History Main / Spooks

2nd Mar '14 3:19:23 PM ArenaL5
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''Spooks'' is a series by TheBBC revolving around the work of Section D of MI-5, the UK's Security Service. The show was renamed ''MI-5'' in the USA due to racial connotations and possible confusion over the term "Spooks". The show is notable for its use of SplitScreen as well as NotQuiteDead. It also does not have any credits at the beginning or end, to maintain a pretence of secrecy (the credits are available on the DVD release and its [=BBC3=] "week in advance" airings).

It provoked some controversy over the first series' second episode where a woman was killed by having her head shoved into a deep fat fryer (the victim, played by Lisa Faulkner, was being set up as a major character) and also for one featuring suicide bombers.

The show ended in 2011 after ten seasons. In a show where AnyoneCanDie and the one character who was considered to ''maybe'' have a plot shield has spent the last six weeks being put through the wringer, this made for a very tense finale.

For more information, go [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/spooks/ here]] (Non-UK spoilers) and [[http://www.aetv.com/tv/shows/mi5/mi5_homepage.html here]].

A SpinOff with a YoungerAndHipper cast called ''Series/SpooksCode9'', aired in 2008. Poor critical reception and ratings means it's not likely to be coming back.
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!!This show provides examples of:
* ActorAllusion: [[Series/RobinHood This isn't the first time]] Lara Pulver has taken [[spoiler:Creator/RichardArmitage]]'s job.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The show ends on a particularly bittersweet version of this.
* AnyoneCanDie, KilledOffForReal: all in reference to Lisa Faulkner's frying as well as dozens of other examples. Only one of the original characters remains in the show, although some ex-characters, like Tom, are still alive and kicking (and are brought back sometimes, like Ruth and [[spoiler:Malcolm]]).
** A quick rundown of the dead: [[spoiler:Helen, Danny, Fiona, Colin, Zafar, Ben, Connie, Adam, Jo, Ros, Lucas, Tariq and Ruth.]] Most of their names (plus a few extras) are seen in the final episode on MI5's memorial wall.
** It's theorised that the one character who has been in it since the beginning (Harry) is still in it because the show would lose a lot of viewers if it did; the series seven finale, when he [[spoiler:gets kidnapped by]] [[FanNickname Russian Alan Davies]], was... controversial (even though he was in danger in several season cliffhangers before). In the end, he [[spoiler:survives the finale, albeit even more broken than ever before, and continues working at Thames House.]]
*** Of course, the previous season cliffhangers which put Harry in life-threatening danger had other characters in even more danger - as in, one character appeared to [[DrivenToSuicide drown himself in the ocean]], and another was left bleeding out on the street. [[spoiler:(both survived)]] That and the fact that he wasn't as central to the show then as he was by series seven...
* AppleOfDiscord: Adam tries to do this to a far-right political party in series 4.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Harry, Harry, HARRY. Strangling a Russian hitman half his age with his tie, interrogation technique that would put [[Franchise/MetalGear Revolver Ocelot]] to shame, outthinking Mossad, the CIA, the FSB and sometimes his own Government (sometimes all at the same time), threatening to shoot (and actually shooting) people who have threatened his Grid team...the list goes on.
* BackForTheFinale: Tom Quinn makes a cameo appearance in the final episode of Series 10, hired by Harry as an outside contractor.
* {{Badass}}: Quite a few of the team, but Ros takes the cake.
* BittersweetEnding: It's fair that almost every episode will/has end like this or at least have a touch of it as no matter what victory is achieved by the team there some price to pay.
* BlondeRepublicanSexKitten: Christine Dale.
* BottleEpisode: notably, "I Spy Apocalypse" and "Diana", both based nearly entirely on the grid.
* BreakTheCutie: Oh, Jo. Poor, ''poor'' Jo.
* BritishBrevity: Sort of. Seasons range from 6-10 episodes in length, but each one is a full hour long (with no commercials) and the trope is averted in that the show ended up running for 10 seasons, making it one of the BBC's longest running dramas ever.
* BrokenAce: Tom Quinn. As described by Harry, "one of the best and the brightest." Relied upon by everyone. The team leader. Until, of course [[spoiler: [[MarriedToTheJob his all-consuming job]] [[BreakTheCutie destroyed him emotionally and mentally]], [[SecretIdentityIdentity breaking down his ability to determine morality]], and [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness eventually made him a liability and he had to be decommissioned.]] ]] Considering [[ButtMonkey what he went through]], the outcome [[IKnewIt isn't really very surprising]]. [[spoiler:He reappears briefly in the finale, where it seems he's become an assassin, sent by Harry to take out the man behind Elena's plot]]
** Adam Carter, his replacement, went almost as spectacularly off the deep end after [[spoiler: the death of his wife]].
** And finally, [[spoiler:Harry himself in the finale.]]
* BulletproofHumanShield: Subverted/shown correctly when [[spoiler: Jo Portman]] manages to restrain a terrorist who is trying to blow himself and everyone else up. The only way to avert the explosion is for Ros to shoot the man, however (as both [[spoiler: Jo and Ros]] realise) the bullet will go straight through him [[spoiler: and kill Jo as well; which is what happens.]]
* ClumsyCopyrightCensorship: One episode was temporarily pulled because visible Apple logos on the back of the computers had to be digitally airbrushed out, advertising not being allowed on TheBBC.
* CombatPragmatist: if you're a field agent in MI5 you do not survive long if you don't adopt a "use anything at hand" ideology. However, strong contenders for a prize in this area go to: Adam (for using a set of empty metal shelves to beat up a terrorist), Zaf (for escaping from a cupboard using an opponent's own crowbar and then using it to beat him to a (deservedly) bloody pulp), and Ros (for using a car-jack to immobilise a Mossad assassin before he could call for back-up).
** Ros also kills a Russian dude ''with a fork'' and threatens another one with a pen to the eyeball. In the same episode. [[LadyOfWar Without significantly messing up her hair.]]
* CompromisingMemoirs: The Rose Bed Memoirs.
* TheConspiracy: The second half of the show's run was dominated by season long versions of this.
* ContentWarnings: The show had these during its run on Creator/{{PBS}} in the United States.
* ContinuityNod: The following conversation, from series seven, episode one:
-->'''Lucas''': How'd Tom Quinn work out?\\
'''Harry''': Took early retirement.
* CrapsackWorld - Terrorists around every corner, corruption in every rank of the government, allied governments not giving a damn about Britain's survival, Russia openly slaughtering British agents in the street, and AnyoneCanDie taken to KillEmAll proportions (by this point it's safe to assume that basically all the current major characters will not survive). Oh, and if ''[[ForegoneConclusion Code 9]]'' [[ForegoneConclusion is still canon]], the [[FromBadToWorse London will be destroyed]] sometime after the end of the series.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Several.
* ADeathInTheLimelight: [[spoiler:Fiona]] in "Syria."
* {{Defictionalization}}. Some terminology and catchphrases invented in this series are now used by the real MI-5.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Ros, to an extent in series 8.
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu / MuggingTheMonster: far too many politicians [[RealPolitik try to use]] [[BadassIsraeli Mossad]] [[TooDumbToLive for their own ends]], usually via manipulation and mis-direction One very highly placed lawyer managed to manipulate them into taking out an MI5 op team. [[AlasPoorVillain Let's just say]] [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath that he did not live long.]]
* DirtyCoward: How Adam describes a rival agent [[spoiler: who was helping rogue Mossad agents to take hostage and kill Saudi officials]] for this when he kills himself rather than face the team.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Lucas.]]
** [[spoiler: Subverted with]] Tom in the series two finale. After being forced to shoot Harry while trying to avoid capture, Tom wades into the ocean and lets himself slip below the surface. [[spoiler: Partway through the series three premiere, he resurfaces while trying to track down Herman Joyce to prove his innocence in the assassination of the Chief of the Defence Staff.]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim:
** [[spoiler:Adam's]] death. One of the country's best spies has to drive a bomb-rigged car away from any danger. [[IdiotBall He first puts his seatbelt on to drive the car, and near the end, he does a useless handbrake turn which costs him precious seconds]]. Although the seatbelt sort of makes sense since, if you crash, you'd probably want to be injured as little as possible when the car's rigged with a bomb. Also, to be fair, his goal was preventing civilian casualties; only after the car was stationary in middle of an empty square could he look to saving his own life. He didn't know exactly how long he had left, of if the trigger would be delayed for some reason. Had he jumped out of the side while it was moving, the car might have gone careering into the side of a building and caused civilian casualties.
** [[spoiler:Zaf, who gets tortured to death off-screen]]. A lot of fans were expecting him to show up again in Series 6 since the show rarely ever has the main characters KilledOffScreen (and whenever a hero appears to be in peril, but isn't confirmed dead, [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt they usually pull through]]). So when it was revealed that [[spoiler:Zaf had died after being tortured for days while crying for his mother]], it felt pretty anticlimactic.
* DyingAlone:
