Created and written by William Boyd and directed by Miguel Alexandre, “Spy City” began in 1960 in Berlin, as the Cold War between the USSR and their former allied comrades heats up. MI6 agent Fielding Scott (Cooper) meets with a man to hand over a yellow envelope Scott is carrying for the UK government. Fielding has no idea what’s in the yellow envelope, but his mission is to hand it over to this man and leave, which seems like a straightforward task until the man shoots the incoming server. in the bathroom and sees them together. The man then turns to Fielding too, and Fielding must kill him in order to defend himself – only to learn that the man whose head he just smashed his head in a urinal was another British spy named Simon Haldane. Like Fielding, Simon’s “official” position was a British diplomat, but he must also have been in charge of a secret mission in Berlin, as Fielding was. What went wrong?
The first episode “Operation Beethoven” then advances a year and a half later. Fielding, who was kicked out of MI6 but avoided a criminal trial for Haldane’s death, is called back to the fold in the spring of 1961. The justification is on the table if Fielding can accomplish this mission: return to Berlin and pick up the friend. from childhood Manfred Ziegler (Wanja Mues), now a scientist who developed a missile tracking system. Ziegler originally worked with the Russians and now wants to defect to the UK, but will only do so if Fielding is there. If Fielding can bring Ziegler, codename Beethoven, and his technology safely, then his file will be wiped out.
It’s not a lot, but it’s something – and does Fielding really have a choice? And to make matters even more difficult, when Fielding arrives in Berlin, he is surrounded by people who are either outwardly hostile or secretly duplicated. His direct supervisor was a close friend of Simon’s and doesn’t understand why Fielding is back in the field. His secretary, Eliza (Leonie Benesch), is blackmailed by the dark German agent August Froben (Tonio Arango) to spy on Fielding. And he has a history with the other international agents he’s supposed to work with – a history that might embarrass him. He knows US CIA agent Conrad Greer (Seumas F. Sargent) from serving together in World War II. He knows the French agent Séverine Bloch (Romane Portail) from her previous assignment in Berlin. Conrad and Séverine also have their own secrets; “We’re allies, I guess,” Scott said, alluding to those countries’ ties during WWII, but it’s been years since that conflict. The new world order might not line up quite the same.