To mark the end of the eighth series of BBC One’s spy drama Spooks, we asked you to vote for the character you thought had the most shocking death scene on the show.
With a landslide 49% of the votes, CultBox‘s users voted for Helen’s death by deep fat fryer in the show’s second episode back in 2002 – a scene which drew the highest number of complaints that year to the Broadcasting Standards Commission…
#1: Helen Flynn (Lisa Faulkner)
It was the surprise death of Junior Case Officer Helen in the show’s second ever episode that established Spooks‘ “nobody’s safe” reputation for killing off main cast members. Under interrogation with Tom after being discovered as spies, Helen’s head was dipped into a deep fat fryer when Tom refused to divulge information.
#2: Colin Wells (Rory MacGregor)
The last character anyone ever expected to die, technician Colin’s death in Series 5 was all the more shocking for the loneliness of his final moments, hanged from a tree in a forest by the SIS during their attempted coup d’état, leaving fellow fellow technician Malcolm Wynn-Jones distraught.
#3: Ben Kaplan (Alex Lanipekun)
Another minor character, former journalist Ben had only been in the show for one and half series when his throat was brutally cut with a garrotte wire by FSB mole Connie James before he could warn the team of her true identity in the final episode of Series 7. Upon the discovery of this death, Harry recommends to the Home Secretary that Ben be given a Distinguished Service Order.
#4: Adam Carter (Rupert Penry-Jones)
Section Chief Adam met his end at the start of Series 7, having previously survived a nervous breakdown and being shot. After realising he couldn’t defuse a car bomb intended to attack a Remembrance Sunday service, Adam drove the car to an open area to avoid any fatalities, but the bomb exploded as he got out.
#5: Jo Portman (Miranda Raison)
Another unlucky former journalist, Jo is the only spook to have been killed by another member of the team. When a terrorist cell’s leader reaches for a detonator in Series 8, Jo is shot by Ros after becoming caught in a position where a fatal shot is needed to bring the situation to an end – but the bullet has to pass through her as well as the terrorist.
Just missing out on the Top 5 were Danny Hunter’s execution during a terrorist hostage situation in Series 3, Fiona Carter being shot by her ex-husband and dying in Adam’s arms in Series 4, Zaf Younis being killed after being kidnapped and tortured in Series 6, and Connie James dying while defusing a nuclear bomb after being arrested as an FSB mole in Series 7.
Watch an interview with Richard Armitage…