From James Bond to Jason Bourne, the fictional world of spying is a world of danger and deception, glamour and lies. As the world prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, The Passionate Eye presents a 2 part series of revealing documentaries investigating the 21st century world of espionage. It features rare interviews with current British intelligence officers and key figures from the CIA, FBI, and Israeli intelligence. How does the world of agent 007 compare with reality?


Frank Figliuzzi, Head of Counterintelligence, FBL
Credit: BBC

Today spies are in demand as never before and the job has changed dramatically since the Cold War. But what makes a modern spy? What are 21st century spies like, how are they recruited and trained? What’s it like to work inside MI5 or MI6? How do spies operate? What are their targets? And what are the risks that agents and their handlers run? With unrivalled access to the players in this shadowy and dangerous profession and with gripping firsthand accounts from agents, informers and handlers, the series investigates some of the most important and controversial spy stories of today.

Part 1: SECRETS OF MODERN SPIES
For the first time on television, serving British secret agents talk about their work – from an MI6 agent runner to an MI5 surveillance officer, as Secrets of Modern Spies investigates how today’s spies are recruited and probes the secrets of espionage, from the sleeper cell to the brush pass and the cut out, to the cyber spy.


Abdel Hakim Belhaj, Former leader of the Libyan Islamic fighting group
Credit: BBC

Part 2: MODERN SPIES: LICENCE TO KILL?
Serving members of the security services talk about how their work can help prevent terrorist attacks. In a series of exclusive interviews, the documentary looks into the big questions, asking when does an undercover operation cross the line and become entrapment – and do spies have a licence to kill?

Credits (Click to expand)

Secrets of Modern Spies

Reporter

Peter Taylor

Archive

AP Archive

BFI National Archive

Getty Images

ITN Source

Kanal 2, Estonia

Camera

Joe Taylor

Additional Camera

Chris Alcock

Colourist

Saul Budd

Dubbing Mixer

Enzo Cannatella

Fixers

Abby Darcy

Ruth Alakula

Sindbad Productions

Yasser Mohammed Ali

Archive Researcher

Kate Redman        

Production Team

Jack Willis

Tom Weedon

Production Co-ordinator

Bridget McGrath

Production Manager

Paul Ralph

Production Executive

Anna Mishcon

Assistant Producer

Alys Cummings

Film Editor

Gary Beelders

Andy Rendell

Executive Producer

Sam Bagnall

Series Produced & Directed by

Mike Rudin

BBC

Productions

BBC MMXII

Modern Spies: Licence to Kill

Reporter

Peter Taylor

Archive

AP Archive

Getty Images

Pond5

Camera

Joe Taylor

Additional Camera

Eugene McVeigh

Colourist

Saul Budd

Dubbing Mixer

Enzo Cannatella

Fixers

Noam Shalev

Sindbad Productions

Yasser Mohammed Ali

Archive Researcher

Kate Redman        

Production Team

Jack Willis

Tom Weedon

Production Co-ordinator

Bridget McGrath

Production Manager

Paul Ralph

Production Executive

Anna Mishcon

Assistant Producer

Alys Cummings

Film Editor

Sally Yeadon

Executive Producer

Sam Bagnall

Produced & Directed by

Chris Alcock

Series Producer

Mike Rudin

BBC

Productions

BBC MMXII

Also on CBC