Tagged: Reilly: Ace of Spies

Meeting Sidney Reilly – A Cream Suit in Baku

Sam Neill as SIdney Reilly in "An Affair with a Married Woman", the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in “An Affair with a Married Woman”, the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sigmund Rosenblum, later known as Sidney Reilly, Russian-born British Secret Service agent

Baku, Russian Empire (now Azerbaijan), Spring 1901

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “An Affair with a Married Woman” (Episode 1)
Air Date: September 5, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Super Bowl XLIX viewers last Sunday surely didn’t miss the new trailer for Jurassic World, the newest entry in the franchise that began more than 20 years ago with Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, Sam Neill will not be reprising his role as Dr. Alan Grant in the newest film, so Neill fans itching to fill the void can revisit the brilliant 1983 mini-series Reilly: Ace of Spies. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Fair Isle Sweater Vest in 1918 London

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in "After Moscow", episode 9 of Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983).

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in “After Moscow”, episode 9 of Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983).

Sam Neill as Captain Sidney Reilly, MC, jaded British Secret Service agent

London, November 1918

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “After Moscow” (Episode 9)
Air Date: October 26, 1983
Director: Martin Campbell
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

You’re probably still reading the title. “Sweater vest?” you ask yourself. “Has he gone barmy?”

First off, you’re probably British if you’re using the word “barmy”; secondly, it’s true – there are few men who can both pull off a sweater vest and look badass in it. One of these men is obviously Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan, who even sported two during the first Dirty Harry film. To be fair, Eastwood probably could’ve played Dirty Harry wearing a pink tutu and a purple silk shoulder holster and he still would’ve looked badass. Probably.

The other man is Sam Neill as satanically suave British agent Sidney Reilly in the 1983 mini-series Reilly: Ace of Spies. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Edwardian Charcoal Striped Suit

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sigmund Rosenblum, later renamed “Sidney Reilly” upon his entry into the British Secret Service

London, Spring 1901

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “An Affair with a Married Woman” (Episode 1)
Air Date: September 5, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

The first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies, “An Affair With A Married Woman”, is a crash course on the early life and origins of the legend of Sidney Reilly. I say “legend” because he was a notorious embellisher (liar) and the details of his life are murky at best. We slowly learn more throughout the episodes, but this extra-length opening episode establishes the series’ world where Reilly – née Rosenblum – was a trusted agent of the British Secret Service in 1901, eight years before it was actually founded! While on a mission in Baku, he met the young wife of an elderly and uptight minister and seduced her to escape captivity. Thus, “An Affair With A Married Woman”. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly Goes Undercover in Russia

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in the seventh episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in the seventh episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983).

Vitals

Sam Neill as Capt. Sidney Reilly, British secret service agent and Canadian Royal Flying Corps airman

Russia, Spring 1918

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “Gambit” (Episode 7)
Air Date: October 12, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

The mini-series Reilly: Ace of Spies, being based on Reilly’s own exaggerated account of his life, certainly stretches the truth – if not downright fictionalizes – many parts of Reilly’s story. However, the show does a fine job of serializing Reilly’s most important and life-altering adventure: the attempted overthrow of the Bolshevik government. Continue reading

Sidney Reilly’s Edwardian Gray Suit

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in "An Affair With A Married Woman", the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in “An Affair With A Married Woman”, the first episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Had he not been killed by the Soviets in 1925, Sidney Reilly may have lived to be 140 last weekend- March 24th to be specific. However, a 140-year-old man is very unlikely, especially with his lifestyle and habits, so something would’ve probably gotten him anyway.

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sigmund Rosenblum, later renamed “Sidney Reilly” upon his entry into the British Secret Service

London, Spring 1901

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episode: “An Affair with a Married Woman” (Episode 1)
Air Date: September 5, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

This is the first we see of Reilly – still known as Rosenblum – back home in London after his first mission, the details of which will be covered in a later post. After an assignation with his prostitute mistress Rose, he resurfaces at a public meeting in Covent Garden where the British Secret Service is denying his own existence. In a cheeky fashion that recalls James Bond, he gets the best of everyone. Later, we also see him wearing the same suit for a series of meetings and the funeral of his aforementioned mistress. Continue reading

Reilly: Ace of Spies – White Tie

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly in “Dreadnoughts and Crosses”, the fifth episode of Reilly: Ace of Spies.

Approaching the weekend, someone as popular as yourself probably has plenty of invitations to parties and dinners. Put off the typical “Autumn Man” look of a sweater and plaid shirt until next weekend and wow everyone with your white tie, much like…

Vitals

Sam Neill as Sidney Reilly, birth name Shlomo Rosenblum, a Russian-born adventurer, war profiteer, and rumored British secret agent

St. Petersburg, Spring 1910

Series: Reilly: Ace of Spies
Episodes: “Dreadnoughts and Crosses” (Episode 5) & “Dreadnoughts and Doublecrosses” (Episode 6)
Air Dates: September 28, 1983 & October 5, 1983
Director: Jim Goddard
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Waller

Background

Ian Fleming, known worldwide for his creation of the literary James Bond, is quoted as once saying:

James Bond is just a piece of nonsense I dreamed up. He’s not a Sidney Reilly, you know!

Continue reading