[Spooks] Code 9 — FAIL

[en]I had the misfortune of catching the first two episodes of [Spooks] Code 9. I thought “well, Spooks was amusing enough, maybe this’ll be alright”.

It starts out with a decent enough premise, Terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb at the start of the Olympic Games in London (killing hundreds of thousands of people). The south coast of England is reduced to a desolate waste ground. The Government is relocated to the North of England along with the population (some now dying of radiation poisoning).

Sounds like a decent setup doesn’t it?

Well, it goes downhill shortly after it becomes a cross between Hollyoaks, Spooks and Skins.

The first episode centres on a plot to kill the Prime Minister. Throughout the show, the Scooby gang go around shaking down their sources, shooting arms dealers in the foot and tracking down the world’s most dangerous hitman through his favourite food order. The most dangerous hitman eventually turns out to be a 15yo hoodie armed with an AK-47 sniper rifle (yes, I know, the AK-47 isn’t a sniper rifle, I’m just telling you stuff from the show).

It eventually turns out that the Prime Minister wasn’t the target after all, the head of this new MI5 unit was! Shock! You didn’t see that coming did you?!

It’s unclear why they felt the need to do this (possibly some ham-fisted attempt to do replicate the effect of killing Lisa Faulkner in the second episode of the grown up version) beyond setting up the series story arc of some big conspiracy.

To be fair, the warning signs were there at the start. One of the main characters says during a selection interview that the reason she wants to be in MI5 is because the terrorists are getting younger. It gave me the rather silly image of two parents discussing pre-school:

“oh Darling, shall we send little Timmy to Osama in Diapers Nursery or the Security Crèche?”

I did also wonder how in this dystopian future, the defenders of freedom looked like they’d just finished a fashion shoot. Defeating terrorists whilst waiting for next season’s clothes to be made.

Watching the characters, none of them seem to be able to deliver any of their lines with any conviction. Paris Hilton could act as a quantum physicist with greater aplomb. The only convincing piece of acting I saw was when the maths geek was put in charge and froze in fear after being confronted by an emergency. I imagined a little voice in his head saying “OMG… they’re wanting me to act! What do I do?!”

My prediction is that by the end of the series, it’ll turn out that there’s a shadowy conspiracy which knew about the nuclear bomb and did nothing so they could subjugate the masses and make money (or something as equally cliché).

All in all, it served to be a pretty rubbish waste of potentially good airtime and concept. It left me wondering “Has BBC 3 actually delivered anything worth watching?”. I couldn’t think of any original programming it’d done which was any good.

*storms off*


About bryn

Gîc Cymraeg Defnyddiwr Mac Podledwr a ffotograffydd Welsh geek, Mac user, Podcaster and Photographer
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10 Responses to [Spooks] Code 9 — FAIL

  1. mrben says:

    BBC3 *have* produced some good original programming. Generally it’s the stuff that gets migrated to BBC2 😉

    (FWIW, I thought the first couple of series of Little Britain were hilarious, and that was on BBC3. Shame they went downhill so quickly)

  2. Bryn_S says:

    mrben: Ah, Little Britain started out on Radio 4. Even The Mighty Boosh started out as a stage show and radio series. I can’t think of anything else… anyone else?


  3. Bryn_S says:

    Now you’re just being desperate…

    That said, this did actually make Torchwood look *really* good.

  4. Jimmy says:

    Lily Allen and Friends?

  5. Jon says:

    Has BBC3 produced anything good?

    You’ve obviously never seen Scallywagga, or the truly amazing Trex And Flipside. Not to mention the unmissable Eastenders Revealed.

    Seriously, though, Monkey Dust is pretty good, as was Man Stroke Women. The rest is fucking bilge, though.

  6. I particularly liked the division of the North into sectors with no explanation of what they mean. Also the way in which the scenes set in public looked perfectly normal, considering that the economic centre of the country had been destroyed; that there would no longer be a seat for international trading along with the loss of a great deal of farm land not to mention the huge upheaval in infrastructure which would necessitate a drastic increase in taxation upon an already desperate population.

    My favourite was the way in which everyone had mobile ‘phones and yet half the population seemed to be of no fixed abode. Where are the bills sent? I suppose that they can be on pay-as-you-go but still…

  7. Bryn_S says:

    Well, even with PAYG, if they’re all homeless and desparate, how do they pay for the topups?

    Also, what was with that godawful flag thing between scenes? Was it incase you forgot what country the show is set in? If they go abroad, does it change to a different flag? Like the old transformers cartoon used to change from Autobots to the Decepticons.

  8. Alan says:

    I am SO delighted to be able to advise all you “Spooks” fans that the REAL “Spooks” will be back on our screens in September 2008.

    You can safely dump this Spooks Code 9 right where it belongs!

    YIPPEE 🙂

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