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Reviews & Ratings for
"MI-5" More at IMDbPro »"Spooks" (original title)

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

More deaths than midsomer murders?

Author: frank-340-831830 from Perth, Australia
1 August 2015

Often when you watch crime dramas you can safely watch a scene knowing they wont kill off the main cast and the bad guy will get caught - not with Spooks.

You learn after a while that no one is immune from dying, getting sacked, extradited, dying, blown up, shot, strangled, poisoned, raped, and of course dying. Don't think your favourite character will always be there - or for that matter they are actually dead! Just like the daytime drama that brings back the long lost, thought to be dead twin, not everybody that has gone is gone for good. Some of your favourites may return.

All of this really does add to the drama - a character may survive one episode and then die unpredictably in the next. And unlike a lot of other shows the main characters don't all leave at season end - it could happen any time - and this will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The stories are great and get better season to season, and you will be disappointed that it finishes, wishing for more.

Don't spoil it for yourself by looking at the cast list on here. Furthermore - nearly every British actor seems to have a shot at being on this show at some time - it is almost like Doctor Who.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

MI-5 (TV Show) Review

Author: Nick Retzlaff
12 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first saw this show on PBS then on Netflix until it was pulled just because of being on too long. It's called "Spooks" in Britain and it is basically their version of 24 but more espionage goes on than just touring people. Considered to well acted and even had celebrity guests like Hugh Laurie and sometimes even better than 24.

Uses the side by side scenes like 24 but a bit better. Then again I didn't watch 24 that much since I thought it was just about torching people. That seemed like at times "Might Makes Right" even though it doesn't always work like that. Also Kiefer Sutherland is Canadian with surprises me at times since he doesn't have an accent.

Anyway it's also about their jobs and life's outside of MI-5 that I think makes it good because they have something to fight for. The final episode of this series is when the lead commander guy of the MI-5 team gets deported to America because he was born there technically.

Also heard in some article that MI-5 will make a comeback in a mini series. Where the guy and his new team handle some of the stuff in America. Which sounds pretty cool even though I didn't see many episodes but the description for them were pretty amazing. This show is also on Hulu Plus if you ever want to take a look at it and stuff or wanted 24 to have more of a brain sometimes.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I am hooked on this series - But Seasons 1-5 only*

Author: wlb from Sacramento CA
10 February 2014

* I have added this since my initial review. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, one can zip though entire seasons quickly. Seasons 1-5 apply to my review below - but it seems as of Season 6 it has become more like "24" and less realism. Which is fine, I suppose, but the story lines have become more outlandish. Since I don't want to spoil anything you be the judge.

Since I started streaming this from Netflix and Hulu, I have become addicted to this series. And I am reminded of a quip actor Michael Weatherly of NCIS gave in an interview - saying that the title of his show really stands for "No Character Is Safe".

Perhaps the creators of NCIS got their inspiration from MI-5, which made its debut a year earlier.

All I can say is you don't know who will be there for the next episode. Which is shocking at first, particularly if you start to like them but gives the show an edge.

I do believe the actual day to day world of the spy is a bit more cerebral and deskbound, but the show is still realistic. I mean, real spies probably would not want an Aston Martin DB5 while on assignment - they want to blend in - and in an episode I just watched one of the recurring characters actually mentioned that he'd prefer a less flashy car to the one he was driving.

But I would not be surprised if some real "Spooks" - active or more likely retirees, are technical advisers.

It's a great show that has enough realism to make it believable and enough "Hollywood action" to make it enjoyable.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Was it really necessary?

