Arriving on the big screen four years later, Spooks: The Greater Good does little to make the case for its existence
“You can do good, or do well”
Arriving some four years after the end of the TV series, Spooks: The Greater Good was an ill-advised coda to the Spooks experiment, leaving writers Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent at the helm despite the decidedly mixed results of their ascension to head writers on the show (poor Lucas).
Cinemas are hardly calling out for new spy franchises yet there’s an added sense of ‘what’s the point’ as along with the four year wait, there’s a story with no real connection to the 10 series that preceded it, and a cast sprinkled with the characters who survived but which prioritises brand new ones.
So once again it becomes the Harry show and Kit Harington plays Will Holloway, yet another (former) agent with whom he shares a tangled personal history. And as Harry (Peter Firth) goes off-grid (as anyone in their mid-60s would naturally do) they have to work through traitorous levels that go to the very top.
Trouble is, it doesn’t feel new, or look it. Story-wise it’s sub-standard Spooks, visually it’s sub-Bourne and Bond. Its USP in the legacy of the TV show but though Lara Pulver and Geoffrey Streatfeild are allowed to reprise their role from the last series, they’re nothing more than cannon fodder. Eleanor Matsuura and Elliot Levey are good though, as is the ever-excellent Jennifer Ehle, even as she suffers the indignities of a key plot retread from Series 9 Episode 1. Best avoided.