** [[spoiler:Adam. The man sacrifices his own life to drive a car bomb away from a crowd of people, only to die by himself before he has time to run away from the car.]]
** [[spoiler:Ben, who bleeds to death in a lonely computer room after his throat was lacerated by Connie]].
** Subverted with [[spoiler:Tariq. After he is poisoned and gets out of the taxi he's riding, he collapses to the ground in the middle of nowhere, seconds away from death. Suddenly, Calum shows up, and ''then'' he dies]].
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler: The death of Ros, though YMMV. Even though she knew it was probably hopeless she stayed with the paralysed Home Secretary, dragging him painstakingly down the corridor despite him insisting that he leave her. Brave, brave woman.]]
** [[spoiler: Connie. Motherfucking. JAMES. "I'm not scared of bombs."]]
* {{Eagleland}} - the US is generally portrayed as a somewhat corrupt country, with [[StrawmanPolitical the CIA not being nice people]]. By series 8 and the time of the Obama administration, this changes somewhat: a new CIA station chief announces "We're the good guys now" before [[spoiler:a [[TheMole duplicitious agent]] tosses him over a balcony to his death.]]
* EnforcedMethodActing - Richard Armitage was actually "waterboarded" for a FlashBack scene, as a desire for MethodActing. The screams were genuine.
* EpisodeOnAPlane: Series 6, episode 6.
* EvilPlan: Frequently, but Angela Wells's masterplan in "Diana" sort of sticks in the memory: [[spoiler:holding the entire Grid hostage overnight with a fake bomb, solely for the purpose of getting access to Buckingham Palace security information, so that a lockdown would be ordered and the Royal Family would be rushed to a secure location which, after getting herself employed there as an electrician ''seven months earlier'', she'd already rigged with plastic explosive INSIDE THE ELECTRICAL WIRING. And then there's a sniper rifle.]]
* ExpansionPackPast: Lucas North.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Juliet Shaw in season 6, in a ShockingSwerve.]]
** [[spoiler:Lucas in series 9]]
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Ros, briefly, in 6.08. Unusual in that ''she'' didn't know the nerve toxin she was injected with wasn't going to be fatal...]]
* FalseFlagOperation: Several. [[spoiler:A group of Mossad agents take over an embassy while pretending to be Al Qaeda, and Harry's kidnappers in the first episode of season 8 pretend to be Islamic terorists to throw [=MI5=] off the scent.]]
** In fact, the majority of the episodes of the fifth series involved these.
* FictionalPoliticalParty: The British Way Party, a FictionalCounterpart to the real-life British National Party.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: {{Invoked}} by Ros when dealing with a Saudi prince in one episode.
* GoodIsNotNice: The MI5 agents are not afraid of doing anything immoral so long as they get the results they want. Harry himself has flat-out authorized the murder of a few people simply because [[AssholeVictim the victims were better off dead]].
* GroinAttack: Ros takes the phrase "put the squeeze on him" VERY literally.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[StarWars Emperor Palpatine]] is a terrorist-trapping chemistry lecturer in his spare time. [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Giles]] joined MI5 after being a Watcher. And apparently [[Series/{{House}} Dr. Gregory House]] was a MI6 chief before he took up medicine.
* HighHeelFaceTurn: Guess which one of the people in [[http://littlespooksthings.tumblr.com/post/8652276316/yalta-is-delicious this]] (incorrectly labeled) shot ends up joining the good guys. Go on, guess.
* HeroicSacrifice (several)
* HeroicBSOD: several agents have issues with maintaining a stable reality. This [[FreakOut does not end well.]]
* HideYourPregnancy: Done with three different actresses in three consecutive seasons:
** Olga Sosnovska (Fiona) in season four
** Nicola Walker (Ruth) in season five
** Hermione Norris (Ros) in season six
** In each case, the actress' pregnancy [[RealLifeWritesThePlot forced her into maternity leave]] before the end of the respective season - although only one ultimately chose to PERMANENTLY exit the show.
* IdiotBall: this may come very ''very'' close to TooDumbToLive, but Danny [[spoiler: sleeping with Harry's DAUGHTER]] was so ''not'' smart. Really really not smart.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Perhaps not literally, but the sniper in Series 9 Episode 5 must come pretty close. [[spoiler: His shot is from 1.67 miles away (beating the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_recorded_sniper_kills#Confirmed_kills_1.2C250.C2.A0m_.281.2C367_yd.29_or_greater previous record]] as specified by Dimitri at 1.5 miles by a sniper in Afganistan), goes directly through a building after he takes the trouble to blow out the windows, and manages to calculate the trajectory of the bullet accurately enough to come with millimetres of his target's head (and even then, he hits him in the shoulder).]] Unfortunatly, directly afterwards, [[spoiler: Lucas comes up behind him and shoots him dead.]]
* InfantImmortality: Subverted at least once a series, except Series 9 and Series 10.
* InterserviceRivalry: With MI6, who the more serious-minded MI5 officers view as dilettante JamesBond wannabes.
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Done with introverted PlayfulHacker Colin, the most benign member of the crew. It even has an edge of ShootTheShaggyDog when two MI6 field agents find Colin, drive him out into the woods, where he momentarily escapes in a desperate chase scene before they catch him, give him his smashed glasses, and then hang him while he is begging them not to.]] [[WhamEpisode Everyone is pretty shocked by this development.]] And [[PayEvilUntoEvil then of course]], [[{{Revenge}} the expected happens]].
** What makes it even more awful is that [[spoiler: Colin, expecting to be shot in the head, relatively calmly told the rogue officers to get it over with. He only starts begging when they take the noose out and he realizes that his death isn't going to be quite as quick as he expected.]]
* LadyDrunk: Connie has elements of the type. Turns poignantly hilarious in her last episode when she demands a bottle of gin [[spoiler: as part of her bomb-disarming kit]].
* LadyOfWar: Ros. This can manifest in HiddenDepths as when you're first introduced to her, she looks and acts [[SophisticatedAsHell too refined and upper class]] to have any of the {{Badass}} fighting skills that the rest of MI5 are trained in. A couple of [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome beaten-up Mossad agents later]] and you're immediately dissuaded from that idea.
* LeaveBehindAPistol: series 5, a failed villain asks for his belt not to be removed when he gets arrested. Harry complies.
* LeftHanging: Series 7 ended with [[spoiler: the entire British Government riddled with Russian moles.]] Though the team got a dossier revealing their identities, the plotline is never mentioned again, not even with a HandWave that it's being handled by another department, like the Series 2 premiere. Also, the fact that [[spoiler:the Kremlin gave the order to set off a suitcase nuke in the heart of London]] has ''zero'' diplomatic consequences, and [[EasilyForgiven the two countries are back to working together like nothing happened several episodes later]].
* LocationDoubling (the exterior of Thames House in Embankment is played by Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden)
* LockedInAFreezer: Whole episodes have taken place in a locked-down grid, most notably "I Spy Apocalypse" and "Diana".
* LongRunnerCastTurnover: The series went through a very large number of cast changes in its run. Only one character, Harry Pearce, appears in all ten seasons and every other position in Section D had at least three different occupants over the show's run.
* TheLostLenore: [[spoiler: Fiona, to Adam]].
* [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Mad Dictator's Beautiful Daughter]]: Ros's introduction more or less fits the trope, although her HeelFaceTurn has less to do with falling for the hero (it takes her several episodes even to ''like'' any of her new colleagues) and more to do with realizing that her father and his cronies are selfish, murderous, and being bankrolled by the Russian mob, and she's far more badass in her own right than the category would tend to suggest.
* MakeTheBearAngryAgain: Season 7. Season 10 offers up a variant combined with RenegadeRussian.
* TheMole [[spoiler:Various [[AcceptableTargets Americans and MI6 agents]] throughout the series, plus Connie in season 7.]]
* MomentKiller [[spoiler: Dammit, Ruth! Harry is trying so hard!]]
* MoralDissonance: Lampshaded by Danny when he has to assassinate a scientist planning to sell weaponized plague to terrorists, who references a line spoken by Tom in the very first episode that stated killing in the name of life is still wrong.
