Return of the Spooks

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Return of the Spooks Empty Return of the Spooks

Message  Matthieu le Sam 3 Oct 2009 - 13:56

Par Ian Wylie (Manchester Evening News, 8 octobre 2004).
TEARS were spied when Matthew Macfadyen bid farewell to an award-winning TV drama. "At the beginning I didn't think in terms of how long it would go on for," says the actor, who returns in a third series of Spooks (BBC1, 9pm Monday). .

"It was very sad to go," recalls the man who plays MI5 spy Tom Quinn. "Inevitably, you feel quite proprietorial and think 'how can they carry on without me?' But it really was time to go."

The new season opens at the same point the last episode ended. Accused of assassinating the Chief of the Defence Staff, suspected traitor Tom shot his boss Harry, ran to a beach and swam out to sea.

Still pleading his innocence, can he thwart a plot to seize control of Britain's homeland security service?

"He comes back solely to clear his name and be avenged," adds Matthew, about the character who is written out of the new series after the first few episodes.


The Glasgow-born leading man fell in love with co-star Keeley Hawes (Zoe) while making the initial Spooks series. The couple are expecting their first child together in December.

Also, having filmed the role of Mr Darcy in a new big screen version of Pride And Prejudice, he knew it was the end of the road for Tom.

"He's pretending to be a good spy, but he's kidding himself. He can't be cold and switch off. He makes errors and can't do his job anymore. He knows the game's up."

Executive producer Simon Crawford Collins comments: "Tom Quinn's departure gave us an opportunity to show how people get mangled by the job. In this world, everyone is expendable. The MI5 spy-processing machine ensures that someone new can be sitting at your desk the next day.

"The production team weren't so resilient, though, when it came to Matthew's departure. Most of them have worked on all three series and watching his last few scenes, there wasn't a dry eye in the house."


In his place comes Adam Carter, played by Rupert Penry-Jones. Recruited from MI6, he's a husband and a father with a wife called Fiona (Olga Sosnovska), also in the intelligence services, and a child, who doesn't know what his parents do for a living.

Former Cambridge Spies star Rupert - once linked to Kylie Minogue - is also about to play the Duke of Grimani in a new production of Casanova for BBC3, partly filmed in and around Manchester.

He enjoyed the Spooks experience. "Coming into the show, I felt like an outsider. Adam's the same. The cast were like a family. I was the new boy, and it felt like that in the scripts, too."

Ex-Blackadder favourite, Tim McInnery, is another fresh face. He appears as the sinister Oliver Mace, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, who has ambitions to take over MI5.

Guest artists later in the series include Lord Of The Rings actor Andy Serkis, who provided the voice and movements for Gollum. He plays a rock star called Riff whose child is kidnapped.

The rest of the Spooks team return, including David Oyelowa as Danny and Peter Firth as Harry, the recovering head of the counter-terrorism department.

"You never used to hear about MI5," says Peter. "The services have entered the public consciousness far more in the last two years.

"I'm sure life at MI5 isn't exactly how we portray it. We glamorise it, but we provide a window into a world that is effectively secret and closed. We humanise it, give a face to the faceless."


Screened in America under the name M-I5, Spooks has captured the imagination of viewers in Australia, Russia, Israel, Iran, Japan and Latin America.

"This show has always reflected the world around us, now more than ever," says executive producer Jane Featherstone. "Since Iraq, intelligence is even more in the forefront of everyone's consciousness.

"We spend a lot of time thinking about what might happen and sometimes we predict the future too well. We had to re-think a storyline about interrogation techniques in the wake of what happened to prisoners in Iraq.

"In fact, there are some truths that we think audiences wouldn't believe if we turned them into drama."
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