The precinct is political
Espionage as a public service in Spooks (BBC 1, 2002–11)
in Paranoid visions
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Although the 1990s proved something of a moribund period for the British television spy series, following the turn of the millennium the BBC would experience great success with Spooks (BBC 1, 2002-11), an ongoing espionage-themed drama developed as a new flagship programme for its majority interest channel BBC. In reality, however, by the time of the 9/11 attacks the initial six-episode run of Spooks had already been commissioned and largely planned out, with four scripts drafted. Although the series would come to position itself more strongly as a response to the 'war on terror' in later years, this chapter examines the first series in the context of its original broadcast in 2002. It explores how Spooks drew upon many new elements that had been popularised in a deregulated and globalised television era, including the popular form of the precinct series and a dynamic visual style derived from high-end American drama.

Paranoid visions

Spies, conspiracies and the secret state in British television drama


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