Spooks: The Greater Good – What You Need To Know
Running for 10 series between 2002 and 2011, BBC spy drama Spooks gripped audiences for almost a decade with its tales of espionage, terrorism and counter-intelligence. Created by David Wolstencroft, the show's constantly shifting cast – thanks to the characters' habit of getting killed - has at various points included Richard Armitage, Keeley Hawes, David Oyelowo, Gemma Jones and Matthew Macfadyen, among many others. The one constant throughout has been Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), the head of MI5's 'Section D' counter-terrorism unit around which the show revolves.
Wolstencroft and the show's production company, Kudos, decided to call it a day on the TV series after the tenth season, but earlier this year Spooks made its return, this time on the big screen. The film is out now on DVD and in store now, so let's bring you up to speed on the details...
Who's in it?
Peter Firth reprises his role as Harry Pearce, with Hugh Simon and Lara Pulver also returning in their roles of Malcolm Wynn-Jones and Erin Watts, but as far as the original TV series cast goes that's about it. The new additions include David Harewood, Tim McInnery, Tuppence Middleton and Jennifer Ehle, but the main starring roles opposite Firth go to Elyes Gabel and Kit Harrington, both of whom Game of Thrones fans will no doubt recognise...
What's the plot?
The film picks up several years after the events of series 10, with Harry still in charge of Section D, who are in the middle of transporting captured terrorist Adem Qasim (Gabel) when the convoy is attacked, Qasim escapes and, to add insult to injury, one of the CIA's operatives is killed in the process.
Under fire from the media and the American government, Harry knows a scapegoat will be needed and his head is likely to be the one on the chopping block, so he fakes his own death and goes deep undercover to investigate his suspicion that someone inside MI5 has helped to engineer Qasim's escape and is setting him up to take the fall.
Meanwhile, MI5 pick up one of their former agents in Moscow named Will Holloway (Harrington), a man who was decommissioned by Harry and who has held a grudge against ever since. MI5's top brass are not convinced by Harry's death and task Holloway with finding him and bringing him in, but Harry has his own plans for Holloway...
Does it deliver?
If you were a big fan of the TV series, the film is unlikely to disappoint. Peter Firth is as brilliant as ever in the role of Harry and the film has lots of big set pieces and gripping action sequences to keep you on the edge of your seat. The storyline could have used a little more finesse, but unlike many TV shows Spooks has the right make-up to make the transition to the big screen an easy one and credit has to go to the director, Bharat Nalluri, for pulling it off with a bit of style.