Confirming what was first hinted at in a May press release for the American release of the Volume 9 DVDs, the BBC has confirmed that Spooks (known in America as MI-5) is indeed coming to an end after ten seasons. The Guardian reports that the decision to end the popular long-running spy drama comes from the show's producers at Kudos, and not from the network. They say they wanted to see it go out "in its prime" rather than see it cancelled by the BBC down the line. Whether or not it's actually still "in its prime" is a matter for fans to debate, but the series has seen amazing longevity thanks to the producers' ability to reinvent it again and again with a constantly changing cast. (I don't think I've ever seen another spy show kill off as many lead characters, a fact that kept the series unpredictable, since viewers knew no one was ever safe.) According to the newspaper, the 10th and final season will focus on Peter Firth's character, Harry Pearce (the head of counter-terrorism at MI-5) which is entirely appropriate as Harry is the only remaining character who's been on the show consistently since Season 1 and thus its de facto true lead. While it's had its ups and downs, I've really enjoyed Spooks overall, and I will be sad to see it go... but I agree with Kudos that it can't run forever. I look forward to seeing how they wrap it all up. I hope that some of the few past stars who actually survived will return! (Most of all I'd like to see Harry Pearce go another round with Hugh Laurie's condescending MI-6 man from Season 1, Jules Siviter. That seems unlikely, however, given Laurie's House commitments.)
Thanks to The Harry Palmer Movie Site's Kees Stam for the alert on this one!
Read my review of MI-5: Volume 1
Read my review of MI-5: Volume 2