I was inspired to search out the 1979 BBC series Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy starring Alec Guiness as George Smiley after seeing the 2011 film version starring Gary Oldman. There are many merits of the BBC production, most notably the fact that it was a seven part miniseries, which allows for more exposition of story, character, and background information. Alec Guniness is great in his role and it seems that the director of the 2011 version, Tomas Alfredson, borrowed some of the tone for his gray and bleak version of the story. I think both versions are well worth seeing. Now it's time to read the actual John Le Carre novel.