Spooks: The Things We’ve Seen Together

Lucas (Richard Armitage) and Harry (Peter Firth)

IT begins with a funeral. Most Spooks fans will know who for. And ends with…

Spooks series nine, episode one. BBC1, 9pm next Monday.

There is much to report about the return of Sir Harry Pearce in a terrific opening hour.

And yet most of it will have to remain unsaid to avoid spoiling the episode.

You want answers about Harry (Peter Firth) and Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker)?

You’ll get them.

Just don’t be late for the first four minutes.

Swiftly followed by an all-time classic Harry scene, which confirms Spooks is back on top form.

Events of last year are still fresh in the mind as we learn the identity of one of the Nightingale conspirators.

Before heading off to join Lucas North (Richard Armitage) about to board a ship in Morocco and meeting Beth Bailey, played by Sophia Myles, together with Dimitri Levendes (Max Brown).

With The Grid in danger of turning into the Marie Celeste, the introduction of two new characters is nicely done.

Sophia Myles as Beth

Make that three.

Simon Russell Beale is incoming Tory Home Secretary William Towers, with a promising line in coalition humour, telling Harry: “Well, I’m sure I’m due at Mumsnet or something.”

He also asks Harry if he would like a peerage.

To which the knighted one replies: “I am sufficiently enobled, thank you very much.”

Story of the week concerns a top Al Qaeda terrorist, that big container vessel and its explosive cargo. But what’s the target and how will the mission end?

Students of all things Thames House know to expect the unexpected and will have plenty to discuss ahead of episode two.

More than that, I best not say.

It seems almost impossible to believe but after a sometimes shaky – in more ways than one – last series, Spooks has upped its game yet again.

Which approaching nine years since the very first episode was broadcast is quite a feat.

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Harry and Ruth: Answers on a postcard
Max Brown as Dimitri
All at sea: Beth and Lucas
Simon Russell Beale as Home Secretary William Towers