I have watched this series on and off through out it's 10 year run and have to say I will miss it now that it is finished. The whole series has consistently had excellent plots with first class acting, making many pretty far fetched situations seem almost believable. It was obviously made with a very high budget, which would account for it's ending in a year when not only is the BBC continuing it's dumbing down of programs, but is now slashing it's spending too.
The basic story was of a top notch group of agents run by Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) dedicated to keeping the UK and it's residents safe from all sorts of pretty evil people from Suicide Bombers to Mad Russian Terrorists and even loopy anarchists. There were potential dirty bomb attacks, EMP ( electromagnetic pulse ) attacks on London, Russian computer virus attacks and internal coups and double dealings galore. Mostly they saved the day, but not always without a few dead agents. I can remember at least 10 agents biting the bullet and 3 that had to go under cover for the rest of their lives. One of the key things about Spooks was the gadgets and technology, some of which I know was possible - I work in IT, but some frankly required complete suspension of belief. It did not matter, it all added to the fun. Now sadly it was all brought to an end on Sunday 23rd October 2011.
This series was one of it flag ship programs, however the current BBC controller apparently thinks that Eastenders is the best thing since sliced bread so no surprise that they will not be commissioning another series. However, back to Spooks. One of the great things about this program was the high turn over of staff on the "Grid". I can't imagine that the pension payouts for this department will be high, because in the 10
years of the show only one employee ( Malcolm) actually made it to retirement age. The rest mostly died (violently) or had to go on the run under different identities. No one (apart from Harry Pearce) seemed to be
safe and at times even Harry looked on dodgy ground. That made the plot lines all the more exciting and engaging.
If you get the chance to watch this series from beginning to end then do so, because it really is high quality drama.
It often seemed at that the writers had real crystal balls as episodes had uncanny echoes to current real news stories, even though the series must have been filmed 6 to 12 months before.
For a few series now, I've been completely hooked on Spooks.
Spooks is a spy thriller, which follows the lives of MI5 Operatives working in the UK. One friend of mine described it as "The English version of 24", and another described it as "a realistic James Bond series". I somewhat agree with both of these descriptions, but there is more to Spooks than just this.
I think Spooks' success has been largely due to it's obvious relationship to what is indeed happening in the world today (extremist conflict etc), so it seems believable, fresh and gives you the feeling that the events in each episode, could already be happening everyday.
The storyline in each episode directly links to the last episode, so it has a good sense of continuity. The script is generally very good, and by most, acted pretty well too (there are a few acting fails in all the series, but they aren't substantial). There are also plenty (loads and loads) of plot twists, betrayals and surprises that will keep any audience on the edge of their seats.
I would recommend this series to pretty much anyone, regardless of age. However, for kids below 10/11 the plot may become difficult to follow.
This BBC1 series has become a favourite of many and for the last few weeks nearly everyone leaving my office on Wednesday night has been saying 'can't wait for Spooks'. This is followed by the nights viewing being digested in detail on a Thursday morning. For example, over 30 minutes was spent the morning after Jo Porter's demise by Ros Myers as to whether she could have shot the terrorist somewhere else than the chest so Jo may have survived...
The script writing is intelligent and certainly keeps you glued to your screen. Also, not everyone is what he or she seems - even the supposed good guys are often bad, look at Connie James. Connie was a retired member of M15 who was reintroduced to the team after Harry Pearce (MI5 Chief) used the remote farmhouse she was living in (former MI5 property) to interrogate from suspects in an airborne virus plot line. Through the coming weeks and future series it transpired that Connie was a double agent for Russia and she was the reason that Lucas North (the brooding Richard Armitage) spent 10 years in a Russian prison. Connie also killed Ben Kaplan - former journalist turned MI5 officer - in the HQ. Connie did slightly redeem herself by defusing a nuclear bomb that took her life.
More recently, one of MI5 American cousins from CIA, Sarah Caulfield, stole Lucas' heart than killed her boss, generated £6 billion in 'bad-money' and was eventually assassinated by her new sinister boss.
The acting is generally very good (although personally felt Matthew Macfadyen who played Tom Quinn in the first two series was a little wooden at times) and series 8 for me was the best yet. I am concerned how the next series will fare especially as it appears one of the key characters Ros Myers, who is played by Hermione Norris, has been killed in a hotel blast trying to save the new Home Secretary.
