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Category:    Home > Reviews > Spy > Action > Espionage > British TV > MI-5: Series Four/Volume Four

MI-5: Series Four/Volume Four (BBC DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Episodes: C+



It used to be a guarantee that you could get a good Spy series on TV, but the genre started to show signs of wear by the early 1980s with the Robert Conrad miss A Man Called Sloane.  A Mission: Impossible revival was poor enough to make the Tom Cruise films possible and Alias was very overrated to begin with, only to wear out quickly in anything it had going for it.  Back on British TV, home of classics like The Avengers, the BBC has a hit in MI-5, but is it really as good as its hit reputation would have one believe?


Maybe it too was good in the beginning like Alias was, but by this fourth season, whatever it had is just not there.  Instead, it feels like any other generic techno-thriller TV show or feature production, often just above a first-shooter videogame and just as colorless.  Known as Spooks in England, sounding more like a Horror show than espionage one, the original title suggests these agents are like ninjas and so mysterious and undetectable that we should be in shock & awe.


Instead, that latter tired and failed term can only connotate my disappointment at a series that is still on as of this posting and is more often like 24 without the excitement of that series’ early seasons.  Any twists here are just twists unto themselves without any substantial storyline to back them up.  This is a five DVD set of hour-long shows.  Start at the begi9nning and if it stays interesting, get this set.  Otherwise, skip it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 is obviously shot on digital High Definition with all of its flaws and limits apparent in this tradedown.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 has enough healthy surrounds to be the highlight of this set.  Extras include audio commentary tracks on every episode, An Elusive Peace documentary on this season, Regnus Defends: an interview with series producer Andrew Woodhead and A View From The Grid: interview with episode director Julian Simpson.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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