During a nine-year run on BBC1, Spooks thrilled viewers with the morally conflicted escapades of members of Section D of MI5, including one gruesome death sequence involving a deep fat fryer that sparked a deluge of complaints.
The show concluded in 2011 with the death of a pivotal character, effectively bringing down the curtain on the high-stakes spy game.
After four years in dramatic limbo, familiar faces return in this glossy big-screen mission penned by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, who co-wrote the majority of episodes of the final two series.
There’s a comforting air of familiarity about this Bourne Identity-style caper that serves as a reboot of the franchise and wedges the door ajar for further assignments, presuming lead actor Kit Harington can be wooed away from Game Of Thrones.
Director Bharat Nalluri, who was closely associated with the TV version, maintains a brisk pace and orchestrates a couple of nail-biting action sequences.
Sir Harry Pearce (Peter Firth), Head of Counter-Terrorism at MI5, oversees the handover of terrorist Qasim (Elyes Gabel) to the CIA.
The transfer, via the traffic-clogged roads of London, reaches a standoff when Qasim’s gun-toting henchmen attack the police escort.
Harry makes the bold decision to avoid bloodshed by releasing the prisoner.
Qasim narrowly escapes a subsequent pursuit by MI5 agent June Keaton (Tuppence Middleton) and her partner.
Soon after, Harry vanishes without trace, shouldering the blame for the debacle.
Dame Geraldine Maltby (Jennifer Ehle) enlists Harry’s protege Will Crombie (Kit Harington) to track down his mentor.
The plot twists and turns, and threatens to tie itself in knots, but thankfully unravels with a satisfying dose of treachery.
As Harry reminds his idealistic protege, ‘You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later, they make you choose.’