So, until autumn 2010, I am going to have to find something else to do on a Wednesday night...watch the DVD box sets perhaps?
The choice of watchable terrestrial telly at 9pm on a Wednesday night is minimal to say the least. Having already seen all the repeats of CSI and not being highbrow enough to watch historical documentaries we plumped for Spooks on BBC1. It's a programme I watched religiously throughout the first series when it was rapid and pacey and dare I say exciting but then it tailed off becoming rather repetitive and mundane in a formulaic way.
The show features a crack team of super secret MI5 agents who work to save the world from equally top secret baddies who all work for organisations known only by acronyms. The good guys on the side of the Brits are head honcho Harry Pearce pen pusher extraordinaire and a team of minions including Ruth Evershead (the grease haired techno geek), Ros Myer (intelligent superbabe who wouldn't look out of place in The Matrix), Lucas North (the man we all like to see shirtless and we do, lots) and Tariq Masood (another cyber techie).
The episodes are all pretty much interchangeable. Harry announces some top secret discovery. Ruth does some research. Tariq hacks into something, retrieves phone records and triangulates mobile signals locating the target (the name given to the unlucky person whos turn it is to die) and Lucas and Ros go out and shoot them. Theres lots of hiding round corners and whipping pistols out of tight leather trousers and invariably the episode ends with the baddie being shot and Harry congratulating Ros on her ability to sprint down the street in a wonderbra without breaking into a sweat or ruining her hair. Well actually he congratulates her on a job well done but awarding her for predictably wooden acting would be rather more plausible.
Apparently the series has resulted in a deluge of wanabee secret agents contacting MI5 to offer their services. Hardly surprising really. Becoming James Bond suddenly looks a lot more attainable.
Spooks has been going for quite a few series now on BBC and started again last night.
The show centres around a team of MI5 agents who each week have to save the UK from various terriost plots, stolen documents etc. the list goes on and on.
Since its beginning spooks have not been afraid to show the darker side of life, thinking back to the first every episode where one the characters had her face pushed into a deep fat fryer, not very pleasant and hopefully not based on anything real life. Sometimes when you watch these shows you think some of the things that happen are a bit out there but they do keep you glued to your seats. And according to MI5 this show has propelled them into the limelight with job applications soaring.
Last night saw the return of this show to BBC at 9pm and the head of the department, Harry, has handed himself over to a Russian agent in exchange that they leave his team alone. This agent tries to sell him to the highest bidder and then ends up dead himself as the person didn't want to pay.
This guy then fakes his death and blames it on a small known Islamic Group to try and put the team off the scent and think that he's dead. Luckily the team have faith in their boss and don't believe he is dead and set out throughout the hour long show to find him and bring him back safely.
As with previous episodes you get to see a bit of everything double crossing, the CIA being involved (always someone elses fault!) and bringing back of a character who escaped previously to try and live a "normal" life.
The plot had the usual twists and turns with all the action you expect to keep you gripped to your seat for the hour, wishing the agents on to be able to save the day. Obviously they do but hey it would be a TV show if they didn't.
Another character left last night so there is no space for another new person to be brought on board which they seem to do every series so that there is only Harry left from the original start up.
The one thing that you don't get to see much of in spooks is any of the James Bondy style gadgets which you kind of expect from a good spy drama, although maybe that's too many years of being brought up watching James Bond.
I have noticed in the past couple of seasons that the story lines have become a little flat and some the characters like Ros a little less plausible but if last night was anything to go by they have pulled it back round again.
Overall this is a good series and generally distracts you for hour on a Wednesday night, all I hope is that real life isn't really like this!
This is the great British T.V show that is coming back on tonight at 9 p.m on BBC1 this is series 8 of the show.
The show follows a department in MI5 that is run by Harry Pearce played by Peter Firth who is currently missing as we saw him bundled into a car at the end of the last series.
You will love this if you are into thrillers and anything to do with espionage.
Each story line in the series is based on up to date scenarios of current threats to the U.K such as bio terrorisum, sleeper cells and spy plots that could be real for all we know.
Ros Myers played by Hermione Norris (from cold feet) is a cold spy drafted in when her Father came to the notice of the secret service.
Ros was a member of Yalta another spy network but MI5 faked her death and hired her themselves.
