‘Peaky Blinders’ star returns in 1960s spy thriller ‘The Ipcress File’ – watch the trailer!

The first trailer has been released for ITV’s new adaptation of The Ipcress File.

Based on Len Deighton’s classic espionage novel, the upcoming “high octane” six-part thriller started shooting in Liverpool, England and Croatia early last year.

The Ipcress File is described as a “twist-laden spy thriller with a rich cast of characters,” set in Berlin and London during the sixties.

Leading the cast is English actor Joe Cole, best known as John Shelby in Peaky Blinders.

He’s joined by Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody), Tom Hollander (The Night Manager), and Ashley Thomas (Top Boy).

The official synopsis reads: “It’s 1963. Cold war rages between West and East. Nuclear bombers are permanently airborne. In this highly charged atmosphere, we join Harry Palmer – a British army sergeant on the make in Berlin.

“In this newly partitioned city, a sharp working-class young man with sophisticated tastes can make a lot of money. Wholesaler, retailer, fixer, smuggler, Harry’s varied interests bring him into contact with everything and everyone – until the law catches up and it all comes crashing to a halt.

“Harry finds himself sentenced to eight years in a grim military jail in England, all his prospects abruptly torn away.

“But his impressive network and efficiency have not gone unnoticed, and a gentleman from British intelligence has a proposal. To avoid prison, Harry Palmer will become a spy. And the case on which he cuts his teeth will be The Ipcress File.

“Harry’s links to the man suspected of kidnapping a missing British nuclear scientist result in him being conscripted for a dangerous undercover mission that takes him from the Beatles’ London to the Berlin Wall, from the back alleys of Beirut to the white hot sand of a Nuclear Atoll in the Pacific.”

Watch the trailer:


ITV’s trailer suggests more of a King’s Man feel than we were expecting from this (right down to the golden typeface used), but it’s possible this doesn’t actually reflect the tone of the finished series.

We’ll find out when The Ipcress File premieres on ITV in the UK this March.

BAFTA winning writer John Hodge (Trainspotting, The Beach) has adapted Deighton’s story, alongside McMafia director James Watkins.

Watkins commented last year: “We can’t wait to bring Len Deighton’s intoxicating web of spies – sexier than Smiley’s people, more real than Bond – to a wider television audience.”

He added: “With his sly wit and understated integrity clashing against the establishment, working-class spy Harry Palmer is more relevant than ever.”

Len Deighton’s 1962 book was previously made into a hit movie starring Michael Caine in 1965, followed by four sequels.

The producers of ITV’s new mini-series are hopeful that the new show might be the first in a series of adaptations of Deighton’s novels.

Meanwhile, Peaky Blinders returns soon for a final season on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix worldwide.

The Ipcress File novel by Len Deighton is available on Amazon.