Spooks, the highly successful BBC spy drama, returns next Sunday for its final season.

It’s been almost ten years since Spooks first teased audiences with the promise of “MI5 not 9 to 5″. Since then it has gone on to establish itself as one of the channel’s flagship dramas.

When it first hit screens in 2002 its fast paced, high octane and slick style along with contemporary and complex plotlines made it one of the most innovative programmes on television. It went on to continuously reinvent itself each season bringing in new characters and new security challenges to face.

Various British actors have appeared as part of the main cast throughout the series including, Matthew Macfadyen (Tom Quinn), David Oyelowo (Danny Hunter), Keeley Hawes (Zoe Reynolds), Rupert Penry-Jones (Adam Carter), Hermione Norris (Ros Myers) and Richard Armitage (Lucas North).

Over the years the show has become know for killing off its main cast members in rather gruesome fashion (it seems no-one retires from MI5, well except for maybe Malcolm the mild mannered IT expert).

Interestingly it is the production company Kudos that have decided to end the show and not broadcaster BBC. Kudos chief executive and Spooks executive producer Jane Featherstone told MediaGuardian.co.uk,

“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.”

The 10th and final season will centre around MI5 bosses Harry Pearce played by Peter Firth, the last remaining original cast member.

“Harry Pearce […] has always been at the heart of the show, and this series focuses on Harry’s past, bringing his tumultuous relationship with Ruth [Nicola Walker] to a head” said Featherstone.

With new girl Lara Pulver taking over as head of section D following the betrayal of Lucas North.

Ben Stephenson, controller at BBC Drama Commissioning, called Spooks;

“a groundbreaking series [which] redefined drama on the channel for a new generation […] I hope fans will tune in this September to see what promises to be a fittingly high octane thrilling finale”

Spooks season 10 returns Sunday 18th September at 9pm on BBC 1

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This article was first posted on September 14, 2011