My Name is Anna Wiseman
'You want me to maim her.'
An ageing NATO
analyst and Burnside protªgª wants do defect, and work as a double
agent from inside the USSR. The plan is vetoed, but she is desperate
to go. Slowly and silently, her motive become clear.
Wiseman has cancer. She’s dying and wants to accomplish
something before her sands run out. Wiseman expects she will be
exposed as a double agent. She hopes to use her show trial to
bring attention to the dissident movement inside the USSR.
The plan is opposed. Burnside decides to go ahead with it anyway,
and mounts a private operation of his own.
Casting Burnside in the role of a human rights activist isn’t
entirely unbelievable, but it does fit in with his practical
nature. The over-the-top statement of principles by Anna at
the end of the episode works for some, and not for others.
It certainly captures the sense of what was at stake in the
era. How rare for a television program to effectively interrupt
itself to make a political appeal for dissidents.
There’s a nice bit of editing where the shots of the serene
Anna Wiseman are intercut with shots of Mike tearing into her
flat. It’s nice to see Mike a bit angry for a change, particularly
when he demands, ‘I’m being set up again, aren’t
This is the first of the three episodes not penned by Ian Mackintosh.
Charles Gidley Wheeler, who also wrote Who
Needs Enemies, wrote it. You can learn more about him at his
The new D-Int won’t appear until Who Needs Enemies but he’s
mentioned by his first name in this episode when Peele says, ‘and
Paul agrees with me.’ Mike mentions the recently departed
Edward Tyler: ‘Tyler was a damned efficient director of
intelligence, even if he was sending half of it to the KGB.’
And Anna Wiseman worked with Tyler years ago.
Sense of style
Fyodor has quite the facial hair, doesn’t he?