The series, which began on the BBC in 2002, follows a team of Spooks (spies) on their missions to keep England safe from harm. MI-5, or The Security Service, is a British Intelligence Agency akin to the CIA or FBI. It’s interesting to see national security from the British perspective. Here we see America and the political climate through the eyes of another superpower, as MI-5 tests their relationship with the CIA in Episode 9.6. The series seems much less about war and much more about protecting a country and its people from harm. It’s amazing how often these heroic agents save the Western World from extinction; makes you wonder what’s really going on out there. Not only does MI-5 manage to hide conspiracies from the public, but they often hide it from their friends and enemies as well.
Picking up in the wake of tragedy in Volume 9, the members of MI-5 attempt to get back into their crime fighting routine. But Sit Harry Pierce (Peter Firth) is no longer satisfied with his life as head of MI-5 counter-terrorism division. Throughout Episode 9.1, Harry toys with the idea of leaving the agency and retiring for good, but by the end of the episode, he’s back in the game, and the season is in full force. By the end of the episode, a new mystery unfolds: who is Lucas North? We soon learn that this is not the true identity of the man fans have grown to love in the past few seasons. Throughout the season we learn the truth about Lucas’ frightening past.
While Harry is the constant on MI-5, after ten years on the air, a show’s cast of characters is sure to rotate. MI-5 has repeatedly killed off and replaced important characters, so that throughout the series there have been numerous protagonists, heartthrobs and heroes, with Harry at the helm throughout. In Volume 9, we’re introduced to several new faces. There’s the handsome new recruit Dimitri, whose boyish charm gets him far. Of course the bureau’s heartthrob Lucas North (or is he??) has his fair share of new flames, but the one that sticks is Maya Lahan, Lucas’ lost fiancé from the past. It becomes clear that Lucas will do anything and everything to be with the woman he loves once again.
While none of the acting in the show is particularly impressive, it doesn’t need to be. The show is driven by Alias-like action and suspense, rather than acting. Every actor holds his own, but no one really shines. They each play the typical spy role well enough, but what truly brings us into their world of espionage is the writing. Each story has a concrete plot of its own, with threads of characters’ pasts woven through to move the storyline along as a whole. The writing is particularly notable in Episode 9.3, when a father and daughter risk everything to prevent a toxic substance from killing masses. Creator David Wolstencroft and his team of writers do a wonderful job of crafting smart, politically relevant stories full of intrigue.
Once you start watching MI-5, you’ll be sucked right into their world of crime, intrigue, and of course romance. Twists and turn abound, and the show keeps you on your toes. The show has entertained audiences for a decade and shows no signs of stopping. Once you’ve watched Volume 9, go back, start at the beginning and get sucked into MI-5.
Nothing more than 8 episodes of Volume 9 on 3 discs.
"Mi-5: Volume 9" is on sale July 12, 2011 and is not rated. Action, Television. Directed by Edward Hall, Julian Holmes, Michael Caton Jones, Paul Whittington. Written by David Wolstencroft, Ben Richards, Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent. Starring Nicola Walker, Peter Firth, Richard Armitage, Sophia Myles.