hat hacker Matt Devost is someone you want on your side. When a corporate client reported extortionate emails from an unknown aggressor, Matt was determined to unmask them. To do so, he'd need to test the limits of his considerable skills and step out from behind the keyboard. Could you become a hacker for hire?
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EPISODE 80
ALLIED WITH AL-QAEDA
CIA operations officer Doug London has one shot to recruit one of al-Qaeda's key facilitators. Doug has to find common ground with a man with a vastly different background and belief system. Lives hang in the balance. He has to succeed. Vanessa Kirby tells the story of how Doug did it. How would YOU do it?
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EPISODE 79
THE RELUCTANT NARCO
When banker Keith Bulfin went to prison, he entered a waking nightmare. When he got out, things only got worse. As a reluctant agent of the DEA, he was tasked with infiltrating the brutal world of the Cartels. If he was successful, he'd be given a chance to return to his old life. If not, living wouldn't be an issue. Could YOU take the strain?
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EPISODE 78
THE DIGITAL SILK ROAD
Linguist and intelligence analyst Charity Wright has spent her career monitoring China but, as the country expands its influence around the globe, she's worried that the balance of global power could be shifting. Vanessa Kirby reveals the ways in which Chinese espionage could shape the future of the planet. What could you discover?
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EPISODE 77
THE REAL SOPRANOS
FBI agent Giovanni Rocco grew up playing in the back yards of New Jersey's criminal class. As an adult, he went undercover to take them down. Vanessa Kirby follows Giovanni's descent into the violent world that inspired HBO's hit series, The Sopranos. Could YOU meet the Family - and live?
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EPISODE 76
THE CODE CLERK
In Atlanta, a woman is found murdered. The suspect? An employee of a hostile embassy, responsible for monitoring secret communications. He's also a spy, recruited by the FBI. Now he's on the run, and the pressure is on for the Bureau to bring him in before his own side take him out. Vanessa Kirby joins former assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on a manhunt with international implications. Could you beat the clock?
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EPISODE 75
THE PHILADELPHIA WIRE
Northern Philadelphia, 1989. FBI agent Judy Tyler is on the hunt. Her target? A local entrepreneur with a lucrative side-line as a cocaine kingpin. From wiretaps to polygraphs to secret cameras, Judy has the Bureau's full arsenal of tradecraft tricks at her disposal - but can she get her man before someone gets hurt? Vanessa Kirby joins Judy on the mean streets of Philly.
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EPISODE 74
THE GADGET MASTER
Missionary. Agent. Inventor. Charles Fraser-Smith fought his war from a workshop, creating the real-life equipment that would inspire one of Ian Flemings' most beloved characters: Q, the MI6 quartermaster. During WWII, Fraser-Smith was the mind behind some of the British spy's most essential kit in the fight against the Nazis. Vanessa Kirby meets the man behind the gadgets.
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EPISODE 73
A SPY AMONGST SKINHEADS
It's the early '90s, and the USA is still reeling from the L.A. race riots. A paranoid far right are preparing for all-out war. With his blond hair and blue eyes, Mike German is the picture-perfect neo-Nazi. But in reality, he's working undercover, infiltrating a cell of violent white supremacists for the FBI. Vanessa Kirby joins Mike in the belly of the beast.
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EPISODE 72
THE ARMAGEDDON PAPERS
What secrets do you give away with the twitch of an eyelid - the tap of a finger? Joe Navarro knows. As an FBI agent, he developed an innate gift for reading body language. But when Joe came up against hyper-intelligent US traitor Rod Ramsay, those skills were put to the test. The consequences of failure? Nuclear. Vanessa Kirby enters a world of lies and misdirection.
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EPISODE 71
RISE AND KILL FIRST
Ronen Bergman is comfortable in the company of spies. As one of Israel's foremost investigative journalists, he's been privy to the inner workings of the country's legendary intelligence community. But when he was tasked with writing a definitive history of the Mossad's targeted assassinations, he came up against serious resistance from inside the organization. Vanessa Kirby gets the inside scoop on a unique and secretive institution. How far would YOU go for the truth?
