epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Spooks: Code 9 (2008) Review, Part 1

This ‘darker and edgier’ spin-off of the BBC show ‘Spooks’ was absolutely slaughtered by critics when it aired. It is unsure whether it has been renewed or cancelled. It’s not as bad as the critics made out. Viewers didn’t exactly embrace the show as the core concept of the show invalidated the so far seven seasons of ‘Spooks’. If they hadn’t made it a ‘Spooks’ spin-off, it might have done better. It’s not that bad, honest.

Episode 1
The Code 9 of the title refers to the fact that at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, someone detonated a nuke. Chaos ensued. 100,000 died, many more are dying of radiation sickness, numerous people were displaced and MI5 lost 25% of their staff. Now they are recruiting smug, snotty, mouthy twentysomethings to fight a new generation of baddies.

It is now 2013 and the just trained officers are on duty. They are Jez (reformed hoodie), Rachel (former cop), Rob (former med student), Vik, Kylie (psych student/radiation poisoning victim) and Charlie (mathematician). The team (minus Jez) all live together in a house which doesn’t seem very smart. The UK has changed: ID cards, checkpoints, sectors and secured food supply compounds are part of everyday life.

An assassination is being planned, the team race to prevent it. Various people wander in and out of scenes to drop massive exposition dumps of dialogue. However the search for the assassin goes horribly wrong as the team didn’t know who the real target was. Soon bodies stack up and a mystery needs solving.

This was okay. Our ‘heroes’ come across as almost unbearably smug especially Rachel. The writers try to give depth to Jez by revealing that his family have been missing since the blast and that he is still searching for them. This show does have flaws but it is watchable. The writers never address the fact that the team enjoy the great power they have over other people’s lives a bit too much.

Best Lines:
Authorities have commenced Operation Sassoon, the mass evacuation of London and surrounding areas.”

“I must have missed the scene where Jason Bourne was stacking shelves.”

“Did you supply a great big gun to an assassin called Jermian Lee recently?”

“One of Britain’s most feared assassins is a 15 year old kid with a burger fetish?”

Episode 2
Jez shags an informer which turns out to be a really bad idea as she’s playing him. In a nod to the post-blast Britain becoming very ‘1984’ there are big screens everywhere that broadcast alert systems. Jez’s informer hacks into the alert system to use the screens to broadcast footage from the secret Windsmere prison.

Jez panics and the team try to track the informer. They don’t know who she is as it turns out she’s using the ID of someone missing since the blast. Then the informer strikes again by triggering a deadly stampede at a train station. Rob tries to find her by going undercover at a relocation centre. His ham fisted efforts do yield some results and Jez has a show down with the informer.

After giving Jez ‘depth’ in ep 1, now we get some ‘depth’ on Rob as it is hinted that a medical school friend of his died under mysterious circumstance. Rachel acts like a snot and it is revealed that people who work on the clean up squads in London steal ID from the dead to sell on the black market.

This was okay and the ongoing main plot arc gets some more hints added to it. Why does a CGI Union Jack fly across the screen from time to time? TPTB did this show no favours by giving it the tagline “For Queen, for country, for kicks”. Which only served to make this show come across like an unholy mish-mash of ‘Spooks’, ‘Hollyoaks’ and ‘Skins

Best Lines:
“No matter where you live, your water is safe to drink.”

“We don’t know who she is, we don’t know where she is, we don’t know how she did it.”

Episode 3
There has been no real sense of danger or urgency to this show, but it finally kicks off in this ep. There is massive demand for illegal radiation sickness pills. The pills are coming out of Prospect Towers, one of the most dangerous resettlement complexes in the country. After partying at a night club, again, Jez and Kylie go in undercover to find the druglord Zero.

Prospect Towers is a bleak hell hole ruled by Zero. His spotters, dealers, muscle and runners are everywhere. But who is he? Jez tries to smoke him out while Kylie chats to Lizzie, a refugee from London. There is a real sense of paranoia in this ep as someone watches the team in their offices, while at Prospect Towers; a riot erupts during an attempted police raid.

Kylie chats to Lizzie about how she was only one mile from the bomb and how she is dying of radiation sickness. How did she pass the MI5 physical is what I want to know. Jez meets Zero and learns the nasty truth about what’s really in the fake pills. Now Jez and Kylie have to get out of Prospect alive. This was good, the hints of what life is like in this bleak 2013 are well done.

Best Lines:
“Protestors looted hospitals and pharmacies desperate to get their hands on rumoured stockpiles of medication.”

“Him and Jez used to, um, rob houses together apparently.”
“He sounds trustworthy.”

“The radiation in my blood is slowly killing me.”
“How long have you got?”
“Nobody knows.”

“You’ve been disrupting municipal harmony.”

“Never thought I’d see the day that fur was harder to get hold of then charlie.”

“Only junkies buy drugs. Everybody buys pharmaceuticals.”

Episode 4
Informers are being murdered and it seems someone is using a website meant to track down people displaced by the bomb to find protected witnesses. Also Rachel and Charlie hunt down a smuggler known as Ghostman while Rob is grilled about his friend’s death. Also the team go clubbing, again.

The clubbing scene are really annoying, you don’t see Lucas North from ‘Spooks’ out clubbing do you? He’s too busy brooding and showing off his prison tattoos. The character of Rob annoys, where to start with him? He’s got a thing for Rachel, he’s a terrible med student and he may be a murderer.

As Kylie has gunplay with people hanging off of cars, Rachel learns some shocking and game changing information about the 2012 incident from the Ghostman. This was good.

Best Lines:
“I need all my brain cells, they’re handy for thinking.”

“I wouldn’t touch your bloke. God knows what he caught off you!”

“Two informers dead and one of your team in hospital after a drunken brawl? Not an exemplary week.”

“It would make them sick to see what you’re doing in their name.”

“I need a scar.”
Tags: spooks code 9

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