Jan 20, 2009

New Spy DVDs Out This Week: MI-5

MI-5: Volume 6 hits US shelves today from BBC Home Video. We in America are running well behind the UK on this British show, known there as Spooks. There, the seventh season comes out in February, the eighth will be broadcast later this year, and a ridiculous-looking (but at the same time intriguing) teenage spinoff called Spooks: Code 9 has already aired and hit DVD. Here, though, we're getting Season 6, and that's a cause for celebration. Any new MI-5 is a cause for celebration!

The series has mutated plenty since its tense, down-to-earth debut, but it remains superb entertainment in its new, action-packed, 24-inspired format as well. Volume 6 sees another shift in the 24 direction as MI-5, which (despite a few two-parters and some ongoing character arcs) has generally focused on standalone episodes in the past now embraces the serial model. Beyond the now standard two-part opener, there is an ongoing threat this season for the first time: Iran. There's also an ongoing plotline about a search for one of the MI-5 agents (and series regulars) who goes missing in the premiere. While it's probable this will air on BBC America, DVD remains the only way to get a proper viewing experience of MI-5 in the United States. The TV versions are hacked up beyond recognition in order to fit the commercials.

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