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EPISODE 70
OPERATION: BULLWINKLE
Robert Wittman was a special kind of Special Agent. During his long career with the FBI, he went undercover to retrieve millions of dollars worth of stolen art. When a priceless Rembrandt was stolen from Sweden's National Gallery, Robert descended into Europe's criminal underworld to get it back. Vanessa Kirby narrates a high-stakes hunt for a truly unique prize.
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EPISODE 69
PSYCHIC SPIES
Description: Dr Edwin May doesn't believe in the supernatural. As head of the STARGATE programme, sponsored by the US Department of Defense, his job was to prove the existence of psychic phenomena - and then use them against America's enemies. Vanessa Kirby enters a world of remote viewing, daring rescues and Cold War intrigue.
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EPISODE 68
THE RITCHIE BOYS
It's 1944 - 3 days after D-Day. 22-year old Guy Stern lands in Normandy. Unlike many of his comrades in the US Army, it's not his first time in Europe. Forced to leave Germany in 1937, he returns as part of an elite Military Intelligence unit charged with interrogating German POWs in their native tongue. Now 99 years old, Guy tells Vanessa Kirby a story of wit and courage in the face of unimaginable pressure.
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EPISODE 67
YOU ME, SAME SAME
The CIA teaches its officers to turn people they’ve just met into close personal friends in order to recruit foreign assets. It’s a very fine line between persuasion and manipulation, however. Listening to Ryan Hillsberg’s story, you might come to wonder: who are your friends, really? And how do you know who to trust?
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EPISODE 66
MISSION IN THE DOG MEAT VALLEY
In South Korea, dog meat is a controversial delicacy. The farming of dogs for meat is largely unregulated, and animals are kept in horrendous conditions. Activists Nami Kim and Nina Jackel are on a personal mission to stop the slaughter. But to expose their enemies, they'll need to gather the right intelligence - and put their own safety on the line. Vanessa Kirby tells a story of courage in the face of cruelty.
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EPISODE 65
THE ATHAR PROJECT
Across the ravaged towns and cities of Syria, looters are trafficking the country's rich reserves of priceless antiquities. Amr Al-Azm and Katie A. Paul, two US-based academics, became unlikely spymasters on a mission to hold the looters to account. Standing in their way are ISIS militants, a hostile regime and the world's largest social network. Vanessa Kirby tells a powerful story of preservation in the face of destruction.
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EPISODE 64
CIA? MORE LIKE CON
Wayne Simmons was the toast of cable news. A former CIA officer with a storied operational history, he was called upon to comment on matters concerning the Agency. The only problem? He'd never served at all. Vanessa Kirby meets Kent Clizbe, the genuine ex-CIA operations officer who revealed Simmons' fraud to the world at large.
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EPISODE 63
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
In the divided Germany of the 1980s, spying was a way of life. Dave Butler knows - he was there. As part of Brixmis, a British military liaison unit with an unofficial sideline in espionage, he ran missions deep inside communist territory. But they didn't always go to plan. Vanessa Kirby tells a story of danger and disaster behind enemy lines.
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EPISODE 62
THE MOUSE AT PEARL HARBOR
A single spy can change the course of history - for better, or for worse. Takeo Yoshikawa was one such spy. Stationed in Honolulu, Yoshikawa’s intelligence was used by the Japanese to launch a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The massacre brought the USA in to WW2, and ultimately led to Japan’s crushing defeat. He shares his unsettling story with Vanessa Kirby.
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EPISODE 61
THE SOCIOPATHIC SPY
Location - unknown. Time period - unverified. Hero? Not quite. Jim Lawler is one of the CIA's most successful recruiters of foreign spies. But even he had to start somewhere. Vanessa Kirby joins Jim on his first foreign posting. His mission? To enlist a crucial intelligence asset for the USA. To do it, he'll stop at nothing to manipulate, subvert, and seduce his target.
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EPISODE 60
THE DESTROYED MAN
Betrayal. It's an important theme in spy fiction. But Steve Chao, investigative journalist, has seen it up close - and the price of betrayal is all too real. Vanessa Kirby joins Steve as he meets a reluctant spy who could be the key to breaking a story of truly global significance.
