The new series of Spooks started tonight and is now in its sixth series. The drama series is not about ghosts, but the slang term for spies and is centred upon MI5 in London. The programme started in 2002 and starred Keely Hawes and Matthew Macfadyen. It has had several changes of cast but now stars Peter Firth as Harry Pearce (the head of the team), Hermione Morris as Ros, Rupert Penry-Jones as Adam and Raza Jaffrey as Zaf. Robert Glenister put in an appearance as the Home Secretary in tonight’s episode.
The programme started at an underground military laboratory in Iran were scientists were developing a serum with the ability to wipe out entire cities. Unfortunately a test tube broke and the contents released with the laboratory technicians being infected.
Back in London, there are discussions about a peace process with Iran. An informer suggest that Mehan Asnik is planning an attack on London. The Home Secretary is concerned that the peace process with Iran is in jeopardy and asks Harry Pearce to “deal with” Asnik, but that any assassination attempt is made to look that it is a result of internal troubles within Iran, rather than having British involvement.
Iranian intelligence suggests that Asnik is travelling to London and taking a train from Tehran. A bomb is planted on the train but the Spooks hear of Asnik’s intention to switch trains and that there will be unnecessary lives lost when the bomb goes off. Asnik is told to switch trains (when the time is right) but leaves his briefcase on the train minutes before the bomb explodes. The briefcase was blown wide open and carries vials of the deadly serum .
Asnik is caught and admits to being a double agent who is wanting to defect but is receiving instructions from someone named as “Copenhagen”. MI5 learn about a virus developed by the Americans but thought to be completely destroyed. It is known as Strain E34 and incubates in 18 hours, after which people become infected and start to cough up blood. The purpose of the strain is to kill people and it effects anyone who comes into contact with the virus. The strain has been cultured and modified. The Spooks realise that they have been given false intelligence and that Asnik’s intention was not to bring a bomb to London, but that the virus was a lethal bio hazard.
In Tehran, Adam and Zaf try to get Asnik to a safe house and realise he is infectious. Their car fails forcing them to make their journey on foot through the woods, where Zaf is shot and he and Asnik are kidnapped. A deal with the kidnappers goes horribly wrong with Zaf still be held by them and Asnik roaming the streets of London carrying the highly infectious virus.