Spooks: Season 1 [DVD] 
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Features all six episodes from season one.
John Le Carre for the internet generation, Spooks is a smart combination of TV cop show and George Smiley-esque espionage shenanigans that pulls no punches in its depiction of an MI5 team fighting a covert war on the streets of London. This is adult, post-watershed drama clearly inspired by the hard-hitting reality style of US shows such as 24 and The Sopranos. The strong ensemble cast is led by charismatic Matthew MacFadyen as Tom Quinn, star spy of "Section B", the counter-terrorism branch headed by Harry Pearce (Peter Firth). Keeley Hawes, David Oyelowo and tough-cookie Jenny Agutter make up the team. And as with its British predecessors, Cracker and Prime Suspect, Spooks also delves fearlessly into the characters' turbulent personal lives, here given an added twist by their constant need to deceive even those they love.
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
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1) The three disks are not numbered so its a lottery to find the disk you want. This is made more difficult by
2) A most unintuitive top menu system which had me messing about between PC and DVD player trying to figure out how to actually get to the episodes, and
3) The disks include some "interactual" software which wants to load itself on to your PC. No way!!
Hopefully, when I actually get to watch an episode, it will be worth all the aggravation, but until then, two stars is all I give it.
The one star reviews here are absolute nonsense, stick with it, It just gets better and better. Great stories, well produced and written and at the time the stories were very current and topical, and many of them stand up today. Looking forward to seeing the movie.
The content? Well it's 5 stars, of course and I've only knocked one off for the stupidity described above.
Fast-paced, great, believable characters, gripping plots. Brilliant stuff.
In short, Spooks is a show about MI-5 and the operations of Section-D the Anti-Terrorism division of the Security Services.
There is not much to dislike about this show but I will start off with the negative and then proceed to the largely positive aspects. The main gripe I have is that only around 8-10 people seem to work permanently in Section-D and between them they deal with all major security threats to the United Kingdom. Having said this I appreciate that within a TV show they need to focus on a certain number of characters and this is the main reason for this.
Overall this is a great show! Matthew MacFadyen and Peter Firth as Tom Quinn and Harry Pearce respectively are the two stand out actors in my opinion, with MacFadyen bringing a mostly serious but occasionally humorous persona to the show while Firth as the Head of Section is the authoritative and sarcastically funny figure. Harry Pearce is clearly not written as a funny man but at times some of his lines are just downright hilarious "You're a little s***e Derek, have I ever told you that?" "You've implied it enough times Harry"
The supporting characters of Danny and Zoe both come across very well and to be honest despite what I mentioned earlier I cannot find anything bad to say about this series!
Watch it! NOW!
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