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EPISODE 59
TRADE SECRETS
Once, money made the world go round. Today, it's semiconductors. They're the hardware that enables global communications, nuclear weapons systems and more. Taiwan is the world's largest semiconductor producer - and it's under attack. Vanessa Kirby meets Chad Duffy and C.K. Chen, cybersecurity experts who defend the industry from catastrophic damage at the hands of malicious hackers.
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EPISODE 58
THE AVENGER
When bank employee Everett Stern discovered endemic corruption at HSBC, he knew he had a choice to make. Turn a blind eye - or blow the whistle. But for a man like Everett, that was no choice at all. Vanessa Kirby tells a story of courage, sacrifice, and the will to do the right thing - no matter the cost.
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EPISODE 57
MAKING JACK FALCONE
CW: Violence, Suicide, Strong Language. Undercover FBI agent Joaquin 'Jack' Garcia spent more than 20 years in disguise as various drug dealers, gangbangers and bad guys. But his final role was the one he was born to play. With little more than his wits, a wire, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Italian food, Jack infiltrated New York's notorious Gambino crime family. Vanessa Kirby tells a story of bravery and brutality in the shadow of the Big Apple.
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EPISODE 56
THE BOILING FROG
At the peak of his career, Jack Devine was one of the world's top spymasters. But everybody starts somewhere. Vanessa Kirby follows Jack to Chile on his first overseas assignment. It's 1971, and the CIA is determined to undermine the country's socialist government. But as a military coup plot begins to gather steam, he's about to learn an important lesson - be careful what you wish for.
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EPISODE 55
HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
Protestant England faces an existential threat from Catholic Spain. Queen Elizabeth calls on Sir Francis Walsingham, the Royal spymaster, to undermine the Spanish war effort. Vanessa Kirby tells a story of loyalty, fear, and the terrible lengths to which a good spymaster will go to protect Queen and country.
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EPISODE 54
SEARCHING FOR THE SOLDIER
From the Australian outback, a top-secret NSA signals station intercepts intelligence concerning America and her allies. It's 1995, and a US fighter pilot is shot down behind enemy lines. The team at Pine Gap must locate his distress signal before it's too late. Vanessa Kirby joins signals analyst David Rosenberg on an international race against time.
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EPISODE 53
RUSSIA'S MOST WANTED
Bill Browder’s fund made billions in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse. But in the new Russia, the cost of doing business could be counted in more than cash. When Bill caught wind of major financial corruption in the country, he decided to act - making powerful enemies in the process. Vanessa Kirby unravels a story of money, power and terrible sacrifice.
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EPISODE 52
OPERATION GAME OVER
Vanessa Kirby meets Andrea Crosta, a dotcom tycoon turned undercover activist and elephant saviour. Confronted with the brutality of the illegal ivory trade, Andrea made it his mission to make a difference - by any means necessary.
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EPISODE 51
INDIAN ACTORS
Meet the EU DisinfoLab, the open-source investigators exposing disinformation at the heart of Europe's most important institutions. In 2019, they discovered a complex network of websites and NGOs, all hijacked by actors with an anti-Pakistan agenda. Researcher Roman Adamczyk brings Vanessa Kirby on a mission to reveal the fake news and malign influences that shape international politics.
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EPISODE 50
OPERATION ZULU CRICKET
What do you get if you combine a huge quantity of heroin, a terrorist organisation, and an undercover agent? Operation Zulu Cricket. Peter Bleksley spent years breaking bread with dangerous criminals, but one mission pushed him to his limit. Vanessa Kirby explores a story of tactics, terror and tradecraft in Cool Britannia.
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EPISODE 49
NEW RUSSIA, NEW RULES
It's 1993, and Russia is tearing itself apart. A violent coup is threatening to derail Boris Yeltsin's fragile post-Soviet government. Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, deputy chief of station for the CIA in Moscow, is caught in the crossfire. To get out alive, he'll need to lean on an unlikely new ally - Russian Intelligence. Vanessa Kirby tells his story.