Author: Jan M from United States
28 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What a show!!! I love watching MI-5!Thank you for the most interesting TV show today! MI-5 helps us to see and understand better the important role spies play in preserving the world safer. It helps us remember that thanks to the countless sacrifices spies have made throughout centuries we have a better world! And that many of the privileges and luxuries we enjoy, and often take for granted, we owe to them! I wish I could understand why the producers had to kill Ruth Evershed!??? Was it really necessary??? What an extraordinary role she played and how well Ms. Nicola Walker played the role! THANK YOU, MS. WALKER! I would like to thank the producers also for creating a role where a woman is portrayed as extremely intelligent, rational, fair, just, daring, tenacious, sensitive, courageous... I do wish to know why Ruth's character had to be eliminated... was it because the actress's contract expired and she decided not to renew it? And if so, was it just because of money? Will we ever see another female interesting and enchanting character again in this superb and unique British TV show?

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the best action drama - intense but realistic

Author: Carlo from Amalfi
17 May 2012

This is one of the best TV series of its kind. Most spy stories are far-fetched tales of brave heroes who single-handedly save the planet from villains ready the blow up the whole world, and of course they do it all by themselves, by sleeping with beautiful women, jumping from 50 metre tall buildings, killing an army of villains with just one revolver, etc etc etc - think of the 007 and the Mission Impossible movies, for example.

This is way more realistic. Of course there are some holes in the plot, but in general this TV series tends to be about team work by a group of ordinary people who happen to work for MI5, and whose work, in fact, takes its toll on their private lives. The actors of this TV series will plant bugs in a house, try to infiltrate terrorist cells, do intelligence work etc all to stop the villain in each episode, but it is all quite realistic: there isn't a computer analyst that can retrieve everyone's school records from 50 years ago in 10 seconds, like in Criminal Minds, nor unrealistic heroes of the kind played by Sean Connery, Tom Cruise, etc. Nonetheless, or, actually, because of this, the stories are never banal and, in fact, most episodes are mini-thrillers: you think you figured it all out but only in the last ten minutes do you realise that you, in fact, hadn't.

Another aspect I really appreciated is that it doesn't try to portrait security services as the 'good guys' against the 'bad guys' who simply 'hate us for our freedoms'. In many episodes of the show, for example, the motives of the villains are related to things like war atrocities committed by Britain and by Nato. You will hardly find any of that in American shows. Take '24', for example: that show is all about 'us' vs 'them', about how the end justifies the means, and about how it is right to torture prisoners, etc. Spooks is entirely different, which is one of the many reasons it is one of the best TV series of its kind, ever.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not only my favourite BBC series but also one of my favourites ever

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
10 November 2011

I love a good series, and especially one that grabs you in just from the word go and thrills you. Spooks does exactly that. I watched it right from the first episode, being intrigued by what it aimed for but not expecting it to be as good as it was, and I have been a faithful fan ever since.

The acting is definitely a high point. Rupert Penry Jones, Hermione Norris(one of those actresses who brings everything to her roles no matter the overall outcome of the show/drama), Miranda Raison and Matthew McFadyen also gave wonderful performances. But as of late, the revelation has been Peter Firth, Harry is a very interesting character and as of now the heart of the series without dominating too much that we don't care for anyone else and much more of one than you'd think.

Firth handles the brooding, gruff persona brilliantly. The cast are helped by a vast majority of things. The characters have depth and are actually intriguing, I see great characters who you identify with and keep identifying with, I see characters that are interesting to start with but lose something later on or I even see characters that are little more than cardboard cutouts. The characters of Spooks from start to finish, yes even in the secondary characters(which my previous point was mainly referring to), fit in the first category.

The writing is also wonderful, the idea at the start was always an interesting angle and the writing explores this in an intelligent manner, without feeling formulaic. The story lines are always thrilling and well-constructed, while I also love the stylish filming, crisp editing, assured direction and authentic sound quality.

