Lockdown TV Review: Spooks Series 3

It’s all change at Thames House as Series 3 of Spooks sees the original core team leave the security service one way or another 

“We cannot have another Tom Quinn”

I’d forgotten just monumental this series of Spooks was, as first Matthew MacFadyen’s Tom took his leave after getting a conscience, then Keeley Hawes’ Zoe was shunted off to Chile to evade justice and then David Oyelowo’s Danny shuffled off this mortal coil thanks to bloody Fiona and an annoyed Iraqi terrorist. Rupert Penry-Jones was drafted in as Adam, a friendly MI6 type who fits the Tom mould perfectly, though we could have done without his wife (more of that anon).

But even besides all the personnel shifting, the writing is shit-hot in this season, especially when the focus is on the morality of security service actions. Targeted assassinations on North Sea ferries, honeytrapping members of the Turkish mafia, these are meaty issues with some real consequences for all concerned. 

Nicola Walker-ometer
Now firmly established in the team, attention turns to her trying to get some, in the most Ruth-like possible way, ie stalking someone illegally and sharing a carbonara with a traitorous ex-colleague, this is prime Ruth territory.

Top 5 guest spots
Barnaby Kay has to be top of this list, as the target of Ruth’s would-be romantic intentions, and also as Nicola Walker’s real-life partner too.
2 Ian McDiarmid‘s sleeper agent, the consequences of whose activation plants the seeds for Tom’s departure is a truly compelling character.
3 Who would even get Harriet Walter in as Deep Throat for about 30 seconds of screentime? Spooks that’s who.
4 Penny Downie and Daniel Evans are great value for money as opposing counsel in Zoe’s trial.
5 Zubin Varla’s Iraqi terrorist nails the genuine menace to make the final episode properly Spooks-worthy.

Saddest death
It has to be Danny’s sacrifice so that Fiona could live (look how well that turned out…)

Most WTF moment
Much as I love Richard Harrington, allowing his Will to bulldoze his way into a retrospective happy ending with Zoe in South America seemed a little unlikely

BIggest betrayal
James Laurenson’s Attorney General screwing Zoe over is an effective shock and allowed for a departure that I don’t think anyone would have predicted

Probably Harry, keeping an even keel for the team in the face of the major upheaval of losing 3 OG members

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