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EPISODE 48
THE SPY IN THE CORNFIELD
In the golden cornfields of rural Iowa, mysterious men are stealing seeds. Corn is big business - and the secret of growing good corn is priceless intellectual property. But is this a simple case of corporate theft, or foreign espionage in a vital strategic battle between nations? Vanessa Kirby joins Special Agent Mark Betten, FBI, on his mission to find out.
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EPISODE 47
BRING DOWN THE BIG MAN
From London to Lagos, a web of corruption is spreading. At its center is James Ibori, AKA The Big Man - a Nigerian politician with a taste for the high life. Vanessa Kirby meets Jonathan Benton, the British detective who followed the trail of dirty cash that put Ibori behind bars. But when allegations of corruption were turned against Jonathan's team, he had to fight to ensure that justice was served.
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EPISODE 46
SURVIVING NXIVM
In 2005, actress Sarah Edmondson joined NXIVM, a company offering 'personal development' coaching. 12 years later, she realized that she had been brainwashed into a dangerous sex-trafficking cult. She borrowed techniques from the world of spy tradecraft to bring down the man behind the curtain - Keith Raniere. Vanessa Kirby joins Sarah on a journey that forced her to question everything she thought she knew.
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EPISODE 45
THE PROFILER
July 20th, 1993. White House Counsel Vince Foster is found dead, apparently by his own hand. Rumours of foul play are circulating - and some very famous names are in the mix. FBI Profiler Jim Clemente must use his best tradecraft to find out what happened. Vanessa Kirby follows Jim on an investigation that sent shockwaves through the corridors of power.
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EPISODE 44
THE NOT-SO-BEAUTIFUL GAME
It's summer in the Italian beach resort of Rimini. But Garry Rogers isn’t on holiday. He’s working undercover, infiltrating some of Britain's most dangerous soccer hooligans as they enjoy the 1990 World Cup. Vanessa Kirby follows Garry into a violent world of booze, beatings and naked belligerence as he walks a thin line between lawman and thug.
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EPISODE 43
PUTIN'S PALACE?
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny believes the Russian state poisoned him in August 2020. In January 2021, he released a film that sent shockwaves through the country. Part-exposé, part-psychological portrait, his investigation claimed to reveal massive corruption within the Kremlin - with President Putin at its heart. In February 2021, Navalny was jailed. In this special episode of True Spies, Vanessa Kirby presents an abridged version of Navalny's explosive investigation.
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EPISODE 42
INSIDE NAMBLA
CW: This episode contains details relating to the sexual abuse of children. In 26 years undercover with the FBI, Bob Hamer developed a thick skin. He's posed as a contract killer, a drug dealer - even an international arms dealer. But there's one case he could never quite shake off. Vanessa Kirby explores the chilling story of Bob's descent into the twisted world of NAMBLA - an organization dedicated to enabling child sex abuse.
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EPISODE 41
SEVEN FEMALE SPIES
CW: This episode contains descriptions of Nazi war-crimes that some listeners may find upsetting. During the Second World War, Vera Atkins sent hundreds of British spies into Occupied France. Some of them never came back - and nobody knew why. Vanessa Kirby shares the story of one woman's mission to find answers in the rubble of post-war Europe.
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Episode 40
MANDELA'S SPY
As an undercover officer in South Africa, Bradley Steyn played his part in a deadly culture of racial oppression - apartheid. After meeting an inspirational freedom fighter, he made the life-changing decision to switch sides. For years, Bradley worked from the inside to destroy the institutions of apartheid.
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Episode 39
THE MONEY SPY
How do you flee your country and join the other side? A former Russian intelligence agent gives Vanessa Kirby a rare masterclass in international tradecraft. Janosh Neumann fled Moscow armed only with his wits, a suitcase and the names of Russia's most influential money launderers, to begin a dangerous journey to the other side.
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Episode 38
FREEING MEEK MILL
In 2017, superstar rapper Meek Mill was incarcerated - again. To free him, Tyler Maroney had to go back to the scene of Meek's first arrest, a decade earlier and use all his best tradecraft to contend with corrupt cops, biased judges and a broken prison system - with Vanessa Kirby.