All in all, an amazing series, one of my favourites. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Absolute magic

Author: shinner_ptbe from United Kingdom
29 March 2007

This is my favourite show ever its so tense and exciting and you do actually learn stuff about mi5 absolute 100/10 in my mind but i always seem to find it always about Foreign terrorists but that is only a slight problem i wait for the week to come round just so i can watch this I'm so hooked. I hope they make many more series to come and i have also heard from an online encyclopedia that there is going to be a spin off series shown on BBC 3 called rogue spooks apparently about a set off agents who do not follow the rule book also it leaves you on a cliffhanger at the end of the series. There is most of the time always a bit on the episode were there is a countdown timer or something similar to do a certain thing. its absolute magic

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

After 32 eps they still manage to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Author: Alicepire from Australia
13 October 2005

There are many things i love about Spooks i love how every episode the quality is so good i find myself always going 'oh my dear god no they cant do that!!' after 32 eps they still manage to keep me on the edge of my seat. they have gotten rid of 6 or 7 main main characters, i think they're up to their 2nd or 3rd dream team. and still the characters make me care. this isn't like just some TV show where all you care about is the main character and you don't care what happens to the bad guys or the place where they work or the values they uphold. spooks makes you understand and care about every side of the argument and every person arguing. you see some of the motivations behind Islamic extremism, you see the personal side of militant pro lifers, you feel sorry and really care for the families of hard line racists. they manage to give you a glimpse into the personal lives of spies without turning it into a soap. they show you just enough information so you could see how hard it would be to be a spy and not even be able to tell your parents what you do for a living. at your own funeral they cant say who you really were and what you really died doing. your own kids don't even know your real name. you cant go on a date easily. can you resist the temptations of the power of your new job? you are working in a place where every day you can be anything and anyone you can have anything (that fits in the legend you are using) and you will end up doing everything. you get an idea of the bureaucratic difficulties, where to draw the line, are defending the country or if you're just defending the rep of a political party?

everything is researched so well that you can see it actually happening, of course details have to be changed so as not to tell terrorists how to do it. but you really get the sense that out there somewhere everything you see (except the pods :P ) could be real and could be happening.. although obviously in real life it takes a lot longer than one hour to save the world.

and you care about everyone in the office. from the clinical staff (helen, Sam) to the analysts (the wonderful Ruth), the tech guys (Colin and Malcolm), the head of sections (Tom, Tessa, Adam),the head of dept (Harry) and the spies who go out there (Zoe, Danny and if you haven't seen the first few seasons i won't ruin it for you by saying who else).

the production values are high. the scripting, editing, directing, casting, acting, lighting, sets.. just everything is excellent and better than anything else i have seen on TV. as an audience member you are always treated like an adult. nothing is dumbed down. and nothing is spelt out.

I really REALLY recommend this show and give it 4billion out of 10. bring on more spooks!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Spy series

Author: Sulla-2 from United Kingdom
23 August 2005

I think I have seen most of the episodes from the 3 series but not in the correct order. This is not that important as only about 5 to 10% of each episode contains continuous storyline.The staff of MI5 are certainly not James Bond. They are just dedicated individuals doing a very important job for a modest salary. Although they are involved in dangerous work, they are not portrayed as any kind of super hero. In one episode in series 3 Danny and Zoe are instructed to kill a particularly dangerous individual and find it very difficult to carry out the act. My favourite is Zoe, played by the fantastic Keeley Hawes.However, I should add that all the regular cast are excellent. I would have liked to have seen more of Hugh Laurie in his role as head of MI6.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Clever and fairly entertaining

Author: davideo-2 from United Kingdom
13 August 2003

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

The series follows a group of young MI5 agents as they battle and unfoil various unwholesome activities by mysterious enemies.It's a cool idea for the BBC to produce,with slick production design and flashy action.The central cast,Matthew MacFadyen,David Oyelowo and Keeley Hawes are well cast and have a good rapport between each other.Each episode has a story which manages to be clever,well written and gripping all in one and you are really required to use your brain and pay attention to everything going on.It's perhaps a little too humourless and straight faced,but generally speaking,this goes a long way in improving the generally dire state of British TV.Love that tagline too.****

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