* MoreExpendableThanYou: An interesting variant is season 8. [[spoiler: The British Home Secretary and Pakistani President have been left paralysed in a room rigged to explode. When Ros and Lucas show up for the rescue, Lucas is heartbreakingly forced to leave Ros and the Home Secretary behind. If the President dies there could be nuclear war, and Lucas is the only one strong enough to carry him.]]
* MrFanservice: Adam Carter and Lucas North.
* MurderDotCom: In Season 8 a group of eco-terrorists kidnapped a load of {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s to host a live trail and execution on the internet if the businesses were unethical (and of course, [[KangarooCourt they were]]). The Jury was an internet vote.
* NeverMessWithGranny: And never, ''ever'' [[spoiler:be alone in a locked room with Connie.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: To the point where someone could play the [[JustForFun/DrinkingGame Drinking Game]] every time one of the heroes screws something up. Even [[LovableNerd Malcolm]], of all people, had the audacity to [[spoiler:place a bomb on a plane and instruct Ros to set it off, which led to the death of a CIA agent]].
* OhCrap: Final Episode of Series 7. [[spoiler: Three words. Portable. Nuclear. Bombs.]]
* OurHeroIsDead: noticeable for subverting this rather harshly. There is a very good chance in this show that if it looks like the hero is dead, they [[KillThemAll probably are]]. And if they manage to [[NotQuiteDead escape a near-death experience]], expect [[HeroicBSOD the emotional trauma to manifest in their behaviour]].
* {{Powerwalk}}
* OvertRendezvous: In seasons one and two, the characters frequently have meetings on the benches across from the Houses of Parliament.
* PsychoPsychologist: Miranda from season 2 interviews the entire staff and pits them against each other with the express purpose of finding the weakest link. Portrayed realistically in that she doesn't see anything wrong with this.
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler:Tessa, Tom, Zoe, Sam, Ruth (though she returned in the first episode of season 8) and Malcolm.]]
** The only one this really applies to is [[spoiler:Sam]], as at the end of Season 3 it's stated that she's upset due to [[spoiler:Danny's death]] and then come Season 4 she's just never mentioned again. For the others, their reason for leaving the show is explicitly stated.
** At the start of Season 10, Harry observes that [[spoiler:Beth]] has been fired in his absence.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Harry and the Home Secretary (most of the time).
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Connie, who redeems herself with a HeroicSacrifice to stop London being destroyed.]]
** However, this is then {{averted}} at the end of series 10, [[spoiler: when a memorial garden with the names of the operatives KIA across the series is shown. Connie's name is not there, and neither is Lucas North's.]]
* RefugeInAudacity: at the beginning of season 5 [[spoiler: Collingwood and [[VisionaryVillain his group]] of {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s try to ''[[KnightTemplar rewrite the face of British democracy]]''. They believe that DemocracyIsBad and that TheEvilsOfFreeWill and TheWarOnTerror will [[AnarchyIsChaos destroy England]], and hence they must [[TheEmpire head the new government]] with [[BigBrotherIsWatching stringent new security measures]] and [[{{Room101}} detention centres to house people who disagree with them]].]] The entire scheme is so ridiculously blatant (including [[spoiler: staging Acts Of Terror]]), so deeply steeped in a corrupt PropagandaMachine (backed by [[TheMinistryOfTruth malicious representatives of England's Security Services]]), and so heavily relies on [[OrwellianEditor Orwellian Editing]] of [[RealityIsUnrealistic the facts at hand]] that ''no one'' had prepared for it. In fact, the entire thing is so outrageous that [[CassandraTruth no one believes MI5 when they first expose it]].
* ReverseMole: Zaf infiltrating terrorist cells.
* RevolvingDoorCasting
* RunningGag: "KGB." "FSB."
* SacrificialLamb: Lisa
** And Helen, of course.
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: either Danny or Fiona, depending on your point of view.]]
* ShellShockedVeteran: Lucas North, who spent many years being tortured in Russia.
** Even though he'd been captured and tortured gruesomely by a number of rival intelligence agencies, Adam Carter was able to remain optimistic about his work [[spoiler: until his wife was shot dead by her ex-husband, a Syrian agent]], which pushed him into an HeroicBSOD that he never really got over.
* ShoePhone. Subverted in "Nest of Angels". An Algerian agent listens politely when he's shown a number of disguised communication/bugging devices for his mission to infiltrate a radical Islamic group. The next scene shows him dumping this highly compromising equipment into a canal.
* ShoutOut:
** Connie's name is arguably a call out to Connie Sachs from the works of JohnLeCarre.
** Alex White, from the series 9 finale, is definitely is a JohnLeCarre reference, this time to ''Literature/TheSpyWhoCameInFromTheCold''. The book is explicitly namedropped by the Home Secretary later on.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: In the series 4 premiere, Adam has to disarm a bomb by typing in a codeword he heard over his earpiece. He types in 'Kronos', and it works on the first try, despite the numerous different Greek transliterations such as Cronos, Chronus, Khronos, et cetera.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Series/{{Bugs}}''.
* SplitScreen
* SpyFiction: Stale Beer Flavored.
* SpySatellites
* StarCrossedLovers: Twice, team members with {{UST}} get together only to have one of them have to fake their death and leave. [[spoiler:With Harry and Ruth, Ruth gets framed for treason; the team fakes her death and she goes into hiding. Adam and Ros end up the same way.]]
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Many. Generally, after a character leaves they get one of these. At times the new character is introduced before there's been a cast change, not-so subtly hinting that a certain established character might be in trouble.
** One example is [[spoiler: Lucas, the handsome and charismatic former section chief returning from an eight-year stint in a Russian prison. Guess what happens to handsome and charismatic section chief Adam in the very same episode.]]
* SweaterGirl: In episode "Spiders", Zoe needs to get close to a particular target who happens to be male.
-->Tom: The kids' lives are in danger. (beat) So, wear a tight sweater tomorrow.
-->Zoe: What?
-->Tom: I've been watching him all day. He obviously fancies you. We need to build up on that connection.
-->Zoe: (sarcastically) Any particular sweater in mind?
-->Tom AND Danny, simultaneously: The blue one.
* TrainingAccident
* ThatManIsDead: [[spoiler: Lucas, after his true identity is revealed.]]
* ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet: [[spoiler:Subverted in episode 1 of series 9, in which an undercover al-Qaeda [[TheCracker master hacker]] is traced to west London and assumed to be the father of a Muslim household. It's actually his 17-year-old daughter.]]
* TheTroubles: Harry was active in Northern Ireland during these, and rogue IRA agents appear frequently in the early seasons.
* TheHeroDies: At least two season finales. One of them twists it by having the character survive the end-of-season cliffhanger, carry on a few episodes into the new season, and ''then'' have nervous breakdown and leave the series.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: [[spoiler: Ruth and Harry. Also, done in a very cute way with Ros and Adam Lawrence (the new Home Secretary at the end of Series 8).]]
* [[spoiler: VillainProtagonist]]: Lucas.
* TheWarOnTerror (first British series to feature it)
* [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]]: In addition to several Villians of the Week from the earlier series (most memorably, Collingwood and his cohorts from "Gas and Oil"), at least two season arcs from the later years (six and eight) are built around massive conspiracies consisting of such individuals.
* WesternTerrorists: This trope is fully [[JustifiedTrope justified]], as MI5 is (or at least, it ''was'' when the show started) concerned with domestic security akin to the American FBI, and not exclusively terrorism. The first series was written prior to 9/11 (although some cursory references were inserted after the fact) when Irish splinter groups, xenophobic race-baiting, and economic rioting were the prime sources of potential turmoil.
** And to be fair, some of these would be justified post-9/11 as well, given a quick glance at RealLife.
** And to be even fairer, the show did deliberately go out of it's way to show as many different threats as possible. The IRA, White Power groups, "totally not the BNP", eco-terrorists, a wide variety of ex-Soviet spies/assassins/moles, corrupt banks, all were shown as legitimate threats. It even becomes a plot point in at least one episode, where they're trying to work out which of the 10 groups they had flagged launched a chemical attack on London.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** What happened to Jenny, Wes' babysitter? After Series 5 (and after it looked like she and Adam would start dating), she just up and disappeared.
** Also, what happened to Wes? We saw him hugging Harry shortly after he came to tell him that [[spoiler:his father died]], and then he never shows up again, or even gets mentioned.
* WhatTheHellHero: Multiple characters have called out the MI5 agents on some of the "wrong" or immoral things they've done.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: [[spoiler: Ruth and Harry.]]
* WouldHitAGirl: Jo, in particular, seems to get roughed up a ''lot''.

