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Spooks coming to public television

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 21st 2009 7:07PM
SpooksThe BAFTA Award-winning BBC program Spooks will be appearing on U.S. public television. Okay, it's now called MI-5, but the theory is the same. The show seems to be Britain's answer to 24 and from what I understand it's pretty good.

The interesting thing about the article for me was the fact that it's being released to public television. Let me put on my old person's hat for a moment and say that I remember the good old days when public television was the only place to watch BBC (or even British) shows. How do you think Monty Python got famous in the U.S.A.? Or Doctor Who? Now we have BBC America, Sci Fi and various other cable channels that show British imports.

Mind you, the nice thing about having this program on public television is that anybody with a set of rabbit ears on their T.V. can watch the program. However, you may need a digital converter box if you do.

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Don't get too excited, like others have said above, the first 3 seasons are great and you think to yourself, "why can't US shows be more like this?" Then season 4 hits and it was never the same. Those first lead actors were what made the show great - don't kid yourself into thinking the writing is grittier or less comical than the best of 24 just b/c you want to believe it's "exotic and british" so it must be better. Spooks was a great show that jumped the shark very soon

January 22 2009 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

spooks was more like Alias than 24 with leads being killed off often, and law an order with episodic content and only small overall plot lines (you can come into the middle of the season and not be left out)

January 22 2009 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Love, love, love this show. It was on A & E for a bit, now it's on BBC Canada. Smarter than 24--and I say that as a big 24 fan.

January 22 2009 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The first 3 seasons of Spooks were fantastic, then it slowly started degrading and becoming more unintelligible. Season 6 was the worst but the just completed season 7 was much better I thought. It's no longer great but it's still watchable. Spooks: Code 9 is another story entirely - a complete waste of time.

January 22 2009 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Adams

The American cable networks butchered the show, along with moving it from time period to time period, ending it in mid-season..no wonder it didn't do well.
ANyone know when/where PBS will be airing it?

January 22 2009 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mark perna

Spooks is an amazing show. I'd compare it to something brilliant like Dexter for it's writing and acting instead of 24 which is kind of hacky. It was shown on A&E and BBC America but with 25% of each show edited out for commercials making them pretty much unwatchable.

January 22 2009 at 6:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Spooks : 24 :: Ferrari : Pinto

that is the best way i can describe it, having been a fan of spooks for a while watching 24 is just lame in comparison, in no way am i afraid that jack will die. in spooks however anyone can die at any time for any reason.

January 22 2009 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Spooks/MI-5 previously aired in the US on A&E and BBC America. Third time's the charm?

January 21 2009 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Fred's comment
BC McKinney

Except that A&E and BBC America have commercials and therefore edited the episodes down to 42 min or whatever. PBS is apparently showing the original, uncut BBC episodes.

January 22 2009 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yay! I loved the first two seasons of Spooks. It was realistic (agents on budgets), slightly humorous, and made me think I could join MI-5 due to lack of overt violence & firearms ;) The seasons I enjoyed actually remind me more of NCIS (in its earlier incarnations). However, I strayed away when the later seasons became more 24-ish & the lead agents started dropping off. Either way, I, too, miss the days of watching Coupling & Red Dwarf on PBS in the late night A.M . . .

January 21 2009 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Spooks came out before 24, so it's far more accurate to say that 24 is America's answer to Spooks. Spooks also had the splitscreen camera device that 24 copied afterwards. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't do basic research on this one.

January 21 2009 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MrMischevous's comment

"Always mince your words - it makes it that much easier to eat them later"

A quick look at wikipedia reveals that I was wrong - 24 was out about six months before Spooks, which is a little strange given that on the first Spooks DVD they claimed ownership to the splitscreen approach before 24 did.

January 21 2009 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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