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Episode 37
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND STAGE COUPS
Damascus, 1949. Jazz musician and raconteur Miles Copeland Jr. is plotting to bring down the Syrian government. His son, musician Stewart Copeland (Sting’s drummer in The Police), shares the story - a tale of double agents, dangerous friendships and gunplay that shaped the unstable future of the Middle East - with Vanessa Kirby. Tune in to True Spies to hear this unlikely tale.
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Episode 36
TRADECRAFT PART 2
A good spy needs a very particular set of skills. But there's only so much that training can prepare you for. Tradecraft - the real business of spying - has to be learnt on the job. In this two-part special, Vanessa Kirby brings you the most cunning and courageous examples of tradecraft from the series so far. Could you make it in the field?
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Episode 35
TRADECRAFT PART 1
A good spy needs a very particular set of skills. But there's only so much that training can prepare you for. Tradecraft - the real business of spying - has to be learnt on the job. In this two-part special, Vanessa Kirby brings you the most cunning and courageous examples of tradecraft from the series so far. Could YOU make it in the field?
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Episode 34
THE IRISHMAN
Ever get the feeling you're being watched? Vanessa Kirby meets the spy behind the camera. Sean Hartnett worked at one of the British Army's most secretive regiments, responsible for tracking terrorists across Northern Ireland. As the secrets, lies and workload intensified, he found himself questioning his purpose - and his loyalties. Could you keep your eye on the prize?
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Episode 33
OLYMPIC GAMES
Meet the men who uncovered a new era in global warfare. Eric Chien and Liam O'Murchu identified Stuxnet, the digital weapon designed to attack the physical world. To figure out its target, and its creators, they'd have to enter a dangerous world of international intrigue - involving two nuclear superpowers. How far would YOU go for answers?
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Episode 32
THE 'DREAMS COME TRUE' BUSINESS
Vanessa Kirby meets Barry Broman, a CIA case officer who recruited foreign spies for the USA. Working alongside a suave MI6 officer, Barry was tasked with bringing a high-ranking Communist over to the West. To succeed, they had to make him an offer he couldn't refuse. Could you get inside his head?
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Episode 31
BLOOD ON THE WATERSIDE
Vanessa Kirby meets a spy who infiltrated the political wing of the IRA. Willie Carlin risked his life in Derry, Northern Ireland, on a daily basis to provide the UK with intelligence that could help to end decades of violence and killing. How far would you go for peace?
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Episode 30
DRUG WARS
Vanessa Kirby goes undercover with a man who spent 14 years fighting the War on Drugs. Disguised as an addict, Neil Woods risked his life to infiltrate brutal narcotics gangs. The experience led him to question our whole approach to fighting drug use, and led him to a remarkable new strategy and life. How would YOU fight this war?
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Episode 29
HACKED
Vanessa Kirby meets Nick Davies, the reporter who used covert skills to break one of the most explosive stories of the Noughties. News of the World, a British tabloid, had been deliberately hacking the mobile phones of celebrities and public figures. Through a carefully-chosen network of sources, Nick launched an investigation that shook the foundations of the government, the police and the media establishment. Could YOU speak truth to power?
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Episode 28
BURGERS AND SPIES
Vanessa Kirby meets Naveed Jamali, an FBI Operative who worked his way into the world of espionage. Hoping to impress US Intelligence, Naveed used family connections to set himself up as a double agent, fooling the Russians into revealing their operations on American soil. Armed only with a secret recording device, an encyclopedic knowledge of spy movies and a high tolerance for fast food, he spent three years luring in one of Russia's most senior operatives. Could YOU make it up as you went along?
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Episode 27
CODENAME: MADELEINE
Vanessa Kirby lands in Nazi-occupied France with Noor Inayat Khan, the Allied spy who risked her life to aid the Resistance. Armed with a wireless radio, Noor relayed vital intelligence to the British Special Operations Executive, right under the nose of Hitler's secret police. The average life expectancy of a radio operator was just 6 weeks. Could YOU beat the odds?