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<<|CrimeAndPunishmentSeries|>>
<<|BritishSeries|>>

to:

''Spooks'' is a series by TheBBC revolving around the work of Section D of MI-5, the UK's Security Service. The show was renamed ''MI-5'' in the USA due to racial connotations and possible confusion over the term "Spooks". The show is notable for its use of SplitScreen as well as NotQuiteDead. It also does not have any credits at the beginning or end, to maintain a pretence of secrecy (the credits are available on the DVD release and its [=BBC3=] "week in advance" airings).

It provoked some controversy over the first series' second episode where a woman was killed by having her head shoved into a deep fat fryer (the victim, played by Lisa Faulkner, was being set up as a major character) and also for one featuring suicide bombers.

The show ended in 2011 after ten seasons. In a show where AnyoneCanDie and the one character who was considered to ''maybe'' have a plot shield has spent the last six weeks being put through the wringer, this made for a very tense finale.

For more information, go [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/spooks/ here]] (Non-UK spoilers) and [[http://www.aetv.com/tv/shows/mi5/mi5_homepage.html here]].

A SpinOff with a YoungerAndHipper cast called ''Series/SpooksCode9'', aired in 2008. Poor critical reception and ratings means it's not likely to be coming back.
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!!This show provides examples of:
* ActorAllusion: [[Series/RobinHood This isn't the first time]] Lara Pulver has taken [[spoiler:Creator/RichardArmitage]]'s job.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The show ends on a particularly bittersweet version of this.
* AnyoneCanDie, KilledOffForReal: all in reference to Lisa Faulkner's frying as well as dozens of other examples. Only one of the original characters remains in the show, although some ex-characters, like Tom, are still alive and kicking (and are brought back sometimes, like Ruth and [[spoiler:Malcolm]]).
** A quick rundown of the dead: [[spoiler:Helen, Danny, Fiona, Colin, Zafar, Ben, Connie, Adam, Jo, Ros, Lucas, Tariq and Ruth.]] Most of their names (plus a few extras) are seen in the final episode on MI5's memorial wall.
** It's theorised that the one character who has been in it since the beginning (Harry) is still in it because the show would lose a lot of viewers if it did; the series seven finale, when he [[spoiler:gets kidnapped by]] [[FanNickname Russian Alan Davies]], was... controversial (even though he was in danger in several season cliffhangers before). In the end, he [[spoiler:survives the finale, albeit even more broken than ever before, and continues working at Thames House.]]
*** Of course, the previous season cliffhangers which put Harry in life-threatening danger had other characters in even more danger - as in, one character appeared to [[DrivenToSuicide drown himself in the ocean]], and another was left bleeding out on the street. [[spoiler:(both survived)]] That and the fact that he wasn't as central to the show then as he was by series seven...
* AppleOfDiscord: Adam tries to do this to a far-right political party in series 4.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Harry, Harry, HARRY. Strangling a Russian hitman half his age with his tie, interrogation technique that would put [[Franchise/MetalGear Revolver Ocelot]] to shame, outthinking Mossad, the CIA, the FSB and sometimes his own Government (sometimes all at the same time), threatening to shoot (and actually shooting) people who have threatened his Grid team...the list goes on.
* BackForTheFinale: Tom Quinn makes a cameo appearance in the final episode of Series 10, hired by Harry as an outside contractor.
* {{Badass}}: Quite a few of the team, but Ros takes the cake.
* BittersweetEnding: It's fair that almost every episode will/has end like this or at least have a touch of it as no matter what victory is achieved by the team there some price to pay.
* BlondeRepublicanSexKitten: Christine Dale.
* BottleEpisode: notably, "I Spy Apocalypse" and "Diana", both based nearly entirely on the grid.
* BreakTheCutie: Oh, Jo. Poor, ''poor'' Jo.
* BritishBrevity: Sort of. Seasons range from 6-10 episodes in length, but each one is a full hour long (with no commercials) and the trope is averted in that the show ended up running for 10 seasons, making it one of the BBC's longest running dramas ever.
* BrokenAce: Tom Quinn. As described by Harry, "one of the best and the brightest." Relied upon by everyone. The team leader. Until, of course [[spoiler: [[MarriedToTheJob his all-consuming job]] [[BreakTheCutie destroyed him emotionally and mentally]], [[SecretIdentityIdentity breaking down his ability to determine morality]], and [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness eventually made him a liability and he had to be decommissioned.]] ]] Considering [[ButtMonkey what he went through]], the outcome [[IKnewIt isn't really very surprising]]. [[spoiler:He reappears briefly in the finale, where it seems he's become an assassin, sent by Harry to take out the man behind Elena's plot]]
** Adam Carter, his replacement, went almost as spectacularly off the deep end after [[spoiler: the death of his wife]].
** And finally, [[spoiler:Harry himself in the finale.]]
* BulletproofHumanShield: Subverted/shown correctly when [[spoiler: Jo Portman]] manages to restrain a terrorist who is trying to blow himself and everyone else up. The only way to avert the explosion is for Ros to shoot the man, however (as both [[spoiler: Jo and Ros]] realise) the bullet will go straight through him [[spoiler: and kill Jo as well; which is what happens.]]
* ClumsyCopyrightCensorship: One episode was temporarily pulled because visible Apple logos on the back of the computers had to be digitally airbrushed out, advertising not being allowed on TheBBC.
* CombatPragmatist: if you're a field agent in MI5 you do not survive long if you don't adopt a "use anything at hand" ideology. However, strong contenders for a prize in this area go to: Adam (for using a set of empty metal shelves to beat up a terrorist), Zaf (for escaping from a cupboard using an opponent's own crowbar and then using it to beat him to a (deservedly) bloody pulp), and Ros (for using a car-jack to immobilise a Mossad assassin before he could call for back-up).
** Ros also kills a Russian dude ''with a fork'' and threatens another one with a pen to the eyeball. In the same episode. [[LadyOfWar Without significantly messing up her hair.]]
* CompromisingMemoirs: The Rose Bed Memoirs.
* TheConspiracy: The second half of the show's run was dominated by season long versions of this.
* ContentWarnings: The show had these during its run on Creator/{{PBS}} in the United States.
* ContinuityNod: The following conversation, from series seven, episode one:
-->'''Lucas''': How'd Tom Quinn work out?\\
'''Harry''': Took early retirement.
* CrapsackWorld - Terrorists around every corner, corruption in every rank of the government, allied governments not giving a damn about Britain's survival, Russia openly slaughtering British agents in the street, and AnyoneCanDie taken to KillEmAll proportions (by this point it's safe to assume that basically all the current major characters will not survive). Oh, and if ''[[ForegoneConclusion Code 9]]'' [[ForegoneConclusion is still canon]], the [[FromBadToWorse London will be destroyed]] sometime after the end of the series.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Several.
