Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie


The Spooks Movie – YES, THEY’RE MAKING A SPOOKS MOVIE! – is freshly underway on MI5’s home turf in London with running, shooting and people shouting “the package is down, the package is down!” at each other. Calling the shots on this bigger budget espionage-athon is director Bharat Nalluri. The series veteran has the tricky task of extending the show’s hour-long format into a feature-length thriller without jettisoning the character beats that made it so popular or palely imitating the James Bonds and Jason Bournes of this world. How will he do it? Well, as he explained, he’s got some aces up his sleeve. Here’s ten of them.

The plot sees MI5's Head of Counter-Terrorism Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) in deep when big bad Adam Qasim escapes and immediately sets about planning more atrocities. As Spooks fans will know, the penalty for that kind of blunder can be severe, especially with bureaucrats like Joint Intelligence Committee chief Oliver Mace (the returning Tim McInnerny) around. Which he is. "There's a reality to it, so it's got to land in a world that is real," director Bharat Nalluri explains of the set-up. "And the canvas is huge now."

There were moments in Spooks when the only people who didn't want to kill Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) seemed to be his mum and his Scotch supplier – and, for all we knew, his mum was having second thoughts. The IRA, Hamas, the KGB, the FSB, most of the Home Office... you name it, he's annoyed it. As Nalluri explains, the movie kicks off in exactly the same vein. Harry disappears off the grid in a manner even Sherlock Holmes would find impressively melodramatic. Suffice to say it involves swapping Thames House for the actual Thames in a faux-suicide that should throw his many enemies off the scent. As Harry goes all ghost protocol, a new face emerges to get to save an imperilled agency. It belongs to one 'Will Crombie', an old operative of Pearce's played by Kit 'John Schnnnooo' Harington. Can he save his erstwhile boss? We have no idea. They don't put that stuff on the press release.

Sadly for old-school Spookies, Keeley Hawes' decommissioned agent, Zoe Reynolds, will not be de-decommissioned for Spooks: The Greater Good, presumably because of the amount of paperwork involved and the fact that Hawes is now happily ensconced in BBC2 crime drama Line Of Duty. "Sadly not Zoe, no," confirms Nalluri when Empire asks if she'll return from her Chilean exile to rejoin the good fight. Maybe she met that South American guy after all.

Hearthrob super-spook Tom Quinn, a man with a ruinous love life and, come to think of it, career, is still a firm favourite in these parts. Matthew Macfadyen's character, the possible result of accidental gene splice of Ethan Hunt and Droopy Dog, returned at the end of season ten as a private sector operative harbouring some long-dormant loyalties to his former MI5 colleagues. Surely he'll back again for the movie? "Look, we brought Tom back in the very last episode of the last series," Nalluri straight-bats. "Make of that what you will!" Yes, then.


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