The British/US co-production The Impossible Spy is based on the life and career of Israeli undercover agent Elie Cohen. The story begins in 1959, with the Egyptian-born Cohen (John Shea) being recruited by the Israeli Mossad. Cohen, a mild-mannered Jewish accountant, wants no part of espionage, but goes along with his superior's plans to send him into Syria under an assumed identity. The reluctant spy is so successful in his cover that he is nearly elected Syrian minister of defense! What finally does happen results in the death of Cohen in 1965--and the birth of an enduring legend. Written by Marty Ross and Jim Goddard, The Impossible Spy was first telecast November 28, 1987, as an HBO Showcase presentation.