* ADeathInTheLimelight: [[spoiler:Fiona]] in "Syria."
* {{Defictionalization}}. Some terminology and catchphrases invented in this series are now used by the real MI-5.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Ros, to an extent in series 8.
* DidYouJustScamCthulhu / MuggingTheMonster: far too many politicians [[RealPolitik try to use]] [[BadassIsraeli Mossad]] [[TooDumbToLive for their own ends]], usually via manipulation and mis-direction One very highly placed lawyer managed to manipulate them into taking out an MI5 op team. [[AlasPoorVillain Let's just say]] [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath that he did not live long.]]
* DirtyCoward: How Adam describes a rival agent [[spoiler: who was helping rogue Mossad agents to take hostage and kill Saudi officials]] for this when he kills himself rather than face the team.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Lucas.]]
** [[spoiler: Subverted with]] Tom in the series two finale. After being forced to shoot Harry while trying to avoid capture, Tom wades into the ocean and lets himself slip below the surface. [[spoiler: Partway through the series three premiere, he resurfaces while trying to track down Herman Joyce to prove his innocence in the assassination of the Chief of the Defence Staff.]]
* DroppedABridgeOnHim:
** [[spoiler:Adam's]] death. One of the country's best spies has to drive a bomb-rigged car away from any danger. [[IdiotBall He first puts his seatbelt on to drive the car, and near the end, he does a useless handbrake turn which costs him precious seconds]]. Although the seatbelt sort of makes sense since, if you crash, you'd probably want to be injured as little as possible when the car's rigged with a bomb. Also, to be fair, his goal was preventing civilian casualties; only after the car was stationary in middle of an empty square could he look to saving his own life. He didn't know exactly how long he had left, of if the trigger would be delayed for some reason. Had he jumped out of the side while it was moving, the car might have gone careering into the side of a building and caused civilian casualties.
** [[spoiler:Zaf, who gets tortured to death off-screen]]. A lot of fans were expecting him to show up again in Series 6 since the show rarely ever has the main characters KilledOffScreen (and whenever a hero appears to be in peril, but isn't confirmed dead, [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt they usually pull through]]). So when it was revealed that [[spoiler:Zaf had died after being tortured for days while crying for his mother]], it felt pretty anticlimactic.
* DyingAlone:
** [[spoiler:Adam. The man sacrifices his own life to drive a car bomb away from a crowd of people, only to die by himself before he has time to run away from the car.]]
** [[spoiler:Ben, who bleeds to death in a lonely computer room after his throat was lacerated by Connie]].
** Subverted with [[spoiler:Tariq. After he is poisoned and gets out of the taxi he's riding, he collapses to the ground in the middle of nowhere, seconds away from death. Suddenly, Calum shows up, and ''then'' he dies]].
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler: The death of Ros, though YMMV. Even though she knew it was probably hopeless she stayed with the paralysed Home Secretary, dragging him painstakingly down the corridor despite him insisting that he leave her. Brave, brave woman.]]
** [[spoiler: Connie. Motherfucking. JAMES. "I'm not scared of bombs."]]
* {{Eagleland}} - the US is generally portrayed as a somewhat corrupt country, with [[StrawmanPolitical the CIA not being nice people]]. By series 8 and the time of the Obama administration, this changes somewhat: a new CIA station chief announces "We're the good guys now" before [[spoiler:a [[TheMole duplicitious agent]] tosses him over a balcony to his death.]]
* EnforcedMethodActing - Richard Armitage was actually "waterboarded" for a FlashBack scene, as a desire for MethodActing. The screams were genuine.
* EpisodeOnAPlane: Series 6, episode 6.
* EvilPlan: Frequently, but Angela Wells's masterplan in "Diana" sort of sticks in the memory: [[spoiler:holding the entire Grid hostage overnight with a fake bomb, solely for the purpose of getting access to Buckingham Palace security information, so that a lockdown would be ordered and the Royal Family would be rushed to a secure location which, after getting herself employed there as an electrician ''seven months earlier'', she'd already rigged with plastic explosive INSIDE THE ELECTRICAL WIRING. And then there's a sniper rifle.]]
* ExpansionPackPast: Lucas North.
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Juliet Shaw in season 6, in a ShockingSwerve.]]
** [[spoiler:Lucas in series 9]]
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler: Ros, briefly, in 6.08. Unusual in that ''she'' didn't know the nerve toxin she was injected with wasn't going to be fatal...]]
* FalseFlagOperation: Several. [[spoiler:A group of Mossad agents take over an embassy while pretending to be Al Qaeda, and Harry's kidnappers in the first episode of season 8 pretend to be Islamic terorists to throw [=MI5=] off the scent.]]
** In fact, the majority of the episodes of the fifth series involved these.
* FictionalPoliticalParty: The British Way Party, a FictionalCounterpart to the real-life British National Party.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: {{Invoked}} by Ros when dealing with a Saudi prince in one episode.
* GoodIsNotNice: The MI5 agents are not afraid of doing anything immoral so long as they get the results they want. Harry himself has flat-out authorized the murder of a few people simply because [[AssholeVictim the victims were better off dead]].
* GroinAttack: Ros takes the phrase "put the squeeze on him" VERY literally.
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[StarWars Emperor Palpatine]] is a terrorist-trapping chemistry lecturer in his spare time. [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Giles]] joined MI5 after being a Watcher. And apparently [[Series/{{House}} Dr. Gregory House]] was a MI6 chief before he took up medicine.
* HighHeelFaceTurn: Guess which one of the people in [[http://littlespooksthings.tumblr.com/post/8652276316/yalta-is-delicious this]] (incorrectly labeled) shot ends up joining the good guys. Go on, guess.
* HeroicSacrifice (several)
* HeroicBSOD: several agents have issues with maintaining a stable reality. This [[FreakOut does not end well.]]
* HideYourPregnancy: Done with three different actresses in three consecutive seasons:
