The Americans

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I’ve enjoyed The Americans, recently broadcast over a thirteen week run on ITV. If you do not know the show, it’s set in the early 1980s USA, before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and depicts the antics of so-called Illegals – sleeper Soviet spies who’ve lived decades in America as Americans. They are in deep cover, entrusted by Moscow to do dirty deeds that other KGB agents can’t do – mainly because the FBI knows and tails most KGB officers.

The illegal Americans are Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell). In Russian in the 60s they had been paired as the perfect partnership, then ‘married’ and sent to live as husband and wife in Washington DC. At the time of the show they have two children, a son (about ten years old) and a daughter, thirteen. The Jennings run their own travel agency – so overtly they are as much agents as they are covertly.

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