Get ready for a smart thriller that keeps us guessing while delivering on action.

spooks9Ahh, TV spies. Since we no longer have Maxwell Smart to entertain us I’m quite the fan of Jack Bauer and 24. The rollercoaster action, the conspiracy theories, the explosive stunts and – of course – Kiefer Sutherland. There’s no doubt we have to check our brain at the door and overlook the fact nobody ever has time for coffee, sleeping, food, toilet breaks or encounters traffic jams. But this season still holds up well, especially thanks to new addition Annie Werschling.

So my expectations were very high when I finally, belatedly, sat down for my first ever look at UK spy drama, Spooks. Hey it’s only taken me six seasons. After one viewing I’m slapping myself. This here is hot stuff.

There isn’t much point tackling this genre if you can’t put real money up there on the screen, and it’s evident here from the get go. We open in Tehran, where MI5 are trying to take down an Iranian spy before he can make his way to London. The Brits covertly blow up a local train even though it means there will be local deaths. But nothing is as it seems. Without giving too much away, a killer virus could be unleashed in London. Talk about a ticking clock.

Compared to 24, Spooks is one very cool customer. This ensemble is quite restrained with characters keeping their emotions in check. Everything is done by the book, contrasting Jack Bauer who shoots first and asks questions later. Leading the cast is the dashing Rupert Penry-Jones as Adam (pictured), confidently blending action, dramatic fire and a hint of romance. He is joined once more by Hermione Norris and Peter Firth. As is so often the case with British storytelling, female characters are also afforded real meat, including senior females.

This series is also marked by a narrative shift, showcasing one feature plot across the entire ten episodes. Again, like 24, this will require distinct Acts, the first of which is an edge of seat thrill-ride. This contemporary tale has political outfall, deceit, high stakes and a rock solid execution. The brilliant conclusion is that we are witness to a smart thriller that keeps us guessing while delivering on action.

In recognition of its punch, ABC has promoted this series from Friday to Monday nights. Sit down, relax and hold on.

45_starsSpooks premieres 9.30pm Monday April 6 on ABC1.

15 Responses

  1. I have watched every series of Spooks and its one of my favourite shows. However over the years ABC Tv have messed around with the programming of this topical series, ignoring numerous viewer complaints!!

    I don’t wait for the ABC anymore, just buy the series DVD’s. What amazes me is that Series 6 has just been put to air when Series 7 is now out on DVD……

  2. Great alternative to 24. Similarly though, it has become quite farfetched, especially seeing as MI5 is supposed to be domestic operations.

    All these action shows are better when the plot is less bombastic and more realistic.

    Ala early seasons of 24 and Spooks.

  3. It has been a long wait for this to return to TV and I am especially looking forward to the new series long plot a move which I think shows they understand their audience.


    Teddy Bär

  4. ok Jed

    Tom left the series in ep 1 of season 3 where he was implicated in an assassination plot. He was cleared but left the service.

    Chloe faked her death in ep 5 of the same season and went to Rio with her new boyfriend.

    Danny died during a shoot-out in the last ep of season 3.

    So obviously the season was a milestone for the show with an almost clean sweep out of the regulars.

    Season 6 will hold many shocks…….

  5. Also there’s Spooks interactive website that goes along with this season, which was made by Hoodlum in Brisbane. Was made in 2007 for the original BBC transmission and ABC has picked up to run here as well.

  6. Spooks is my guilty pleasure 🙂

    My favourite Spooks trivia came from Stephen Fry who did a rant one day on his podcast about how the producers of Spooks were allowed to show all sorts of deaths, murders, explosions, illegal things but got scenes had to be re-shot because some government bureaucrat wouldn’t approve them going to air with one of the cast driving and using a non-hands free mobile phone at the same time!

  7. Yeah i was a late bloomer wtaching Spooks too. I’m only up to season 3, but i’ll watch this, or record it so i can still watch Brothers & Sisters. Anyway, someone needs to fill me in. What happened to Tom? And where’s Zoe and Danny gone?

  8. The 6th series is great. But you definately need to keep on watching every episode due to its serialised nature.

    I’m currently watching Season 7 – released onto dvd last week……interesting so far….

    One wonders if the ABC will show Season 7 straight after no. 6 this time??

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