Eye on the spies in BBC’S real-life security services probe
do the lives of real life spies shape up to those of big-screen favourites like Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon, pictured) and James Bond? In the new two-parter Modern Spies, BBC investigative journalist Peter Taylor finds out. Spying is big box-office business. The craft’s vocabulary – stings, moles, dead letter drops and honey traps – are operations firmly rooted in reality. Tradecraft may be common to both fictional and real-world spying, but how much of what appears on screen is realistic? Taylor speaks to serving officers from UK domestic security service MI5, overseas spy service MI6 and US FBI and CIA employees. Their names have been changed, but they speak candidly enough.