IT won’t come as a surprise to fans of one of the best dramas on TV.
But the BBC has now officially confirmed that Spooks will return for an eighth series in 2009.
Filming begins in March.
Here’s this morning’s official release:
“Consistently hailed as a benchmark for modern drama, compelling spy series Spooks is to return next year the BBC announced today.
The hit drama from Kudos Film and Television has been recommissioned for an eighth series while it currently enjoys its most critically-acclaimed series ever.
This series witnessed the arrival of Robin Hood star Richard Armitage as Lucas North, the return of Hermione Norris as Ros Myers, the shattering discovery of Connie James as the MI5 mole and the shocking murder of Ben Kaplan by one of his own.
The highly topical series continues to secure strong ratings, regularly attracting over 5.7 million viewers on BBC One and BBC Three, and has received a deluge of positive feedback from both fans and the press.
Details of the new series are being kept under wraps until the current series has finished airing but Simon Crawford Collins, Executive Producer and Joint Managing Director at Kudos, promises there will be even more compelling storylines and high drama in series eight.
‘Spooks is currently enjoying an exceptional run on BBC One and BBC Three and viewers will be shocked when this series ends with a sting in its tale.
‘As for next year …we’re currently working with our fantastic team of writers to predict the big stories for 2009 to keep Spooks prescience in these dramatically changing times.’
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, who commissioned the eighth series, continues: ‘I’m delighted Spooks is returning to BBC One and BBC Three next year.
‘Spooks continues to be a channel defining show, consistently pushing the boundaries of television drama while maintaining strong viewer loyalty and attracting critical acclaim. I can’t wait for series eight to burst onto our screens in 2009.’
Richard Armitage, who joined at the beginning of the current series, says: ‘I’m thrilled with the response we’ve had to this series and I can’t wait to find out what the next series has in store.
‘If the climatic episodes at the end of series seven are anything to go by, I think series eight will be spectacular. I am excited about taking Lucas into deeper and more dangerous territory, and seeing if he can survive!’
Hermione Norris, who is approaching her fourth series of Spooks as Ros Myers, adds: “Spooks is a fantastic show to be a part of and I’m delighted to be joining the team again next year.”
The final episode in the current BBC1 series in screened at 9pm next Monday.
It ends with quite a cliffhangher – that “sting in the tale” – with almost a year to wait until we find out what happens.
YOU can always rely on Spooks to hurtle towards a conclusion.
The last two episodes in the current series gather speed like a runaway train.
Episode six – the third last in this series – is screened on BBC1 at 9pm on Monday.
And then we come to episode seven.
It’s shown for the first time on BBC3 at 10.30pm on Monday, ahead of the main BBC1 transmission a week later.
It begins in the same place as episode six ends.
With Harry (Peter Firth) sitting at home in a brown leather armchair.
Having taken a stiff drink, he starts his CD player.
JUST back from the press launch for new ITV1 drama Whitechapel.
The three-part thriller stars former Spooks leading man Rupert Penry-Jones.
So, naturally, we asked him about the recent explosive exit of MI5’s Adam Carter.
“I was very pleased with it,” he said at the Q&A.
“I wanted to go out with a bang and I did.
“Everybody on Spooks, all the actors on it, whenever one of us is going to leave…we always hope that we’re going to get killed off, rather than just exit quietly.
“And I think the best exits from all the lead characters have been the ones who’ve been killed.
“So I’m glad they chose to kill me off.
IS there a stronger female character on British TV today than Ros Myers?
Or a better boss than Harry Pearce?
Spooks continues to thrill and surprise in episodes to be screened tomorrow and the week after.
A jaw-dropping moment for Harry (Peter Firth).
Ros (Hermione Norris) goes above and beyond the call of duty.
The look on Jo’s (Miranda Raison) face as she deals with an escalating crisis.
Connie’s (Gemma Jones) tacky souvenir.
The Spooks Microwave Cook Book.
SPOOKS star Miranda Raison had to keep plenty of secrets about the new series which began on BBC1 last night.
Not least the fact that her character Jo Portman survived last year’s cliffhanger.
She told me: “Quite a few people have been asking, ‘Are you alive?’
“And, obviously, I’m back…”
There’s an interview with Miranda in today’s MEN – the online version is here.
I’m off to the National TV Awards at the Albert Hall in London tomorrow night.
Shamefully, Spooks doesn’t have a single nomination.
But can I suggest that someone, somewhere, gives Peter Firth a huge award at some point in the future?
After seven series, he’s still simply brilliant as Harry Pearce.
“SOMEONE is in terrible danger and we’re fighting to save them.
“Isn’t that the only thing that makes sense of, well, all of this?”
Adam Carter goes out in style in the new series of Spooks.
Even though many fans already know, I can’t say when and I can’t say how.
Rupert Penry-Jones, who plays Adam, will be missed.
But production company Kudos always turn such losses into new opportunities.
Such as the arrival of Richard Armitage as Lucas North.
And the appointment of a new chief of Section D.
THAMES House, London. MI5 Central HQ.
Spooks is back with a spy swap, fish and chips and a lesson in the use of cutlery.
As regular readers will know, I’ve been a fan since the very first press launch for series one.
I went on set again back in April to interview cast members.
The first feature ran in the MEN yesterday – the online version is here.
Some fans will already know what’s ahead.
But along with other members of the media, I’ve agreed not to spoil viewers’ enjoyment of the new series by revealing too much detail.
So you won’t find any major spoilers below.
BACK to normal TV service after the annual two weeks covering Wimbledon.
Last month I met up again with Spooks star Rupert Penry-Jones.
The occasion was the launch of new two-part BBC2 thriller Burn Up, which is screened next week.
More on that in tomorrow’s MEN and in a later blog entry.
I also took the opportunity to ask Rupert about filming his final scenes as Adam Carter in Spooks.
We’ll see them when the new series returns to BBC1 later this year.
And now the embargo on the Burn Up interview has expired, I can report what Rupert said.
“I did nearly cry on my last sequence,” he told me.
“But then they brought me back for re-shoots.
THE world is always a safer place when Spooks is being filmed.
I spent a day in and around The Grid this week as work progressed on series seven of the always gripping BBC1 spy drama.
A small group of us spoke to cast members, including Peter Firth and new arrival Richard Armitage.
We also interviewed Hermione Norris about her return to MI5 after faking the death of Ros Myers last year.
Cast and crew were busy filming episodes three and four, with the series due back on screen in the autumn.
It’s already been announced that Robin Hood and North and South star Richard plays MI5 officer Lucas North.
He’s spent the past eight years in a Russian prison – so was around before we first met Harry and his original team in May 2002.
QUITE an end of series cliffhanger for Spooks last night.
Well, the good news is that there will be a seventh series of the BBC1 spy drama.
I’m told filming is due to begin in the spring.
Did Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones) kill Jo (Miranda Raison) just as they were about to be rescued?
The bad news is – we’ve got no idea at this stage whether Adam or Jo (pictured) will feature next year.
Nothing has yet been finalised in terms of actors’ contracts for Spooks 2008.
Rupert has been quoted as saying he might not be back, but could possibly return for a few episodes to play out Adam’s exit storyline.
And I assume last night’s final scene at least leaves open the option of a return for Miranda, should she want to continue in the role.