Lockdown TV Review: Spooks Series 6

AKA the one that doesn’t work and the one that you should avoid if you’re feeling angsty about the current situation – approach Spooks Series 6 with caution

“The only option will be national quarantine and burial pits”

Series 6 is one of the trickier ones to watch right now so be warned – it opens with a two-parter called ‘The Virus’ which makes for a eerily chilling watch. It’s also a curious season as whilst the introduction of a series-long storyline – Iran seeking to gain nuclear capability – for the first time seems like it should work no problem, the reality doesn’t hang together quite as well as it ought.

The major level conspiracy theory takes too long to click into gear, and never really reaches the high-stakes territory it needs to hit home hard. The ‘mole in MI-5’ thread doesn’t pay off convincingly, recruiting another journalist off the street tests the patience (sorry Ben) and where one fake-out death of a major character might be permitted, two in the space of three episodes feels lazy. A major disappointment following the highs of Series 5.

Nicola Walker-ometer
Absolute zero, it’s as if she never existed. Fucking Harry.

Top 5 guest spots
1 You might’ve predicted Matthew Cottle would get more to do than (mostly) wordlessly spread a virus unwittingly but no dice 
2 Claire Cox‘s shadowy French agent Magritte pronounces espionage beautifully
3 Matthew Marsh is always good value for money and his CIA man Bob Hogan is no different
4 John Lynch‘s IRA terrorist Davie King is ferociously good
5 Proof positive of the dangers of going on Question Time, Angela Bruce‘s Ruth Chambers makes a vivid impact

Saddest death
Truth be told, Rafa Jaffrey’s Zaf got a bit of a raw deal in the writing stakes, never allowed to make his character at all memorable but the manner of his demise here, and its revelation, is agonising and ultimately moving. 

Most WTF moment
So much of Episode 8. No disrespect to Peter Firth but not even he can overcome the ridiculousness of putting Harry in the field. Also, who knew paralysis was so easy to overcome. And if you’ve just faked your own death, wouldn’t you make your exit a little more discreetly…

BIggest betrayal
Jo’s hairdressers. How could you?

How could you not love the wonderfully no-nonsense Connie, arriving with lines like “I haven’t just spent my time in Norfolk drinking gin and plotting the Murdoch family’s downfall”.

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