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Episode 26
SISTER SPIES
Vanessa Kirby meets Pat and Jean Owtram, two British sisters who played crucial roles as Allied codebreakers during World War 2. Bound by the Official Secrets Act, neither knew that the other was a spy until decades later. Now in their 90s, they reveal their hidden hands in planning D-Day, aiding the Resistance, and cracking the Enigma code. Tune in to True Spies to hear their story. Would YOU have the skills to make a difference?
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Episode 25
THE ARGONAUTS
Vanessa Kirby meets Mark and Cora Lijek, two ordinary American diplomats who took part in one of the most daring espionage operations in CIA history, dramatized in the Hollywood film, Argo. In 1979, the US embassy in Tehran was overrun by Iranian revolutionaries. To escape, Mark and Cora would need to master the art of spycraft - and fast. Tune in to True Spies to hear their story. Could YOU become a master of disguise?
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Episode 24
THE LIMPING LADY
Vanessa Kirby goes behind enemy lines with Virginia Hall, one of the bravest Allied heroines of WWII. As part of ‘Churchills' Secret Army’, Virginia was sent into German occupied France to organize resistance efforts and disrupt Nazi plans ‘by any means necessary’. As the Germans closed in, betrayal was a constant threat. Would you know who to trust?
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Episode 23
JUSTICE FOR LEON KLINGHOFFER
Vanessa Kirby follows CIA veteran Bob Dougherty as he seeks justice for the kidnap and killing of an American war veteran aboard a cruise ship in the Mediterranean. Bob had to wait nearly 20 years for his chance to capture Palestinian Liberation Front leader Abu Abbas. Could YOU play the waiting game?
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Episode 22
BLINKING RED
CIA analyst Gina Bennett shows Vanessa Kirby the origins of America's most infamous enemy. Throughout the 1990s, Osama bin Laden launched a series of attacks on American interests at home and abroad. Operating in the man's world of counterterrorism, Gina had to fight to have the threat he posed taken seriously. Would YOU trust your gut?
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Episode 21
The NUCLEAR SUPERHIGHWAY
Undercover CIA agent James Olson takes Vanessa Kirby on a nail-biting mission behind the Iron Curtain. In the late 1970s, James was tasked with tapping an underground communications line between Moscow and a top-secret nuclear weapons facility. Under constant surveillance from the KGB, he would need to use a combination of traditional spycraft and hi-tech gadgetry to intercept this priceless intel without risking a diplomatic catastrophe. Could YOU evade detection?
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Episode 20
EXIT STRATEGY
CIA analyst Sarah Carlson drops Vanessa Kirby into the pressure-cooker of post-revolutionary Libya. In 2011, the Arab Spring swept Colonel Gaddafi from office, leaving a deadly power vacuum in its wake. 3 years later, civil war engulfed the nation. Under a hail of rocket fire, Sarah had to figure out a way to extract 150 American personnel from the carnage. Could YOU get them to safety?
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Episode 19
THE TARGETER
Nada Bakos takes Vanessa Kirby on the controversial hunt for one of the Iraq War's deadliest terrorists. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a two-bit criminal until the US government named him as one the world's most dangerous insurgents. His presence in Iraq was part of the justification for the invasion - but did the facts stack up? As one of the CIA's senior targeting officers, it was Nada's job to find out. Could YOU find out the truth?
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Episode 18
THE REAL BLACK KLANSMAN
Vanessa Kirby meets Ron Stallworth, the black Colorado cop who fooled the USA's most notorious racists. In 1979, Ron and a white colleague infiltrated a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Posing as two sides of the same alter-ego, they led a double-pronged attack on the group, even gaining the trust of the Klan's leader, David Duke. Could YOU take that risk?
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Episode 17
BLACKBIRD
Colonel Buz Carpenter puts Vanessa Kirby in the cockpit of his legendary SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. In 1979, two Gulf nations were on the brink of war. To negotiate peace, the US needed detailed military intelligence on both sides. Buz shares the amazing (and awkward!) details of his dangerous secret mission to the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Could YOU match his nerve?
