Hey, UK – Are you ready for some Spooks (MI5)?


Series 9 Spooks (MI5) spoiler alert! DO NOT READ if you haven’t seen the explosive end of series 8…..

To the lucky folks in the UK, filming for season 9 of MI5 (Spooks) has come to a close and the season premiere broadcast is set for tonight, Monday, 20 September, on BBC One. Richard Armitage, who brilliantly plays Lucas North, has hinted at some interesting developments with his character. For those playing along on in the U.S., looks like season 9 will not premiere on public television stations until approximately April 2011.

For those that have followed the first eight seasons and the edge-of-your-seat lives of Harry, Tom, Zoe, Danny, Adam, Jo, Ros, Malcolm, Ruth, Fiona and Zaf, I’m already in must see TV mode when Armitage says, “This year, the storylines feel very politically current but we also learn a lot more about the team,” he teased. “Who are these people, what lies beneath the surface, who are they true to, what secrets do they hide in order to do their jobs? Deception and betrayal are key.”

In this interview with the BBC, Armitage talks about new characters joining the Grid, and the Government and then goes on to say, “Of course there are also exciting and intriguing stories of the week but the overall series arc really unravels the character of Lucas North and blows his whole world apart. His loyalty and his future at MI5 are all under the microscope.”

For those in the UK, we’d love a review of the premiere episode of season 9 after you see it. Please post comments as to what we can expect here in the US when if comes to public television in 2011.  Thanks.

  • Juanita Josel

    When will Season 8 of MI-5?

    • @Juanita: Most public television stations that air MI5 have broadcast season 8. For KERA, we ended it in August. Since there will be some lag time between season 8 and 9, I will, most likely, try to re-air season 8 leading up to the premiere of season 9 when that becomes available. Not sure what other stations plans might be.

  • Sonia L

    Hi Guys

    You have so much to look forward to!!! The first episode was definitely explosive! Spooks (as we know it) is back with a bang!!
    I dont want to spoil it for you but they have tempted us with the knowledge that we do not know the real “Lucas”. We see a side of Harry that makes you realise he is not a robot. Ruth is brilliant as usual … I think I might it again tonight!!

    • @Sonia: So jealous. Cannot wait to get here. We’re in the middle of “premiere week” here on the commercial broadcast networks and I still contend Spooks (MI5) is the best show on television. The week to week knowledge that anything can happen and the consistent refreshing of the cast has made it what it is. Feel free to keep us posted on upcoming episodes and what to look out for. Thanks again.

  • Andy

    Well
    The first episode of series 9 was BRILLIANT, unfortunately, the end of series 8 was the demise of Roz….She will not be forgotten.
    Storyline was FAB, its amazing what happens at sea…there are a few twists before you know who is actually a good guy,very gripping and lucas’s world is set too become a ticking time bomb..Where do his loyalties lie.???????????
    If you cannot see series 9 yet… try going to
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/spooks and see if you can watch on i-player…

    • Andy: Thanks for the update. I think most of us had guessed the fate of Ros after seeing the end of series 8. That’s the beauty of the overall series. You never know what’s going to happen and when. Thanks for the iplayer link. Unfortunately, doesn’t work as of yet in the U.S. Will have to live vicariously through your reviews each week if you have a chance. Thanks again.

  • david bryan

    MI-5 is the best show on American TV

  • Steve B

    Why have they changed the name for the States? It sounds a bit silly just calling it ‘MI5’ – like if we renamed The Wire ‘Police’.

    • @Steve: My understanding is that when it was released in the States years ago on the A&E Network, the title was changed for two reasons. Mainly, the one fact that the word “Spook” is, historically, associated with a racist slang term in the United States for African-Americans. And, two, it was felt that that the term was more associated in the U.S. with the CIA. There was a very brief discussion when the series moved to PBS stations a couple of years ago as to whether or not it should be returned to the original title as it was in the UK, but it was quickly shelved in favor of MI-5 for the main reason above and also there is a great deal of name recognition in the U.S. as it now stands with MI5 due to the strong home video market. Hope this explains it.

  • David H

    Episode 2 of series 9 was screened and I am not going to spoil any plotlines apart from confirming Sonia’s comment above. Indeed, Richard Armitage himself (actor who plays Lucas North) said that this series will have revelations concerning Lucas.

    However, I will tell you that they told the overall story from the viewpoint of three different characters. So you saw the same story again, yet differently, until they drew everything together at the end. I do not recall them using this technique before and although a bit confusing, after a second viewing, it made more sense.

    I think this series is turning out to be one of the best, along with, IMHO, the first or second series.

    • David: Very cool. I love the technique, admitting that it initially is probably confusing, but once you realize what is happening, it’s genius. I remember Steven Moffat doing this in Coupling and it was a great way, especially given the concept of that series, to see this perspective being done. Thanks for the review. Keep it coming, if you can after each week. Would love to get an overall review of season 9 after series end from someone in the UK that has screened. You may have just volunteered yourself.

  • Cindy B.

    Hi Bill,
    Last season MI5 was on Thursday and Saturday nights. I looked at the schedule for this fall season and I only see MI5 on Saturday nights at 11. There are a couple of us on Facebook who don’t want to miss an episode. Could you please clarify the schedule?
    Many thanks…

    • Cindy, what you are seeing now on Saturdays are the remaining episodes from season 8 that have already aired on Thursdays. Because of pledge drive pre-emptions over the last year, the Saturday broadcasts were behind by several weeks from the original Thursday night broadcast. If you watched on Thursdays, you have seen all episodes that exist in the first 8 seasons. If you watch on Saturdays, you will see the same 8 seasons, but it’s just taking several weeks longer to complete. At this point, season 9, which is currently broadcasting in the UK should be available for broadcast in the U.S. in 2011. Hopefully, as early as January 2011, but more likely it will be April. Rest assured, you won’t miss an episode if you have been watching either on Thursdays or Saturdays. Hope this makes sense. I almost confused myself trying to explain.

  • john hathorn

    Can’t find any information on what US channel will be carrying season 9 episodes and when they will start. Please advise.

    • @John: Season 9 will be available on PBS stations nationwide beginning in April 2011. Unfortunately, it being an individual station decision as to acquire the series, not all stations carry. FYI, KERA, Dallas will air Thursdays at 9:00pm beginning April 14. What city are you in and I’ll see what I can find out for you with regards to what station might carry and when based on where you are.

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