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October 4, 2015

The BBC Cancels 'MI-5'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 11th 2011 6:00AM
'MI-5'It's the end of the road for Harry Pearce and the gang. It's been announced that stylish spy drama 'MI-5' -- a.k.a. 'Spooks' -- will bow out at the end of the upcoming Season 10, which is due to air in the UK later this year.

In a press release, the BBC said that 'MI-5' "has been famous for killing off its much-loved characters in their prime, and now the series itself is going to be killed off at the top of its game."

Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive, Kudos Films & Television, the makers of 'MI-5,' said "It's hard to believe that as 'Spooks' enters its tenth series, the world prepares to face the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities. It feels like now is the time for 'Spooks' to bow out and make way for new spy dramas which reflect the changing world around us."

Set in the world of British intelligence officers, and airing at various times in the US on PBS, A&E and BBC America, 'MI-5' follows the exploits of Harry Pearce and his team of "spooks," or undercover agents, as they protect British national security. Groundbreaking in its heyday, the drama has won multiple BAFTAs, and has also courted controversy for its gritty and sometimes all-too-real portrayal of torture and terrorism.

However, it seems as though the fate of 'MI-5' may have been sealed months ago. There were reports in the UK as far back as the beginning of last year that the BBC was planning to ax it on the grounds of cost and falling ratings.

Unusually for a long-running successful drama, numerous fan-favorite main characters have regulary been killed off. And usually in grisly ways -- death by deep-fat fryer being one of the more notorious -- although other methods have included car bombs, hanging and being shot in the head.

'MI-5' has also boasted an impressive guest star roster, with Hugh Laurie, Sophie Okonedo and Benedict Cumberbatch amongst those who've stopped by, and it's been a career-making springboard for stars such as Matthew Macfadyen, Keely Hawes, Hermione Norris and Rupert Penry-Jones.

At the heart of the final season will be Harry Pearce and his relationship with the woman he has loved from the beginning: Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker). Jane Featherstone says that "Harry Pearce, played by the wonderful Peter Firth, has always been at the heart of the show and this series focuses on Harry's past, bringing his tumultuous relationship with Ruth to a head."

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Erik Corr

As much has I love MI-5 it did get a bit repetitive

January 03 2013 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrea Lafayette

This is sheer lunacy!! Cancelling the best show on TV. I have to wonder what is really behind the cancellation. Hitting on too many truths, maybe. Exposing the US government and CIA for what they really are? It makes no sense to me at all to cancel such a fabulous show.

December 29 2012 at 2:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a excellent show.. I caught it on PBS a while back.. ever since that, I became a member of PBS for opening me up to such great shows... But this one was TOP NOTCH by far... I agree, Ross Meyers and Adam Carter were the BEST and highlight of the show... Do I see a spinoff?

May 10 2012 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Keith Kowal

I've been watching this show for 6 years+ (albiet re-runs), but it really makes any "spy" tv show in the US look like crap, compared to MI-5 ..... it's really sad to see this show cancelled.... please consider bringing this show, back or introduce a new show called MI-6 , the spin-off !

May 07 2012 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

why bring in Tom at the end of the series????

March 19 2012 at 3:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Julia Langdon

The final season is on Netflix right now. LOVE this show. So sorry to see it end!

March 06 2012 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a most accurate portrayal of life in the intelligent service. Thought provoking story lines that mimic real-life headlines...assets and handlers taken out with oftentime graphic, violent means...quarrels between the service branches both domestic and abroad...interpersonal conflicts competing against achieving the greater good and goal of the team. It is unfortunate the plug has been pulled on this show; truly one of the few shows on tv worth watching.

February 11 2012 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe the BBC will replace MI 5 with another show featuring Ramsey or Graham Norton. Too bad. It is a great show.

February 09 2012 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love thie show. It is one of the most intelligently written, directed and acted shows on TV. Shameon the BBC for canceling it especially in a world of adolescent Tv ninny shows. I do agree that killing off ALL the good leading characters was perhaps why people stopped being invested in the show. Adam Carter and Ros Meyers were the best Section D leaders. And, really, why kill off Ruth? ALso, I agree that whoever was doing the progamming would have served the audience better by having the series shown sequentially and been able to at least say when the show would be on.
Again SHAME on the people who cancelled this most excellent show. Now, there is NOTHING to watch.

January 30 2012 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gaston Buhunny

In Canada I've tried to follow this show, but it hides! And then when it is on, all of the stories are out of alignment, and actors I know where killed off are still on. Killing off the sexy leading men was an odd way to make a series, and the anti-American, anti-European, super-pro-English attitude was a turn-off, so can't be too sorry to see it go.

August 12 2011 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gaston Buhunny's comment

It is or was the most compelling hour on television.

Anti-American? I didn't perceive that. There was a gleeful willingness to tweak and poke as well as play with stereotypes. It was fun, I thought, and we Americans (like any other nationality) can use some perspective.

May 01 2012 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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