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Episode 16
N IS FOR NOVICHOK
Vanessa Kirby gets Christo Grozev, a modern Sherlock Holmes, to share the secrets of how he solved one of the most notorious assassination attempts of the 21st century - the poisoning of retired Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal, hospitalized by a mysterious nerve agent on British soil. Would YOU have the skills to do the same?
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Episode 1
OPERATION BROTHERS
RELEASE APRIL 28
Episode 2
GRAY SUIT & THE GHOST
RELEASE MAY 5
Episode 3
FAIR GAME?
RELEASE MAY 12
Episode 4
THE ILLEGAL
RELEASE MAY 19
Episode 5
THE SPYCATCHER
RELEASE MAY 26
Episode 6
THE ROOKIE AND BIN LADEN
RELEASE JUNE 2
Episode 7
THE ART OF DISGUISE
RELEASE JUNE 9
Episode 8
TRUE NARCOS
RELEASE JUNE 16
Episode 9
SHADOW GAMES
RELEASE JUNE 23
Episode 10
UNDERCOVER JIHADI
RELEASE JUNE 30
Episode 11
THE PURPLE BATHROBE
RELEASE JULY 7
Episode 12
THE BILLION-DOLLAR SPY
RELEASE JULY 14
Episode 13
THE SURVIVOR
RELEASE JULY 21
Episode 14
THE SPY WHO SAID NO
RELEASE JULY 28
Episode 15
THE MAN FROM THE GETTY
RELEASE AUG 3
Episode 16
N IS FOR NOVICHOK
RELEASE AUG 11
Episode 17
BLACKBIRD
RELEASE AUG 18
Episode 18
THE REAL BLACK KLANSMAN
RELEASE AUG 25
Episode 19
THE TARGETER
RELEASE SEPT 01
Episode 20
EXIT STRATEGY
RELEASE SEPT 08
Episode 21
The NUCLEAR SUPERHIGHWAY
RELEASE SEPT 15
Episode 22
BLINKING RED
RELEASE SEPT 21
Episode 23
JUSTICE FOR LEON KLINGHOFFER
RELEASE SEPT 29
Episode 24
THE LIMPING LADY
RELEASE OCT 06
Episode 25
THE ARGONAUTS
RELEASE OCT 13
Episode 26
SISTER SPIES
RELEASE OCT 20
Episode 27
CODENAME: MADELEINE
RELEASE OCT 27
Episode 28
BURGERS AND SPIES
RELEASE NOV 3
Episode 29
HACKED
RELEASE NOV 10
Episode 30
DRUG WARS
RELEASE NOV 17
Episode 31
BLOOD ON THE WATERSIDE
RELEASE NOV 24
Episode 32
THE 'DREAMS COME TRUE' BUSINESS
RELEASE DEC 1
Episode 33
OLYMPIC GAMES
RELEASE DEC 7
Episode 34
THE IRISHMAN
RELEASE DEC 15
Episode 35
TRADECRAFT PART 1
RELEASE DEC 22
Episode 36
TRADECRAFT PART 2
RELEASE DEC 29
Episode 37
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND STAGE COUPS
RELEASE JAN 05
Episode 38
FREEING MEEK MILL
RELEASE JAN 12
Episode 39
THE MONEY SPY
RELEASE JAN 19
Episode 40
MANDELA'S SPY
RELEASE JAN 26
EPISODE 41
SEVEN FEMALE SPIES
RELEASE FEB 01
EPISODE 42
INSIDE NAMBLA
RELEASE FEB 09
EPISODE 43
PUTIN'S PALACE?