Hermione won best actress at the crime thriller awards 2008 for her role as Ros.
You will love this if you are into gadgets as there is always a host of them in this programme.
I must admit I do miss Adam played by Rupert Penry Jones who to my distaste got blown up in a car bomb in the last series.
Great programme with up to date issues that could affect us all.
Uncompromising dialogue, intelligent relationships, fast paced action and deliberate plot twists are just some of the words that spring to mind when I think of Spooks. First and foremost this is a drama, yet it has romance, action, thriller and certain aspects of science fiction. This is one of the few shows that I have ever seen that has all of the above and delivers on every single aspect.
The charaters are hard and gritty, the suspence is killing sometimes, but every episode is superb in the acting and direction.
You are attracted instantly to the plot lines (which change almost as soon as you think you have it figured out) and the acting is top class, clever and moving. This show sets the standards for all other British dramas and can be classed as the ultimate modern cliff-hanger ending.
If you have never bothered watching this show then I urge you to start doing so, if you "used" to watch it then gave up, I urge you to see sense, it is truly remarkable and deserves your undivided attention.
Brilliant drama, shown all over the world, charting MI5's espionage services and the action and conspiracies behind it. Thrilling and on the edge of your seat stuff, which is incredible to watch.
I have followed this program for the last seven years. it is gripping, inventive and action packed. It follows a group of mi5 agents as they fight for queen and country. The stories are up to date and often find the episode use current crisis in the news. The series has had many central characters throughout the series, some meet a grisly end and some go of and become rouge spies, the characters are never safe and it makes this series on the edge of your seat viewing. The production values a big and the series never faulters in its look. Constantly fast moving and making the issues around us relevent. The main character and glue to the team is harry pearce. A hard weathered man, who is respected and thinks highly of the team and respects the opinion of others. At first he is closed off and not very nice but as the series progresses he plays more a central part then first thought. There is a bit of harry in all the characters and they follow and dont judge him. To have such a well drawn out character and making him more liked every season is a testament to the quality of the show. An edgy and racy tv series that is one of the gems on tv today. Spooks grows from strenght to strenght and really is a show to invest time in.
Spooks is a compelling spy drama broadcast in Britain by the BBC.
It is in its seventh series now - each series consists usually of 8 episodes.
This is a general review - to be specific would mean giving unavoidable spoilers.
It revolves around the work of MI5 (and MI6 occasionally) and how they go about protecting the UK from terrorism - both from within and outwith the UK.
Sounds a bit plain and simple, huh?
Spooks is action-packed, right from the off. The team, are based at the 'grid', their HQ in London, and headed by Harry Pierce, played marvellously by Peter Firth. You will of course remember him from the Here Come the Double Deckers, if you are old enough. He played Scooper (go find an episode on youtube, and shock yourself! You will feel really old!).
Harry is supported by a team that variously consists of characters played by actors such as: Shauna Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Rory MacGregor, Graeme Mearns, Hugh Simon, Rupert Penry-Jones, Keeley Hawes, Miranda Raison, Nicola Walker, David Oyelowo, Raza Jaffrey, Hermione Norris.... like any organisation, even in the imaginary world of Spooks, people come and go.
What to expect here: explosions, murder, intrigue, double-crossing, affairs of the heart, secrecy, betrayal, technical wizardy, some really bad acting, some really naff lines.
Some series have a definite identifiable thread running all the way through each episode involving a compelling cliff-hanger at the end of each episode, other series have a story for each epsiode usually resolved at the end.
Harry Pierce is the top dog, he is cool, calm collected, unruffled, but very very human and vulnerable beneath it all. We do get glimpses of his emotions, what affects him, we get clues into his romantic life, and we so want him to have a love-life.
Tom Quinn, played by Matthew Macfadyen, is also one cool character, in the sense of being the strong, silent type, whereas Adam Carter, played by Rupert Penry-Jones, will be seen as 'cool' as in more leaning towards a bit of a lad. With both of these characters, we get to see how being a spook, can have an effect on your love-life. Both these characters play a similar rank in the series and with the addition of the character Lucas North, played by Richard Armitage, who plays a similar character to the other two, this completes the trio of eye-candy for the ladies.
The characters Malcom and Colin are the brains of the operation, these are the guys who save the day with thier technical know-how.
