3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy : Complete BBC Series [DVD]  (DVD)
I was about to write a very negative review of the 2011 movie and thought the better of it. Much wiser, I concluded, to say something positive about the Alec Guinness telly version. I've watched it through several times and thoroughly enjoyed every viewing. Every character is fleshed out and you get a real sense of spies in seventies London. Despite the novel's immense complexity, this series is completely comprehendible and beautifully dramatized. "Let us begin" says someone at the end of a silent gathering of spooks in a meeting room. Many of the best lines are with minor characters. There's the one about the Minister not wanting too much broken porcelain. And Ricky Tarr's line about the story he's about to tell Mr. Smiley. It's generous writing and ensemble playing. The music is bang on and the photography elegant without being intrusive. Nothing is overtly art directed - you get the feeling that everything is at it would be in reality. You feel as if it is sharing its world with you. As a member of the audience you are an equal participant with the characters. It draws you in. Great stuff!