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All eight episodes from the eighth series of the BBC's political espionage drama following a team of officers in MI5. In this series, head of MI5's D-section Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) has been kidnapped, and the rest of the team must race to solve the mystery of his disappearance before it is too late.
Maybe series 8 is not quite up to the sublime standard of series 7, but I still think it is one of the best things on TV and well worth the price of the DVD. However, the DVD extras are disappointing, with just 2 audio commentaries (which I found really boring) with the producer and director and two brief (and also in my opinion not very interesting) featurettes of the Colleville explosion and Walker's murder.
The only thing that let the series itself down though in my opinion was the woeful miscasting and dreadful writing of the character of Sarah Caulfield. The woman playing her couldn't do an American accent if her life depended on it (and her acting was not much better in my opinion)! It was almost painful. However, I am not sure if it was entirely her fault or to do with the directions she was given by the writers/director maybe. Either way, her character was very 2 dimensional in my opinion and while I was watching it I kept feeling there should have been some extra (but ultimately, missing) scenes, or maybe some scenes which should have appeared in a different order, which might have made her part - which was fairly important to the central plot - more coherent.
But other than her, the other actors, especially Richard Armitage and Hermione Norris were excellent as always, and the series as a whole - episodes 4 and 7 especially - was a great 8 hours of entertainment.
I'm probably being a little unfair with such a mediocre rating, but I'm comparing it with previous series. There will be many people, particularly those who have not followed earlier series who will think this is fine, great even. But for me, series 8 had changed, and was `Spooks by numbers'. It lacked the earlier tension and stretched implausibility to the unbelievable. It was almost as though the writers were just going through the motions. Dare I say, that for me it was almost boring. That's not to say there isn't any tension, the final episode almost did the series justice, but it still didn't grab me as previous series did.
The (usual) demise of characters is tedious to the extreme. And in this series the death of one character was so banal as to be laughable. With a stoic nod of the head she gives assent to a colleague opening fire on the villain, knowing that the shot will pass through and kill her. Yeah right. Sorry, but the characters have become single dimensional and empathy with them has been lost.
An opening episode has a collection of the worlds most powerful men and women taken hostage by a motley bunch of amateur terrorists? To the rescue is Harry's small band, who deftly persuades the baddies that it's not a good idea. I almost yawned.
There is a thread running through of a dastardly global conspiracy by a massively powerful and influential group called `Nightingale' (in the 60s it was SPECTRE). If they were as powerful as was made out then I'm sure Harry's heroes wouldn't prove any threat to them. But the writers demand we suspend disbelief and go along with the action, however unlikely!
As occurred with the earlier reappearance of Ros from the dead, how can Ruth suddenly reappear, without apparent comment?Read more ›
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bought to complete the collection-series dipped around this point and for unknown reasons didnt get to see all of them so can now re-evaluate......series 10 finished it in style-nothing on tv since to rival it apart rfom Homeland
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As Spooks hurtles into series eight many words could sum up its latest DVD outing. Inconsistent. Transitional. Frustrating. And for the extras, well, perfunctory is a good place to start.
The series opens at breakneck speed; Harry is missing - possibly dead - and in the course of finding him the team enjoys a welcome return of an old friend while another decides to retire from the grid. Spooks thrives on characters changing, whether of their own volition or not, and another long-standing member leaves later in the series.
Once again there's a thread running throughout the series, this time there's a sinister conspiracy called Nightingale. It's kind of like Yalta from series six, but with different players and less of a twist in the final episode. From the moment the conspiracy's mentioned it's obvious that Lucas' love interest is involved. Sarah Caulfield - who possesses a wandering accent - has few redeeming features but does at least hurl someone to their death, which is handy to remember her by. Entertainingly, on one of the commentaries when the discussion turns to whether Sarah Caulfield went down well the disinterested answer is `I don't really know'.
Ros, the highlight of several series, has a disappointing presence this time around. Played excellently by Hermione Norris the character has largely lost the ice cold humour that distinguished her from the rest of the team. It isn't until the final episode that the humour returns in force. The final episode is a return to form, with an ending that evokes the `did they make it out ok?' feeling of old. But too often in the series Ros, Harry and Jo seem like little more than devices to move the Lucas/Sarah story along.