The ladies are well represented, in what is often seen as a male-dominated 'industry' and there are some brilliant characters performed by Nicola Walker, Miranda Raison, Keeley Hawes, Olga Sosnovska, the wonderful Connie played by Gemma Jones (you know, Bridget Jones' mum), and the wonderfully supercool Ros Myers played by Hermione Norris. Sadly the female representation of Spooks was let down by the inclusion of a 'dizzy blonde' character, the underdog status of such being underpinned by the character being a Scot. Good old P.C., Anglo-centric Britain!
As I said at the beginning of the review, I have tried not to be too specific, for fear of creating spoilers, but if you like being kept on the edge of your seat, you like cliff-hangers, if you like escapism, if you like to believe in the blatantly unreal for an hour, if you can put up with ocassional bad acting and some god-awful, cheesey lines now and again, you will want to watch Spooks.
this is a BBC drama series, now onto its seventh season. It has gone through many lead characters, it now features character Lucas Noth, along with Ros Myers and Harry Pearce. Losing Rupert Penry Jones character Adam carter in the first episode of this series was a shame as he was the best bit of eye candy on the show, but hopefully the show won't suffer too much without him - it hasn't yet!
This show has fantastic production values, and at times you almost feel you could be watching a film, and i think that is one of the huge plus points of this show - each week you are almost watching a mini movie.
The storylines are controversial, yet could so easily be true, and they make you think about what actually does go on in the country behind closed doors that the general public are never aware of.
The show began in 2001 with a cast which has nearly been entired killed off - Zoe reynolds, Danny Hunter and Tom Quinn all met their ends during series 3.
The more recent series also feature interactive games via bbc.co.uk/spooks. There are also companion books available - see behind the scences, the personnel files and harrys diary, along with a CD soundtrack.
Is it just me or do most people want to be a spy or work for MI5?
This is a job I would love to do but probably couldnt as I wouldnt put my family at risk.
So I love the programme Spooks which is about MI5 agents. The new series so far is brilliant and I am loving the arrival of Lucas North (played by Richard Armitage) who plays an agent who has been imprisoned in Russia for the last eight years.
What fascinates me is the fact they must take guidance from the real MI5 in order to write the storylines and its strange to think that some of the things we see and watch are perhaps not that far away from the truth.
Briliant show and is oen of those programmes that has everybody talking about and guessing what may or may not happen. I wish it could be on all year.
At best Spooks is a poor copy of 24They even copied the same names "Zoe"....I can tolerate 24 ...its fast..smooth and not much filler...Spooks tries too hard and ends up limp I still think the Brits make much better dramas then the Americans but not this time...
There are generally just a few things that American television does better than its British counterpart. Note I said just a few, because in general I feel that a lot of British programming is far superior to that of the USA. The exceptions on British TV can generally be found exclusively on ITV, but that is a subjective gripe on my part.
So what does the US do better than us? Well, if you have ever seen series such as '24' of 'CSI' then you will understand what I mean. They do not appear to have a limited budget, they are well crafted, gritty, fast paced and extremely well edited. Each episode is a clearly defined unit and its storyline works well and fills the hour with no loose ends.
There is, in my view, one series that challenges from our shores. In 2003 a series was produced by the BBC, by means of independent production company Kudos. It even featured a topic that is commonly featured in American series. 'Spooks' is a series that has received a good deal of criticism since its inception. It features the work of the British espionage agency, MI5. It is no glossy James Bond type of programme by the way (he worked for MI6 incidentally), it does have that raw quality that shows a 'warts and all' view of the intelligence services. We do not see a glossy 'aren't they all a great bunch' kind of programme, we see people with flaws, with grievances and sometimes we see them doing things they should not be doing.
There have been three series on television so far, and the fourth series is due to air this autumn. I will, therefore, try and give you an appraisal of the first 3 series without giving too much away, just in case I have given you enough information to go out and buy the first episodes on DVD. I will start, therefore, on the cast of the original, and will focus on the five principal cast members.
Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) - The head of the section. An MI5 officer who would not expect any of his officers to do anything that he wouldn't do himself. Occasionally prone to errors of judgement, he is not afraid to let others know what he thinks, or indeed to be a ruthless manager of his personnel.
