For a film that’s about covert communications, infiltration and espionage, there’s nary a peep of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's gee-whizz spy tech on show for us viewers. But we know they were spying -- it was one of Colin Firth's most convincing roles, after all.
Other than the occasional long-lens surveillance or a phone-tapped conversation, you’d hardly guess this was about Cold War skull-duggery in 1970s London. That’s because author John Le Carre prefers talking heads and gritty realism to the “kiss kiss bang bang” of James Bond.
But there’s no shortage of real world spy gadgets that Le Carre could use in his books. Throughout the conflicts of the twentieth century, there were a huge number of weird and wonderful inventions for espionage and counter-espionage, and some are still used in the present day.
Here’s a peek at how the tools of spycraft have evolved from yesteryear to their modern equivalents. But just remember, you’re going to need more than an expensive bag of tricks if you want to be the next George Smiley.
Image Credit: My Movies