My binging on British television continues with my ongoing enjoyment of MI-5/Spooks. Though the show was originally called Spooks, for reasons I’m not entirely clear on, the U.S. and France (and briefly, Canada) choose to call it something different. I’m watching through Netflix Instant, where it is called MI-5.
MI-5 is based on the British intelligence agency of the same name, with “spooks” being the colloquial term used for spies. The show concerns a lot of undercover operations, foiling terrorist plots, and occasionally having to deal with their somewhat difficult American counterparts. It’s well-written, well-acted, and for once, the BBC actually seemed to give it a large budget from the get-go. The show ran from 2002 until 2011.
Last night, I watched the first episode from Season 4, “The Special: Part One.” In it, terrorists who believe the Earth’s population needs to be “culled” set off a bomb in a crowded outdoor market and say that unless a certain person is released from prison, another bomb will go off in ten hours. The team is having trouble tracking down the culprits, despite having a good idea of their identity, since it appears that MI-5 has a mole leaking information.
Because this show aired primarily during the second Bush administration, it’s interesting to watch the British version of heightened security and how the U.S. influences their policies. It’s also quite different from the more aggressive 24, which had a similar run length. Because Season 4 echoes the July 7 terrorist bombings in London train stations (the episodes were shot before those attacks, and the BBC ran warnings ahead of airing), I’m curious to see how the show deals with that after this two-parter.
Finally, because my brief TV recaps tend to have some sort of eye candy element even when I’m trying to be serious, let us take a look at agent Adam Carter and his wife, Fiona, both of whom first worked for MI-6 before coming over to 5. Now that’s a good looking couple. Shhh… I know bad things eventually befall them, but let’s just enjoy their presence for now.