** Olga Sosnovska (Fiona) in season four
** Nicola Walker (Ruth) in season five
** Hermione Norris (Ros) in season six
** In each case, the actress' pregnancy [[RealLifeWritesThePlot forced her into maternity leave]] before the end of the respective season - although only one ultimately chose to PERMANENTLY exit the show.
* IdiotBall: this may come very ''very'' close to TooDumbToLive, but Danny [[spoiler: sleeping with Harry's DAUGHTER]] was so ''not'' smart. Really really not smart.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Perhaps not literally, but the sniper in Series 9 Episode 5 must come pretty close. [[spoiler: His shot is from 1.67 miles away (beating the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_recorded_sniper_kills#Confirmed_kills_1.2C250.C2.A0m_.281.2C367_yd.29_or_greater previous record]] as specified by Dimitri at 1.5 miles by a sniper in Afganistan), goes directly through a building after he takes the trouble to blow out the windows, and manages to calculate the trajectory of the bullet accurately enough to come with millimetres of his target's head (and even then, he hits him in the shoulder).]] Unfortunatly, directly afterwards, [[spoiler: Lucas comes up behind him and shoots him dead.]]
* InfantImmortality: Subverted at least once a series, except Series 9 and Series 10.
* InterserviceRivalry: With MI6, who the more serious-minded MI5 officers view as dilettante JamesBond wannabes.
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Done with introverted PlayfulHacker Colin, the most benign member of the crew. It even has an edge of ShootTheShaggyDog when two MI6 field agents find Colin, drive him out into the woods, where he momentarily escapes in a desperate chase scene before they catch him, give him his smashed glasses, and then hang him while he is begging them not to.]] [[WhamEpisode Everyone is pretty shocked by this development.]] And [[PayEvilUntoEvil then of course]], [[{{Revenge}} the expected happens]].
** What makes it even more awful is that [[spoiler: Colin, expecting to be shot in the head, relatively calmly told the rogue officers to get it over with. He only starts begging when they take the noose out and he realizes that his death isn't going to be quite as quick as he expected.]]
* LadyDrunk: Connie has elements of the type. Turns poignantly hilarious in her last episode when she demands a bottle of gin [[spoiler: as part of her bomb-disarming kit]].
* LadyOfWar: Ros. This can manifest in HiddenDepths as when you're first introduced to her, she looks and acts [[SophisticatedAsHell too refined and upper class]] to have any of the {{Badass}} fighting skills that the rest of MI5 are trained in. A couple of [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome beaten-up Mossad agents later]] and you're immediately dissuaded from that idea.
* LeaveBehindAPistol: series 5, a failed villain asks for his belt not to be removed when he gets arrested. Harry complies.
* LeftHanging: Series 7 ended with [[spoiler: the entire British Government riddled with Russian moles.]] Though the team got a dossier revealing their identities, the plotline is never mentioned again, not even with a HandWave that it's being handled by another department, like the Series 2 premiere. Also, the fact that [[spoiler:the Kremlin gave the order to set off a suitcase nuke in the heart of London]] has ''zero'' diplomatic consequences, and [[EasilyForgiven the two countries are back to working together like nothing happened several episodes later]].
* LocationDoubling (the exterior of Thames House in Embankment is played by Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden)
* LockedInAFreezer: Whole episodes have taken place in a locked-down grid, most notably "I Spy Apocalypse" and "Diana".
* LongRunnerCastTurnover: The series went through a very large number of cast changes in its run. Only one character, Harry Pearce, appears in all ten seasons and every other position in Section D had at least three different occupants over the show's run.
* TheLostLenore: [[spoiler: Fiona, to Adam]].
* [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Mad Dictator's Beautiful Daughter]]: Ros's introduction more or less fits the trope, although her HeelFaceTurn has less to do with falling for the hero (it takes her several episodes even to ''like'' any of her new colleagues) and more to do with realizing that her father and his cronies are selfish, murderous, and being bankrolled by the Russian mob, and she's far more badass in her own right than the category would tend to suggest.
* MakeTheBearAngryAgain: Season 7. Season 10 offers up a variant combined with RenegadeRussian.
* TheMole [[spoiler:Various [[AcceptableTargets Americans and MI6 agents]] throughout the series, plus Connie in season 7.]]
* MomentKiller [[spoiler: Dammit, Ruth! Harry is trying so hard!]]
* MoralDissonance: Lampshaded by Danny when he has to assassinate a scientist planning to sell weaponized plague to terrorists, who references a line spoken by Tom in the very first episode that stated killing in the name of life is still wrong.
* MoreExpendableThanYou: An interesting variant is season 8. [[spoiler: The British Home Secretary and Pakistani President have been left paralysed in a room rigged to explode. When Ros and Lucas show up for the rescue, Lucas is heartbreakingly forced to leave Ros and the Home Secretary behind. If the President dies there could be nuclear war, and Lucas is the only one strong enough to carry him.]]
* MrFanservice: Adam Carter and Lucas North.
* MurderDotCom: In Season 8 a group of eco-terrorists kidnapped a load of {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s to host a live trail and execution on the internet if the businesses were unethical (and of course, [[KangarooCourt they were]]). The Jury was an internet vote.
* NeverMessWithGranny: And never, ''ever'' [[spoiler:be alone in a locked room with Connie.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: To the point where someone could play the [[JustForFun/DrinkingGame Drinking Game]] every time one of the heroes screws something up. Even [[LovableNerd Malcolm]], of all people, had the audacity to [[spoiler:place a bomb on a plane and instruct Ros to set it off, which led to the death of a CIA agent]].
* OhCrap: Final Episode of Series 7. [[spoiler: Three words. Portable. Nuclear. Bombs.]]
* OurHeroIsDead: noticeable for subverting this rather harshly. There is a very good chance in this show that if it looks like the hero is dead, they [[KillThemAll probably are]]. And if they manage to [[NotQuiteDead escape a near-death experience]], expect [[HeroicBSOD the emotional trauma to manifest in their behaviour]].
* {{Powerwalk}}
* OvertRendezvous: In seasons one and two, the characters frequently have meetings on the benches across from the Houses of Parliament.
* PsychoPsychologist: Miranda from season 2 interviews the entire staff and pits them against each other with the express purpose of finding the weakest link. Portrayed realistically in that she doesn't see anything wrong with this.
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler:Tessa, Tom, Zoe, Sam, Ruth (though she returned in the first episode of season 8) and Malcolm.]]
** The only one this really applies to is [[spoiler:Sam]], as at the end of Season 3 it's stated that she's upset due to [[spoiler:Danny's death]] and then come Season 4 she's just never mentioned again. For the others, their reason for leaving the show is explicitly stated.
** At the start of Season 10, Harry observes that [[spoiler:Beth]] has been fired in his absence.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Harry and the Home Secretary (most of the time).
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Connie, who redeems herself with a HeroicSacrifice to stop London being destroyed.]]
