Spooks Season 3

** Warning: spoilers abound for Season 3 of Spooks. If you haven't seen the final episode yet, stop reading now. **

Well, the third season of Spooks (BBC1) has now come to an end (remind me to finish that Season 2 DVD review before the year is out), and looking back on it I must say that it has been, when all said and done, a fabulous piece of work. Spooks is, in my opinion, one of less than a dozen television programmes to come out of the UK in the last decade that I can actually say I've honestly enjoyed. While this season has seen the departure of all three of the show's original leads, resulting in unease as somewhat similar but somewhat different replacements were drafted in, the show has maintained its momentum, delivering a number of true stand-out episodes.

Season 3's major coup is the vast improvement to the quality of the show's dialogue, for the most part dispensing with the sanctimonious flag-waving and self-righteousness that often reared its ugly head in the previous two seasons, while delving deeper into the darker side of what it means to be a spy. In this season, all of the main characters find themselves face to face with having to carry out a task that seems to them morally and ethically wrong, whether it be Tom's dilemma over destroying the life of a scientist who finds himself blackmailed into working with MI5, Zoe and Danny's assassination mission against a defector, Danny's increasing horror as he watches his new boss Adam applying sadistic torture techniques to interrogate a prisoner who may in fact know nothing and, in the final episode, Adam being told to choose between the life of his wife Fiona and Danny when they are taken hostage.

Spooks does stretch the limits of the phrase "suspension of disbelief" at times, but when all said and done it is excellent escapism that hits just close enough to real life for it to be meaningful. Roll on Season 4.

Last updated: 19/04/2018 10:49:39

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