Tom Quinn (Matthew MacFadyen) - One of the main officers in the section - a very good, nay, excellent officer in his field. A shrewd tactician, and a very good officer.
Zoe (Keeley Hawes) - A young MI5 officer who has a strong desire to do well in her chosen field. She occasionally has the odd romantic entanglement, but does know what she needs to do to do the job or to uphold the integrity of the service.
Tessa (Jenny Agutter) - Another senior officer in the MI5 set-up office, an extremely knowledgable woman who occasionally has an axe to grind.
Danny (David Oyelowo)- Another officer who does his job well. Occasionally reckless, he generally knows what he has to do.
I must say that the problem, if one can call it that, is that each series tends to finish with, how shall I term it, unfinished business. It isn't necessarily a full-blown cliffhanger, but it does leave you teetering on the brink of immediately demanding the next episode!
Episode One - The first episode dealt with a very tricky subject, namely that of pro-life extremists. It's well acted and gripping, and has an extremely strong story. In fact it was an exquisitely executed opening episode.
Episode Two - Now this is an episode that provoked a great deal of complaint. It deals with right-wing racists, and the lengths they will go to to get their message across. I must warn that this episode contains what is described on the DVD box as a 'strong torture scene'. It's not for the squeamish!
Episode Three - Probably the weakest episode of the series. A siege at a foreign embassy and a blast from the past.
Episode Four - Another relevant theme is covered in this episode. Anti-globalisation protests get out of hand and it is difficult to know who is on who's side.
Episode Five - Posh MP's in prison? How preposterous! MP's getting embroiled in arms dealing? No!!! Totally unrealistic. What do you think?
Episode Six - Collaberation between British intelligence services and Irish terrorists? It may sound silly, but it does work extremely well. Naturally a threat to you land can sometimes make for strange bedfellows! There is a delicious twist and a very tense cliffhanger!
Episode One - The cliffhanger is resolved, but still provides a twist. The story then goes on to deal with Serbian terrorists and plots on the British Mainland.
Episode Two - A very controversial one this, and one that seems a little prescient. I won't give too much detail, but will say that it deals with teenage suicide bombers in Birmingham.
Episode Three - We are now in the realms of left-wing extremists, the sort who think that New Labour is a right wing party. Zoe even does a very good job of being a teacher!
Episode Four - Russian Mafia Money Laundering tied in with a traditional bank in the City of London - an excellent episode and some very good acting.
Episode Five - Potentially the best episode, in my view. There is a training exercise, and events move on to an alarming degree - is it a training exercise or is London under a catastrophic threat?
Episode Six - George Dubya is in town and the CIA want to direct things there way. Is MI5 going to play dead?
Episode Seven - Harry makes a potentially grievous error, which leads him to someone who may be able to help lay hands on a potentially devastating new kind of weapon.
Episode Eight - Reminds me of the Winter of 1978. Is the British Army about to go on strike? Who are the ringleaders? What can be done to stop them, or is anything actually happening?
Episode Nine - Colombian Drug Cartels doing arms deals on British soil - a tricky problem.
Episode Ten - What is one of the team up to? Who is the American hitman who has just entered town? This episode causes everybody to doubt their loyalty and will result in sadness, I bet you.
This wasn't as good as the first two series but I still think it is effective.
Episode One - ties up the loose ends from the end of series two. More twists and turns than a twisty turny thing!
Episode Two - How much should you manipulate people to get what you want? Maybe you shoudl ask Harry Pearce that question!
Episode Three - British writers living in hiding under a fatwa from abroad. How do you protect them if they don't want protecting?
Episode Four - A tricky episode that was a bit heavy going for me. It deals with Negotiations between Israel and Palestine, and who would want to derail them.
Episode Five - Biochemical warfare is horrible, but is assassination justified?
Episode Six - Someone is on trial, but what will happen?
Episode Seven - Someone is holding the country to ransom, lacing medicines, hacking bank computer systems and causing traffic chaos. Can the team solve the riddle of the Islamic terms?
Episode Eight - The child of a rock star is kidnapped.Not everyone wants MI5's help. But why?
Episode Nine - A mercanary is visiting an arms dump whilst under surveillance. They had better check it out!
Episode Ten - Two MI5 operatives are kidnapped - but what do the hostage takers want and who is their main aim?