** However, this is then {{averted}} at the end of series 10, [[spoiler: when a memorial garden with the names of the operatives KIA across the series is shown. Connie's name is not there, and neither is Lucas North's.]]
* RefugeInAudacity: at the beginning of season 5 [[spoiler: Collingwood and [[VisionaryVillain his group]] of {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s try to ''[[KnightTemplar rewrite the face of British democracy]]''. They believe that DemocracyIsBad and that TheEvilsOfFreeWill and TheWarOnTerror will [[AnarchyIsChaos destroy England]], and hence they must [[TheEmpire head the new government]] with [[BigBrotherIsWatching stringent new security measures]] and [[{{Room101}} detention centres to house people who disagree with them]].]] The entire scheme is so ridiculously blatant (including [[spoiler: staging Acts Of Terror]]), so deeply steeped in a corrupt PropagandaMachine (backed by [[TheMinistryOfTruth malicious representatives of England's Security Services]]), and so heavily relies on [[OrwellianEditor Orwellian Editing]] of [[RealityIsUnrealistic the facts at hand]] that ''no one'' had prepared for it. In fact, the entire thing is so outrageous that [[CassandraTruth no one believes MI5 when they first expose it]].
* ReverseMole: Zaf infiltrating terrorist cells.
* RevolvingDoorCasting
* RunningGag: "KGB." "FSB."
* SacrificialLamb: Lisa
** And Helen, of course.
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: either Danny or Fiona, depending on your point of view.]]
* ShellShockedVeteran: Lucas North, who spent many years being tortured in Russia.
** Even though he'd been captured and tortured gruesomely by a number of rival intelligence agencies, Adam Carter was able to remain optimistic about his work [[spoiler: until his wife was shot dead by her ex-husband, a Syrian agent]], which pushed him into an HeroicBSOD that he never really got over.
* ShoePhone. Subverted in "Nest of Angels". An Algerian agent listens politely when he's shown a number of disguised communication/bugging devices for his mission to infiltrate a radical Islamic group. The next scene shows him dumping this highly compromising equipment into a canal.
* ShoutOut:
** Connie's name is arguably a call out to Connie Sachs from the works of JohnLeCarre.
** Alex White, from the series 9 finale, is definitely is a JohnLeCarre reference, this time to ''Literature/TheSpyWhoCameInFromTheCold''. The book is explicitly namedropped by the Home Secretary later on.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: In the series 4 premiere, Adam has to disarm a bomb by typing in a codeword he heard over his earpiece. He types in 'Kronos', and it works on the first try, despite the numerous different Greek transliterations such as Cronos, Chronus, Khronos, et cetera.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Series/{{Bugs}}''.
* SplitScreen
* SpyFiction: Stale Beer Flavored.
* SpySatellites
* StarCrossedLovers: Twice, team members with {{UST}} get together only to have one of them have to fake their death and leave. [[spoiler:With Harry and Ruth, Ruth gets framed for treason; the team fakes her death and she goes into hiding. Adam and Ros end up the same way.]]
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Many. Generally, after a character leaves they get one of these. At times the new character is introduced before there's been a cast change, not-so subtly hinting that a certain established character might be in trouble.
** One example is [[spoiler: Lucas, the handsome and charismatic former section chief returning from an eight-year stint in a Russian prison. Guess what happens to handsome and charismatic section chief Adam in the very same episode.]]
* SweaterGirl: In episode "Spiders", Zoe needs to get close to a particular target who happens to be male.
-->Tom: The kids' lives are in danger. (beat) So, wear a tight sweater tomorrow.
-->Zoe: What?
-->Tom: I've been watching him all day. He obviously fancies you. We need to build up on that connection.
-->Zoe: (sarcastically) Any particular sweater in mind?
-->Tom AND Danny, simultaneously: The blue one.
* TrainingAccident
* ThatManIsDead: [[spoiler: Lucas, after his true identity is revealed.]]
* ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet: [[spoiler:Subverted in episode 1 of series 9, in which an undercover al-Qaeda [[TheCracker master hacker]] is traced to west London and assumed to be the father of a Muslim household. It's actually his 17-year-old daughter.]]
* TheTroubles: Harry was active in Northern Ireland during these, and rogue IRA agents appear frequently in the early seasons.
* TheHeroDies: At least two season finales. One of them twists it by having the character survive the end-of-season cliffhanger, carry on a few episodes into the new season, and ''then'' have nervous breakdown and leave the series.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: [[spoiler: Ruth and Harry. Also, done in a very cute way with Ros and Adam Lawrence (the new Home Secretary at the end of Series 8).]]
* [[spoiler: VillainProtagonist]]: Lucas.
* TheWarOnTerror (first British series to feature it)
* [[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremists]]: In addition to several Villians of the Week from the earlier series (most memorably, Collingwood and his cohorts from "Gas and Oil"), at least two season arcs from the later years (six and eight) are built around massive conspiracies consisting of such individuals.
* WesternTerrorists: This trope is fully [[JustifiedTrope justified]], as MI5 is (or at least, it ''was'' when the show started) concerned with domestic security akin to the American FBI, and not exclusively terrorism. The first series was written prior to 9/11 (although some cursory references were inserted after the fact) when Irish splinter groups, xenophobic race-baiting, and economic rioting were the prime sources of potential turmoil.
** And to be fair, some of these would be justified post-9/11 as well, given a quick glance at RealLife.
** And to be even fairer, the show did deliberately go out of it's way to show as many different threats as possible. The IRA, White Power groups, "totally not the BNP", eco-terrorists, a wide variety of ex-Soviet spies/assassins/moles, corrupt banks, all were shown as legitimate threats. It even becomes a plot point in at least one episode, where they're trying to work out which of the 10 groups they had flagged launched a chemical attack on London.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** What happened to Jenny, Wes' babysitter? After Series 5 (and after it looked like she and Adam would start dating), she just up and disappeared.
** Also, what happened to Wes? We saw him hugging Harry shortly after he came to tell him that [[spoiler:his father died]], and then he never shows up again, or even gets mentioned.
* WhatTheHellHero: Multiple characters have called out the MI5 agents on some of the "wrong" or immoral things they've done.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: [[spoiler: Ruth and Harry.]]
* WouldHitAGirl: Jo, in particular, seems to get roughed up a ''lot''.

