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on February 18, 2009
Maybe The Best Ten Hours of Spy TV I Have Ever Seen!!! (Maybe the best TV of ANY GENRE!)

I have watched every episode of MI5 available through DVD - the only way U.S. viewers should do it in order to get the whole story. Season Six was riveting beyond any TV experience, including 24, which I have ever seen for this type of show. It was hard to stop watching, and a couple of nights I stayed up way later than I should have because I had to find out what happened next. Every episode flowed into the next to make what, in effect, was a ten hour movie.

One of the major factors that make MI5 so exciting, and probably somewhat real, is that no one, no one, is safe. They may not all die, but the "service" can take its toll in so many ways.

This can be very heartbreaking because another aspect of MI5 that makes it special is the characters. We come to identify and appreciate these folks because they are humanized more than is usually seen in these types of series - warts and all! Far from shining heroes in all their affairs, these spooks make all kinds of mistakes both on and off the job, they lie, cheat, steal, behave badly and come apart at the seams as the stress eats away at their psyches. In other words, they're just like you and me, only with a much tougher job description.

As a result, these all-too-human secret agents don't always win. They get played all the time, especially by other intelligent groups who are supposed to be allies. It is truly a looking glass world. Indeed, this is a major theme of Season Six.

Sadly, as mentioned in other reviews, the relentless action and intrigue pushes the private lives of Adam, Harry, Ross, Jo and others to the side. Unlike earlier seasons, there isn't a lot of down time. They may need to get back to that in future seasons or they risk losing a vital element.

As an American, I am interested in seeing my country through the eyes of others. At first, it came as a surprise to see the anti-American thread in the show, but as the legacy of Bush-Cheney has rolled out over this decade can anyone really be surprised by this? Season Six makes sure we don't miss that point. The season finale, involving two agents facing long torture and horrible death, virtually editorializes this as one of them, not surprisingly, loses their mettle faced with the terror. Despite the agitprop - I agree but it was facile - this was a powerful moment.

This is great television, start with Season One and sleep when you can.
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on February 8, 2009
When I came to write a review, I was stunned to see the season only rated 3 stars from viewers--until I realized that the low rating was a result of people complaining about the price, not the show. Yes, the set is pricey, but the purpose here is to review the PROGRAM. And in my opinion, this was the tightest, most engaging season yet. Superb writing, heinous villains, a couple of complete surprises, and a great cliff-hanger. Instead of spending my money on most of the junk currently playing in the cinemas, this is much more rewarding entertainment. (And there are no cell phones ringing, noisy children, or candy munchers to contend with!)

PS Where can we start the Hermione Norris fan club? :)
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on February 14, 2009
I was looking for TV Shows on DVD when I saw the 3 star average for MI 5 and just had to comment. The negative reviews are about price and while I understand that as a legit observation in a review, it isn't the fault of the creative team....actors, directors, writers....of one of the best shows ever for TV (The Wire and The Shield being the "others") that the "money folk" put a high price on the product. I just saw Equus in New York with Daniel Radcliffe and paid 250 dollars for two tkts and it was wonderful! Worth 250 dollars? In a fair and just world probably not but that again is not the aesthetic fault of the production. So those of you who are new to MI 5... and yes Spooks is better and cheaper if you have an R 2 system....don't be mislead by the talk about price. TV doesn't get any better than this. So don't spend money on "blockbuster" drivel and save your money for MI 5
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on July 15, 2009
This is a great series, just as good as season 5. The first 4 epi's of S6 were dynamic, but not all of the epi's captivated and held my attention like S6. Now on to S6, Wow! I love this show. The actors were effective as agents and heartwrenching as characters. The last epi did it for me. As the other commentors stated, epi 10 and a few others were dark and realistic. Rupert is the man. As always Harry Pearce was dapper, intriguing, SEXY as hell, and was totally the leader of the group. More insight into quirky Malcom also. Jo was sweet and resourceful. The new guy is still new, but very promising. He listens to his instincts which is good. I can't wait for S7.
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on February 27, 2009
MI 5 is one of the best spy thriller shows out there. I like it better than "24". This season was the Iran story. They did something different for this season The story arc begins with a british planned and staged bomb in Tehran. Then epissode after episode follows this story arc until the season finale. BBC knows how to create entertaining television. Its a shame all we get here in the US is BBC America.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 1, 2012
By the start of Season Six, the BBC's "MI-5" has thoroughly established itself as one of the world's premier drama shows. The previous five seasons have woven drama, intrigue, excitement, and intelligent storytelling together in a manner rarely seen in television, and each Season has seen us wonder how the enterprise could possible maintain such an accomplishment, yet is only to out-do itself again the following year. Season Six follows that same trajectory accomplishment, and without giving any spoilers, we can say that the series takes a darker and more sinister tone at various points that are perhaps some of the most intense in the series six year track. It can be argued that Season Six is one of the strongest of an already incredibly strong series of Seasons.

MI-5, in case you are unfamiliar with the show, is a section of the security service in the UK that addresses domestic threats. The threats can be of any nature--terrorist, economic, public disturbance, and many others--but these categories of threats are those that are deemed a threat to national security and safety, and MI-5 is called upon to monitor, track, and intervene to address them. The "MI-5" television show attempts to tell a dramatized version of this branch of the security services by allowing us to see the individuals who choose to join "5" and are often unexpectedly impacted by the requirements of the job as they seek to keep the public safety. The episodes usually deal with one specific threat and 5's response to it, yet many episodes are woven together into a larger, more long running story that encompasses many episodes, sometimes, an entire season. That's why "MI-5" is best watched in episode-by-episode order, starting with Season One.

