Early in 1962, things were looking up for Kim Philby. His career in MI6 had been brought to a halt ten years before by the suspicion he was a Soviet agent. Yet he survived interrogation and was cleared in Parliament. But in fact, Philby was still in touch with the KGB, and his luck was running out. New suspicions led MI6 to confront him again. After an apparent confession, Philby disappeared - then resurfaced in Moscow months later.
Was Philby tipped off about this final confrontation? MI5 suspected so – a suspicion that was to poison the atmosphere inside the security services for decades.
Meanwhile in Moscow, where Philby was to live out the rest of his life, the KGB seemed to regard the man who had served them so loyally with nothing but suspicion. This story of Philby’s final years is told with contributions from family and colleagues who knew him.
Carey has illuminated a side to Philby not often seen with this brave film but, as he explained last night: “Scores of books have been written about what Philby did but the man inside remains elusive.” Last night’s documentary went some way to changing that.