Rewatching Series 10 made us realise how much we’re going to miss Spooks.
Towards the end of viewing the final series of the super-slick spy drama we already had an imaginary set of storylines for next year forming. Will Harry cope without Ruth? Who is the reason why is Erin a single parent? Where did Beth disappear to? Can Dimitri finally find his lost personality?
That we cared showed how enjoyable this final run of adventures on the Grid was. In six nicely contained but flowing episodes, Harry takes centre stage like never before, as an old flame who’s now wife of an influential Russian politician comes to the UK as part of a mission to improve links between the countries, something the US of A doesn’t approve of and – hey! – an ex-pal of Harry and his former squeeze is undermining the deal.
But there are more twists and turns: a young Russian agent who may or may not be Harry’s son, a job offer for Ruth that she may not be able to refuse, and goalposts constantly shifting towards the inevitable victory-at-a-cost climax.
Some were disappointed when it was announced Series 10 would be just six episodes, but it works as the pace never lets up and the arc is efficiently played out with little filler.
The look of the series is more cinematic than in previous years and any reduction in budget certainly doesn’t show, with the action scenes as impressive as ever.
The new cast are pretty strong, with Lara Pulver as Erin Watts making a big impression as a tough action girl juggling responsibilities as section head with those of a single parent (something that would have probably been explored more had the series continued). Meanwhile, new tech guy Calum (Geoffrey Streatfeild) is amusingly cocky and insubordinate.
Dimitri (Max Brown) still struggles to make an impression (a hint of backstory would have helped), however, and the likeable Tariq (Shazad Latif) is dumped far too easily. Nevertheless, Simon Russell Beale’s Home Secretary makes you wish this terrific actor was on TV more.
Ultimately Series 10 belongs to Peter Firth and Nicola Walker (more so than ever in the final, heartrending moments), confirming that it is they who held Spooks together and, pushed even more to the fore, elevate the series to a new level. TV producers, cast them together in something again soon, please!
Extras: Two commentaries, from the series’ writers and director, offer a useful insight into the decisions made during the production and how the show is put together. It would have been nice for the cast to be present but at least the two documentaries offer plenty of them.
Spooks’ Top 10 Moments is the best of the two, a list chosen by cast and crew that’s hard to argue with, focusing mainly on character exits and the drama that comes with these powerful scenes (and how Peter and Nicola enjoy their kissing…).
Harry’s Game is mainly interviews about the story arc of Series 10, whilst showing how Harry Pearce has become the bedrock of Spooks. A brief and unspectacular package, but solid enough.
Released on DVD on Monday 28th November 2011 by Universal Pictures UK.
Watch the Series 10 trailer…