Did we like it?
The opener to series five was stunning. Spooks is one of only two British TV dramas (the other is Hustle) to enjoy the production values of the very best US dramas.
What was good about it?
• Rupert Penry-Jones is so good as our hero Adam. So what if Jack Bauer can come back to life and shrug off heroin addiction. Adam can have his guts shot out and dust himself down in time to return to the office within a month.
• The plot. One minute it’s armageddon; next minute it’s apocalypse.
• The scene in which a man started weeping through his eyes on one of London’s bendy buses was brilliantly staged. He was probably one of those fare dodgers who nipped on at the back door. If he was, he deserved to die.
• We love Hermione Norris and she didn’t disappoint as bad girl-turned-good Ros Myers
• The attack on the media (personified by Paul Millington) for creating mass psychosis
• The shocking death of office geek Colin – just after he’d sussed out that Robbie Keane was the missing answer in his crossword. Despite running like a girl through the woods (“I’m not made for all this running and fighting business”), he was caught and left hanging from a tree by those nasty MI6 bastards who wanted to take over the country. Colin’s departure wasn’t quite as breathtaking and unexpected as Lisa Faulkner’s death in a deep fryer in episode two of series one – but it came close.
• A fine bit of biffing with a fire extinguisher, administered by the female bodyguard of the PM’s son.
• The quality of the script. Best line: “You’re assuming the British people really care about abstract principles. They’ll put up with anything as long as you serve it up with a picture of Will Young in the shower.”
What was bad about it?
• Rav’s kung fu clash with baddie Jensen was cartoonish
• TV drama’s usual lousy representation of newspaper front pages (ill fitting, overlong headlines)
• The schmaltzy touches – the “will Juliet ever walk again?” scare and Adam’s frolicking with his son after he’d saved the world again
• Occasional bursts of expositionitis