The six episodes of the BAFTA Award-winning Series 1 tackle a variety of tough issues, including religious fanaticism, racism, governmental cover-ups and, naturally enough, the lingering shadow of Irish terrorism. Throughout, the show strikes a fine balance between a James Bondian techno-obsession with spy gadgets and more character-based action, with crisp writing and pacey direction that ratchets up the tension a notch further with every episode. The final cliffhanger is an unforgettable TV moment, and one that leaves viewers agog for Series 2.
On the DVD: Spooks, Series 1 is cleverly presented in a three-disc set with specially filmed "cut scenes" instead of a standard menu: interact with the mysterious office intruder to select the different options: interviews, behind-the-scenes documentaries, deleted scenes, character profiles, audio commentaries and more. It's a neat idea, though one that may outstay its welcome after repeated viewings; fortunately it's possible to skip the opening sequence using the chapter forward button and move directly to the main "desk menu". --Mark Walker
But most of all, it gets under your skin. You genuinely care about the characters; every episode is topical, sometimes terrifyingly so. It never ever fails to entertain, every episode ripping along at breakneck pace yet always putting characters before plot. And it doesn't let you switch your brain off: to understand and appreciate, you must watch and listen.
It pulls no punches either. The infamous 'chip fryer' scene is among the most horrifying I have ever seen on television. Yet there's nothing cartoonish or gratuitous about it, which only makes it all the more shocking. And the cliffhanger which closes the series is breathtaking.
The DVD features and packaging are great, although I echo the comments of other buyers: clever though the introduction is, a way to skip straight to the menu would be useful. Aside from that it's faultless.
The 'menu system' is a little peculiar (my father spent about 5 minutes watching it, wondering why the show was so boring!) but as Amazon says, you can skip over all the guff and get straight to the good stuff. And good stuff it is: excellent plots, top-notch acting (including one marvellously cast Hugh Laurie) and believable set-ups all contribute to a fine BBC series. Buy it!
Spooks is quite literally amazing. It is a very intelligent series that relies, and succeeds, on the quality of it's writing and actors. There are some gruesome scenes that shock even those who have watched the Sopranos. Without spoiling it, Episode 2 contains a suprising scene of nail biting, disturbing and horrific horror!!!
Focusing on the lives and day to day routines of MI5 agents, this is a modern, believable and enjoyable series that is sure to run on for many years. With use of quality backmusic, beats, "speeding up" and split screen effects, the quality of of this programme glues you to the screen.
Special features on this DVD include deleted scenes, commentry, scripts, character bios and the usual extras like scene selection etc. A bargain at the listed price!
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys "realistic" Drama/Action. Can't wait for the release of series two on DVD!
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