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Hit spy series Spooks to be killed off after 10 seasons

Max Brown, Spooks

Story by Jack Foley

THE BBC has announced that its popular spy drama Spooks is to be killed off after a decade.

Rather than calling time on the show itself, however, the BBC has revealed that the decision was taken by Spooks producer Kudos, which has decided to end the series “in its prime”.

The 10th season, which begins airing this autumn, will therefore be its final outing and will focus on the only remaining original lead character, Peter Firth’s Harry Pearce, the head of the counter-terrorism unit depicted.

Commenting on the decisoin to the Guardian, Kudos chief executive and Spooks executive producer Jane Featherstone said: “I feel very sad about it. It was a very difficult decision to make. But we didn’t want to get to the point where the BBC said we don’t really want another one, we wanted to kill it off in its prime.”

Shedding some extra light on the Harry storyline, she added: “It’s very tempting to keep going, and we have had ongoing conversations with our partners at the BBC about it, but the heart of the show has become those two characters and I feel they own it.

“We’ve followed the arc of their personal story and I think they’ve brought us to a natural end, which you will all see played out later this year.”

Spooks began in 2002 and was quickly dubbed the UK’s answer to 24 for the way it kept viewers on their toes and made every cast member expendable.

The MI5 drama adopted a no-nonsense approach to its characters from the very first season, when it dispensed of one of its main protagonists, Helen Flynn (played by actress Lisa Faulkner) by having her head plunged into a deep-fat fryer.

Since then, numerous stars have appeared in the show, including Keeley Hawes, Matthew Macfadyen, Jenny Agutter, Robert Hardy, Hugh Laurie, Simon Russell Beale, Rupert Penry-Jones and Hermione Norris.

It has also regularly pulled in audiences of more than 6 million.

For its final run, Featherstone has promised a “surprise-packed” story but wouldn’t say if anyone would return.

She was backed by Ben Stephenson, BBC drama commissioning controller, who promised “a fittingly high-octane thrilling finale”.

Related stories: Spooks: Season 9 photos l Max Brown interview

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