Anyway, I hope that you managed to get an idea of what the stories are like. I really enjoy the series.
It is not drama for children. It goes out after the 9pm watershed for a reason. It deals with tricky subjects and is not superficial. It doesn't dumb down to help the audience cope. It does require though. Maybe that is why I like it.
Anyway, catch Series Four when it comes out soon and, if you like it, catch the earlier episodes on DVD. You could veen visit the official website and read up on personnel or take MI5 aptitude tests! You can do this on http://www.bbc.co.uk/spooks
Anyway, happy viewing!
Spooks is the most well-made, intelligent, flawlessly acted series the BBC has ever made in my humble opinion. The premise of the series is that it follows the lives of its three main protagonists, Tom Quinn, Danny and Zoe, played by Matthew McFayden, David Oweyelo and Keeley Hawes, all officers within the aforesaid MI5. Each week there is some serious risk to national security that these three contend with. Not wishing to give any of the plots away for those who have yet to see them, the issues are always extremely contemporary and relevant to what is happening now in the UK and the world. For example, there has been immigration issues, northen ireland correlation, the USA and terrorism, to name but a few. While on the subject of the scripts, there is an irony here, in that in one respect, the scripts are incredibly pertinent seeing as they were written a long time before they were broadcast, for which all credit to the various writers, yet conversely some of the episodes contain some of the most ludicrous dialogue ever written. This does not detract from the shows excellence though, needless to say! While still on this aspect of the series, one might imagine that there would be only so many plots concerning MI5 that the creative team could come up with in terms of credible, great television, yet the fact that the second series has just ended after ten episodes, with a third in the making already, refutes this possible criticism. Furthermore i would suggest that they get better and better as time goes on, so one awaits the third series with baited breath. The series is set in London mainly with there of course being other locations used as well, and the filming of the capital especially is breathtaking. There are many stunning frames overlooking the Thames from the South Bank, and indeed the South Bank from the opposite side of the river where the MI5 headquarters are situated. On the subject of the acting, the aforemen
tioned Hawes, McFadyen and Oweleyo and Peter Firth act with such ease and perfection that they out-act many of their contemporaries. There are also strong performances throughout from Jenny Agutter, Nicola Walker and Shauna Madconald, to name but a few. What is so special about Spooks for me? Firstly it is the most exciting series i've ever seen. The action is incredibly fast-moving, with the full impact of events only making complete sense in the last few minutes, thus keeping you on tenterhooks the whole hour. A large part of the pleasure for me derives from the interaction between all the characters in the programme and how this develops over time. The writing and acting is so human and often very touching, leaving me breathless at the end of each week from the mass of emotions i've experienced. The portrayals of life within the security service are also very vivid and seemingly accurate, though of course the humdrum aspects of work would perhaps be more so in real life. It is interesting to note that applications for jobs within MI5 have apparently risen enormously on the back of this series, and frankly i can totally understand that. This is again a point of high credit for the makers of this programme, in that despite many of the negative aspects of such a career being brought to life so vividly, they have made it look so appealing. I hope this opinion has given you some idea of what Spooks is like and that it may tempt you to watch it. I have purposefully not given away any of the plots, as i do not like spoilers personally. I'm sorry if this annoys some people and leads to a far less interesting opinion. For information, as mentioned in passing earlier, there have been two series of Spooks so far, the second one having just finished a few weeks ago, with the first now available to buy. There is also a very good website accompayning this series, which can be found at www.bbc.co
.uk/spooks with all sorts of facts about how the scripts were devised, about life within MI5 and all sorts of other things relating to the series. Highly highly recommended, and needless to say, i anxiously await next year and series three. I always love getting feedback of any sort, so please comment if you read this op, as this is what dooyoo is all about. Thanks Sean
This is the programme that TV land should be churning out all the time but I guess if they did that it would be boring. The lives of the Spies (Spooks) who are guarding our saftety at home in the Uk and who we will never know about until now. This series has excitement and tension by the bucket full and after the boiling oil in the first series the only thing you know is that no-one is safe. Any one is expendable, just like in real life. The show depicts storylines and situations which are scarily realistic and more scary by the fact that they could really happen. This is a programme which further increases my wish to join the security service but frustrates in that its not that easy. If anyone has not see Spooks then I recomend you get the DVD so you can relish in the exploits of these heros.