‘And so you find yourself in Berlin…’

Always the flipside, counterpulse of James Bond, Harry Palmer was a Swinging Sixties sibling and movie peer of 007. Famously immortalized onscreen by Bond’s co-producer Harry Saltzman, Len Deighton’s The Ipcress File (1964) forged by the same creatives. With composer John Barry, editor Peter Hunt, sound editor Norman Wanstall, art director Peter Murton, Pinewood Studios and production designer Ken Adam, Sidney J. Furie’s version of Ipcress was as important to the rise of the working class British hero as Goldfinger, David Bailey, The Beatles and Michael Caine. And all – like Bond – with London, red buses and sharp tailoring at the cultural heart of everything Swinging, Sixties and cool.

Almost sixty years on, ITV Studios now opens up The Ipcress File for a new generation. Starring Joe Cole (Gangs of London, Against The Ice), Tom Hollander (The King’s Man, A Legacy of Spies) and Lucy Boynton (Bohemian Rhapsody, Murder on the Orient Express), this new six-part version is written by BAFTA winning writer John Hodge (Trainspotting, Trance) and directed by James Watkins (McMafia, Black Mirror, The Take).

Harry Palmer is 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 with him 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’.


Also joining Joe Cole’s new take on the spectacled anti-hero is Ashley Thomas (Them: Covenant, Top Boy, Salvation), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Dublin Murders, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War) Joshua James (Industry, Life, Absentia) and David Dencik (McMafia, No Time to Die, Chernobyl) as Colonel Stok. Produced by Altitude Television, this crisp new reimagining is executive produced by the late Hilary and Steven Saltzman – the children of original producer, Harry Saltzman.

The Ipcress File was made on location in Liverpool with funding and support from Liverpool Film Office through its Liverpool City Region Production Fund.

The Ipcress File

ITV 1 / ITV Hub

Sunday 7th March 2022 / 2100

Following the broadcast of Episode One, all subsequent episodes will be available on ITV Hub and BritBox