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<<|CrimeAndPunishmentSeries|>>
<<|BritishSeries|>>
[[redirect:Series/{{Spooks}}]]
17th Feb '14 12:29:10 AM m8e
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* ActorAllusion: [[Series/RobinHood This isn't the first time]] Lara Pulver has taken [[spoiler:RichardArmitage]]'s job.

to:

* ActorAllusion: [[Series/RobinHood This isn't the first time]] Lara Pulver has taken [[spoiler:RichardArmitage]]'s [[spoiler:Creator/RichardArmitage]]'s job.
8th Dec '13 12:02:55 AM StarSword
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Added DiffLines:

* ContentWarnings: The show had these during its run on Creator/{{PBS}} in the United States.
30th Oct '13 2:01:21 PM StFan
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* SpiritualSuccessor (to ''{{Bugs}}'')

to:

* SpiritualSuccessor (to ''{{Bugs}}'')SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Series/{{Bugs}}''.
28th Oct '13 1:55:30 PM Vasha
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** Alex White, from the series 9 finale, is definitely is a JohnLeCarre reference, this time to TheSpyWhoCameInFromTheCold. The book is explicitly namedropped by the Home Secretary later on.

to:

** Alex White, from the series 9 finale, is definitely is a JohnLeCarre reference, this time to TheSpyWhoCameInFromTheCold.''Literature/TheSpyWhoCameInFromTheCold''. The book is explicitly namedropped by the Home Secretary later on.
14th Oct '13 5:23:41 PM Tyk5919
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It provoked some controversy over the first series' second episode where [[spoiler:a woman was killed by having her head shoved into a deep fat fryer (the victim, played by Lisa Faulkner, was being set up as a major character)]] and also for one featuring suicide bombers.

to:

It provoked some controversy over the first series' second episode where [[spoiler:a a woman was killed by having her head shoved into a deep fat fryer (the victim, played by Lisa Faulkner, was being set up as a major character)]] character) and also for one featuring suicide bombers.



* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Several

to:

* CruelAndUnusualDeath: SeveralSeveral.
* ADeathInTheLimelight: [[spoiler:Fiona]] in "Syria."



* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Adam's]] death. One of the country's best spies has to drive a bomb-rigged car away from any danger. [[IdiotBall He first puts his seatbelt on to drive the car, and near the end, he does a useless handbrake turn which costs him precious seconds]]. Although the seatbelt sort of makes sense since, if you crash, you'd probably want to be injured as little as possible when the car's rigged with a bomb...
** Also, to be fair, his goal was preventing civilian casualties; only after the car was stationary in middle of an empty square could he look to saving his own life. He didn't know exactly how long he had left, of if the trigger would be delayed for some reason. Had he jumped out of the side while it was moving, the car might have gone careering into the side of a building and caused civilian casualties.

to:

* DroppedABridgeOnHim: DroppedABridgeOnHim:
**
[[spoiler:Adam's]] death. One of the country's best spies has to drive a bomb-rigged car away from any danger. [[IdiotBall He first puts his seatbelt on to drive the car, and near the end, he does a useless handbrake turn which costs him precious seconds]]. Although the seatbelt sort of makes sense since, if you crash, you'd probably want to be injured as little as possible when the car's rigged with a bomb...
**
bomb. Also, to be fair, his goal was preventing civilian casualties; only after the car was stationary in middle of an empty square could he look to saving his own life. He didn't know exactly how long he had left, of if the trigger would be delayed for some reason. Had he jumped out of the side while it was moving, the car might have gone careering into the side of a building and caused civilian casualties.casualties.
** [[spoiler:Zaf, who gets tortured to death off-screen]]. A lot of fans were expecting him to show up again in Series 6 since the show rarely ever has the main characters KilledOffScreen (and whenever a hero appears to be in peril, but isn't confirmed dead, [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt they usually pull through]]). So when it was revealed that [[spoiler:Zaf had died after being tortured for days while crying for his mother]], it felt pretty anticlimactic.
* DyingAlone:
** [[spoiler:Adam. The man sacrifices his own life to drive a car bomb away from a crowd of people, only to die by himself before he has time to run away from the car.]]
** [[spoiler:Ben, who bleeds to death in a lonely computer room after his throat was lacerated by Connie]].
** Subverted with [[spoiler:Tariq. After he is poisoned and gets out of the taxi he's riding, he collapses to the ground in the middle of nowhere, seconds away from death. Suddenly, Calum shows up, and ''then'' he dies]].


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* GoodIsNotNice: The MI5 agents are not afraid of doing anything immoral so long as they get the results they want. Harry himself has flat-out authorized the murder of a few people simply because [[AssholeVictim the victims were better off dead]].


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* InfantImmortality: Subverted at least once a series, except Series 9 and Series 10.


Added DiffLines:

* NiceJobBreakingItHero: To the point where someone could play the [[JustForFun/DrinkingGame Drinking Game]] every time one of the heroes screws something up. Even [[LovableNerd Malcolm]], of all people, had the audacity to [[spoiler:place a bomb on a plane and instruct Ros to set it off, which led to the death of a CIA agent]].


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* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** What happened to Jenny, Wes' babysitter? After Series 5 (and after it looked like she and Adam would start dating), she just up and disappeared.
** Also, what happened to Wes? We saw him hugging Harry shortly after he came to tell him that [[spoiler:his father died]], and then he never shows up again, or even gets mentioned.
* WhatTheHellHero: Multiple characters have called out the MI5 agents on some of the "wrong" or immoral things they've done.
6th Oct '13 12:14:53 AM gallium
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* SweaterGirl: In episode "Spiders", Zoe needs to get close to a particular target who happens to be male.
-->Tom: The kids' lives are in danger. (beat) So, wear a tight sweater tomorrow.
-->Zoe: What?
-->Tom: I've been watching him all day. He obviously fancies you. We need to build up on that connection.
-->Zoe: (sarcastically) Any particular sweater in mind?
-->Tom AND Danny, simultaneously: The blue one.
27th Jun '13 5:13:33 PM Sheora
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* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Done very cruelly with introverted PlayfulHacker Colin, the most benign member of the crew. It even has an edge of ShootTheShaggyDog when two MI6 field agents find Colin, drive him out into the woods, where he momentarily escapes in a desperate chase scene before they catch him, give him his smashed glasses, and then hang him while he is begging them not to.]] [[WhamEpisode Everyone is pretty shocked by this development.]] And [[PayEvilUntoEvil then of course]], [[{{Revenge}} the expected happens]].

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* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler: Done very cruelly with introverted PlayfulHacker Colin, the most benign member of the crew. It even has an edge of ShootTheShaggyDog when two MI6 field agents find Colin, drive him out into the woods, where he momentarily escapes in a desperate chase scene before they catch him, give him his smashed glasses, and then hang him while he is begging them not to.]] [[WhamEpisode Everyone is pretty shocked by this development.]] And [[PayEvilUntoEvil then of course]], [[{{Revenge}} the expected happens]].
13th May '13 12:58:40 PM MrMous
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It provoked some controversy over an episode where [[spoiler:a woman was killed by having her head shoved into a deep fat fryer (the victim, played by Lisa Faulkner, was being set up as a major character, and this was in the show's second episode)]] and also for one featuring suicide bombers.

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It provoked some controversy over an the first series' second episode where [[spoiler:a woman was killed by having her head shoved into a deep fat fryer (the victim, played by Lisa Faulkner, was being set up as a major character, and this was in the show's second episode)]] character)]] and also for one featuring suicide bombers.
This list shows the last 9 events of 9. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.Spooks