RELEASE FEB 16
EPISODE 44
THE NOT-SO-BEAUTIFUL GAME
RELEASE FEB 23
EPISODE 45
THE PROFILER
RELEASE MAR 02
EPISODE 46
SURVIVING NXIVM
RELEASE 09 MAR
EPISODE 47
BRING DOWN THE BIG MAN
RELEASE 16 MAR
EPISODE 48
THE SPY IN THE CORNFIELD
RELEASE 23 MAR
EPISODE 49
NEW RUSSIA, NEW RULES
RELEASE MAR 30
EPISODE 50
OPERATION ZULU CRICKET
RELEASE 06 APR
EPISODE 51
INDIAN ACTORS
RELEASE 13 APR
EPISODE 52
OPERATION GAME OVER
RELEASE 20 APR
EPISODE 53
RUSSIA'S MOST WANTED
RELEASE 27 APR
EPISODE 54
SEARCHING FOR THE SOLDIER
RELEASE 04 MAY
EPISODE 55
HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
RELEASE MAY 11
EPISODE 56
THE BOILING FROG
RELEASE MAY 18
EPISODE 57
MAKING JACK FALCONE
RELEASE 25 MAY
EPISODE 58
THE AVENGER
RELEASE 1 JUN
EPISODE 59
TRADE SECRETS
RELEASE JUN 8
EPISODE 60
THE DESTROYED MAN
RELEASE 15 JUN
EPISODE 61
THE SOCIOPATHIC SPY
RELEASE JUN 22
EPISODE 62
THE MOUSE AT PEARL HARBOR
RELEASE 29 JUN
EPISODE 63
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN
RELEASE JULY 6
EPISODE 64
CIA? MORE LIKE CON
RELEASE JULY 13
EPISODE 65
THE ATHAR PROJECT
RELEASE JULY 20
EPISODE 66
MISSION IN THE DOG MEAT VALLEY
RELEASE JUL 27
EPISODE 67
YOU ME, SAME SAME
RELEASE AUG 3
EPISODE 68
THE RITCHIE BOYS
RELEASE AUG 10
EPISODE 69
PSYCHIC SPIES
RELEASE AUG 17
EPISODE 70
OPERATION: BULLWINKLE
RELEASE AUG 24
EPISODE 71
RISE AND KILL FIRST
RELEASE AUG 31
EPISODE 72
THE ARMAGEDDON PAPERS
RELEASE SEPT 7
EPISODE 73
A SPY AMONGST SKINHEADS
RELEASE SEPT 14
EPISODE 74
THE GADGET MASTER
RELEASE SEPT 24
EPISODE 75
THE PHILADELPHIA WIRE
RELEASE SEPT 28
EPISODE 76
THE CODE CLERK
RELEASE OCT 5
EPISODE 77
THE REAL SOPRANOS
RELEASE OCT 12
EPISODE 78
THE DIGITAL SILK ROAD
REALEASE OCT 19
EPISODE 79
THE RELUCTANT NARCO
RELEASE OCT 26
EPISODE 80
ALLIED WITH AL-QAEDA
RELEASE NOV 2
EPISODE 81
THE WAR DRIVER
RELEASE NOV 9
EPISODE 82
ME AND THE MULLAH
RELEASE NOV 16
EPISODE 83
MONKEY BUSINESS
REALEASE NOV 23
EPISODE 84
MOONLIGHT MAZE
RELEASE NOV 30
EPISODE 85
ASSET TERMINATED
RELEASE DEC 7
EPISODE 86
WHITE TRAITOR
RELEASE 14 DEC
EPISODE 87
STALIN'S ROMEO SPY
RELEASE 21 DEC
EPISODE 88
TRADECRAFT PART 3
RELEASE 28 DEC
EPISODE 89
TRADECRAFT PART 4
RELEASE JAN 4
EPISODE 90
UNDERCOVER WITH THE NIPSTERS
RELEASE JAN 11
EPISODE 91
THE CONSULTANTS
RELEASE 18 JAN
EPISODE 92
HUNTING THE WOLVERINE
RELEASE 25 JAN
EPISODE 93
OPERATION GOLDENROD
RELEASE FEB 1
EPISODE 94
THE MOLE
RELEASE FEBRUARY 10
EPISODE 95
OPERATION BLACK BISCUIT
RELEASE FEB 15
EPISODE 96
THE ACE OF SPIES
RELEASE FEBRUARY 22
EPISODE 97
HAVANA SYNDROME SPECIAL
RELEASE MARCH 1
EPISODE 98
LORD OF THE HIGHWAY
Release March 8
Episode 99
CATCHING NORIEGA
Release March 15
Episode 100
Q, FOLLOWED BY U
Release March 22

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