Spooks is a BAFTA award-winning British television drama series produced by the independent production company Kudos for BBC One. The title is a popular colloquialism for spies, as the series follows the work of a group of MI5 Officers based at the service’s Thames House headquarters, in a highly secure suite of offices known as The Grid. In the United States and France, the show is broadcast under the title MI-5. In Canada, the programme originally aired as MI5 but now airs on BBC Canada as Spooks.
The programme was created by writer David Wolstencroft and has attracted popular guest actors including Hugh Laurie, Robert Hardy, Tim McInnerny, Bruce Payne, Ian McDiarmid, Jimi Mistry, Andy Serkis, Andrew Tiernan, Anton Lesser, Anupam Kher, Alexander Siddig and Anthony Head.
A team of agents in the British security intelligence service work to protect the U.K. from terrorists and other threats to national security. A repackaged version of the BBC series “Spooks,” “MI-5” follows a team led by Tom Quinn that includes analyst/undercover operative Zoe Reynolds and surveillance expert Danny Hunter. Harry Pearce, head of MI-5’s counter-terrorism section, oversees them and deals with the often dirty politics of the spy game.
Starring Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, David Oyelowo, Jenny Agutter, and Peter Firth, the initial series of six one-hour episodes premiered in the spring of 2002.
The series was a critical and popular success, averaging 7.5 million viewers over its six episodes, due to its combination of glossy high production values with fast-paced action/adventure and spy intrigue storylines.
The show quickly gained an unexpected edge with the violent killing of character Helen Flynn (Lisa Faulkner) in the second episode which drew the largest number of complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Commission in 2002 During an undercover operation Helen and Tom were captured by race riot instigator Robert Osborne, played by Kevin McNally, who tortured Helen with a deep fryer in an attempt to make her superior Tom reveal classified information. He refused and she was killed. This provoked an angry reaction from many viewers who jammed BBC phone switchboards with complaints, despite the show airing after the 9 pm watershed. Nevertheless the death of Faulkner’s character set the precedent that in Spooks anyone can die at any time.
Brand New and Sealed, High Definition,
Seasons: Complete seasons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Region FREE. Will play on any DVD player.
Number of Discs31
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