Review: Spooks Code 9

August 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

Spooks Code 9 Review

BBC 3, Sunday 10th Aug, 9pm

Anyone expecting a spin off of Spooks is going to be disappointed, because despite the similarity in titles, there is little else that connects these two shows.

To start with Spooks Code 9 is set in the future. Yes. Already sounds significantly different from the original gritty spy drama that made a point of realism, doesn’t it? Ok, so that’s the first thing. Secondly, in this post apocalyptic not too distant future, MI5 have had to recruit younger and younger spies. This brings us to our main characters- all somewhere between 18- 22 years old. A montage tells us where these young un’s have come from- criminal, mathematician, police man, medical student…

It’s fast moving, with a fair amount of spy games. Our main posse of spies, who seem a bit like they’ve stepped from Dawson’s Creek into a spy-tastic future, are engaging enough. Charlie is a mathematician who doesn’t understand why he’s been recruited, Jez is the ex crim turned spy who is searching for his lost family. Rob is a med student and James Bond wannabe.

Good things about the show are its pace and the future it presents– who can’t be intrigued by what London might be like in a post nuclear attack future? Bad things are the hipper-than-thou editing, especially the British flag transition.

With 6 parts, there is a long way to go to make this show as good as its predecessor but maybe the truth is that my initial disappointment at having one of my favourite British shows turned into a teen drama never really went away. It’s more skins than spooks, just with some guns added in, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.

Still, it draws you in with its cast of characters struggling to make their way in a brave new world, blending action and drama in an engaging way. It also utilises the internet to create an alternate reality for viewers that they can interact with. The jokily named. leads you into a fairly cool game world that ties viewers in with the show using some nifty technology that allows you to upload your picture onto one of the characters.

All in all, not what I expected but definitely worth a peek.