The BBC series "Spooks" (Known as "MI5" in some parts of the world) returns tomorrow.
For those unfamiliar with it; Spooks can best be described as a sort of British "24", and has been running for just as long, beginning 6 months after Jack Bauer began his first very bad day.
It follows the activities of MI5's Section D, a counter terrorism unit, as they thwart attempts to destabilize fair Blighty's security and government.
It's very rarely something as simple as finding a bomb. The threats have included everthing from media barons trying to blackmail politicians to an attack on the Thames barrier with the intention of letting London flood during a high spring-tide.
Pretty much all the scenarios played out are highly plausible. Combine that with a ton of grit and, despite its far lower production values, Spooks keeps very good pace with 24.
The series' real charm, though comes from one of my all time fave fictional spies; Sir Harry Pearce. He heads section D, has dirt on pretty much everyone in power and uses it, along with a rapier wit, to aid his men in the field. He also looks like a spy-master should: balding and stocky. None of that US-TV, lantern-jawed, pretty-boy hero nonsense
Unfortunately for fans like me, Harry's number may be up. Out of the 8 series thus far, only two characters have survived since the beginning. Characters in Spooks are as mortal as they come, and usually get taken down when you least expect it.
The cliffhanger at the end of the last series saw Harry being gagged and stuffed into a body bag by some Russians who were rather upset at him having shot one of their number earlier on.
If he makes it through series 8 unscathed, I'll be very surprised!
Clips from previous series:[link][link]