The Ipcress File trailer: Joe Cole risks his life on high-stakes spy mission

ITV have given viewers a first look at their upcoming adaptation of spy thriller The Ipcress File. 

The upcoming series is adapted from the 1962 Len Deighton novel, later made into a 1965 film, with Joe Cole taking on the lead role of Harry Palmer. 

Set in the 1960s, the show follows Palmer, a working-class British sergeant, who becomes a spy to avoid military jail after a series of dodgy dealings.

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Action: ITV have given viewers a first look at their upcoming adaptation of spy thriller The Ipcress File

The budding spy’s first mission takes him to Berlin in order to track down a missing British nuclear scientist.

However, his connection to the suspected kidnapping take him on a journey through the German capital, London and Beirut.

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The protagonist is assigned an assistant, Jean, a beautiful young woman towards whom he begins to develop romantic feelings.

The trailer opens with Joe’s co-star Lucy Boynton as Jean, who is seen telling a man: ‘We have an operation in Berlin. It’s the retrieval of a missing person.’ 

Plot: Set in the 1960s, the show follows Palmer, a working-class British sergeant, who becomes a spy to avoid military jail after a series of dodgy dealings (Lucy Boynton pictured)

Joe is then seen in prison where he is approached by Major Dalby (Tom Hollander) who tells him he will help to locate the missing person.

A man is heard asking Major Dalby: ‘Do you think we can trust him?’ to which he replies: ‘Almost certainly not’. 

Filming on the project began in March 2021 in Liverpool with production also taking place in Croatia. 

The series has been written by Trainspotting writer John Hodge and the all-star cast also includes Ashley Thomas and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. 

Clip: The trailer opens with Joe’s co-star Lucy Boynton as Jean, who is seen telling a man: ‘We have an operation in Berlin. It’s the retrieval of a missing person’

Mission: Joe is then seen in prison where he is approached by Major Dalby (Tom Hollander) who tells him he will help to locate the missing person

Show: Filming on the project began in March 2021 in Liverpool with production also taking place in Croatia

The original espionage film starring Michael Caine and its following sequels were a deliberately downbeat alternative to the hugely successful James Bond films.

Despite this, one of the early Bond producers, Harry Saltzman and others were brought into work on the Palmer series. 

Palmer is a contrast to Bond’s privileged private school upbringing and lives and works in a ‘gloomy’ London, where he resides in a Notting Hill bedsit.

It has been reported by Deadline that the show is being produced by The Crown’s Andrew Eaton and directed by Black Mirror’s James Watkins. 

Success: The original Ipcress File was awarded three BAFTAs and the novel has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide

The original film was produced at Pinewood studios while also being shot on location around London.

It is now included on the British Film Institute’s list of 100 of the best British films of the 20th century, ranking at number 59.

The original Ipcress File was awarded three BAFTAs and the novel has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

It also kicked off a series of seven other books, meaning there is scope for further series if this one proves a ratings hit.

Writer Hodge told the publication: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity to inhabit a time when the post-war world was morphing into the way we live now, when social mobility, civil rights, and modern feminism were forcing their way into public consciousness, and all of it happening with the world divided in two and both halves threatening to blow the whole thing sky high.’

Iconic: The original espionage film and its following sequels were a deliberately downbeat alternative to the hugely successful James Bond films