Feed on Posts or Comments 17 July 2018

TV newlight on 24 Dec 2007 10:16 am

Spooks: shock the unshockable

Spooks ended its sixth season with a bang, which is what it has been doing every season. When a fast-pacing, shocks-stuffing series enters its sixth season, it’s much more difficult to provide more surprises. The strategy seems to have one story throughout the season. The story, that Iran is acquiring nuclear weapon technology, is quite timely, as usual. Spooks has distinguished itself with topical and sensitive storylines, which wins a lot of admiration. In the previous season, Adam Cater has to decide weather or not to shoot a terror suspect on spot, on the crowded street, who is believed about to blow himself and bystanders off. Of course Cater’s decision is the correct one, fully vindicated afterwards. It is darker and uglier in real life.

But I feel it’s kind of lost the focus a bit at the beginning of the season. And gosh, MI5 is so seriously short of hands. Everyone in the section D has to do everything, even Harry has to kidnap someone, and a retired officer and a noisy journalist have to be called into action. They also seems spending a large amount of screen time trying to save each other. In such genre, it is most interesting and intense when the personal safety and integraty of the protagists are threatened. However when it happens too often, it loses the power of shock, only lookes careless.

Fortunately it’s back to form in episode 6, when Adam and Rose try and fail to stop the handing over of the nuclear bomb trigger on the plane. However in the next episode, when some white extremists hijack the stagged live Question Time type of show, it’s just a bit silly really. The plot has never quite recovered after that I’m afraid, although in the last episode, it comes back, albeit with the old trick – the personal destiny of our protagonists.

Having seen the stranger than fiction reality of the war on terror, and enjoyed many similar shows with twisted plot and morality, the audiences are almost immuned to any kind of horror. By turning to the establishment and to each other, Spooks managed to shock the unshockable once again.

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