In Season Six, the Section D team of MI-5 is faced with a extra-national threat that brings the entire service into situations both complex and ill-defined, with lots of judgment call decisions, intense risk taking, and the requirement to juggle internal security with political and national demands. In Season Six we see some of the most extended sequences yet, with a story line that weaves a chain from episode to episode throughout the entire Season. It's almost impossible to stop at the end of any given episode: the viewer finds that the pull of the story and the surrounding drama almost demands that the next episode be viewed immediately afterward.

MI-5 is intense, dramatic, powerful, intelligent, and gorgeously filmed and acted. It is certainly one of the best shows the BBC has ever put together, a premier offering among an admittedly excellent grouping of shows already made by them. The series helps us to think upon the issues surrounding intelligence and security in a country, and the intersections between liberty and safety with which any free country must deal. It's a superb exercise in filmmaking.

The Seasons:
MI-5, Volume 1
MI-5, Volume 2
MI-5, Volume 3
MI-5, Volume 4
MI-5: Volume 5
MI-5, Volume 6
MI-5, Volume 7
MI-5: Volume 8
Mi-5: Volume 9
Volume 10 not yet released (Dec 2011)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 4, 2012
By the start of Season Six, the BBC's "MI-5" has thoroughly established itself as one of the world's premier drama shows. The previous five seasons have woven drama, intrigue, excitement, and intelligent storytelling together in a manner rarely seen in television, and each Season has seen us wonder how the enterprise could possible maintain such an accomplishment, yet is only to out-do itself again the following year. Season Six follows that same trajectory accomplishment, and without giving any spoilers, we can say that the series takes a darker and more sinister tone at various points that are perhaps some of the most intense in the series six year track. It can be argued that Season Six is one of the strongest of an already incredibly strong series of Seasons.

MI-5, in case you are unfamiliar with the show, is a section of the security service in the UK that addresses domestic threats. The threats can be of any nature--terrorist, economic, public disturbance, and many others--but these categories of threats are those that are deemed a threat to national security and safety, and MI-5 is called upon to monitor, track, and intervene to address them. The "MI-5" television show attempts to tell a dramatized version of this branch of the security services by allowing us to see the individuals who choose to join "5" and are often unexpectedly impacted by the requirements of the job as they seek to keep the public safety. The episodes usually deal with one specific threat and 5's response to it, yet many episodes are woven together into a larger, more long running story that encompasses many episodes, sometimes, an entire season. That's why "MI-5" is best watched in episode-by-episode order, starting with Season One.

In Season Six, the Section D team of MI-5 is faced with a extra-national threat that brings the entire service into situations both complex and ill-defined, with lots of judgment call decisions, intense risk taking, and the requirement to juggle internal security with political and national demands. In Season Six we see some of the most extended sequences yet, with a story line that weaves a chain from episode to episode throughout the entire Season. It's almost impossible to stop at the end of any given episode: the viewer finds that the pull of the story and the surrounding drama almost demands that the next episode be viewed immediately afterward.

MI-5 is intense, dramatic, powerful, intelligent, and gorgeously filmed and acted. It is certainly one of the best shows the BBC has ever put together, a premier offering among an admittedly excellent grouping of shows already made by them. The series helps us to think upon the issues surrounding intelligence and security in a country, and the intersections between liberty and safety with which any free country must deal. It's a superb exercise in filmmaking.
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on April 13, 2010
Since the reviews are suppose to be about the DVD series, I wanted to help balance out it's ratings. It's an amazing series, well produced, thoughtfully acted, and engrossing to watch. The main characters are not cardboard cutouts like most of our American TV tends to be. They're nuanced, both good and bad. Each has weaknesses and strengths, uncertainties and boundaries that seem to surprise even them.

This season was particularly focused on worldwide Nation relationships, particularly between Briton, US, Iran, Israel and Russia. All the countries have traitors. All the countries have heroes. Nothing is black or white, only shades of gray.

It was fascinating to see a different perspective of the US, one very different from the RedWhiteBlue I'd been raised on and feel in my heart for my country. All things, people, and countries have multiple sides and facets. Recognizing the unpleasant aspects of ourselves is the only way we'll become aware of what we need to make better in ourselves. Both for our own well being and for those around us. That's why I appreciate seeing, every now and then, a show where we're NOT the "good guys". MI-5 is one of those shows. Give it a try if you've not already. It's worth the investment of time.
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on June 24, 2009
The MI-5 (Spooks in the UK) series is simply fantastic! However, it seems that the US pricing is rather high compared to that in the UK. The reason why it is reasonably priced in the UK is that the BBC, unlike commercial broadcasters, being a publicly broadcaster, is directly subsidised (paid for) by the UK population to the tune of $200 (approx) per year per license. This is the main funding source for the BBC as, by law, it is not allowed to raise funds through commercials on its mainstream TV and Radio channels. Long may it continue ...
So dear US friends: Please support the BBC and keep our license fee down by buying BBC material and don't moan about the price ;-)
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on March 11, 2009
This is the review to read. I've seen every volume of MI-5 including season 6. Every season I've feared this brilliant show would deteriorate. After all, how could any series stay so riveting year after year? But each season I'm breathless with admiration that they consistently top themselves. Volume 6 will have you tearing your hair out with suspense. Immaculately written, beyond edgy and shockingly wonderful--despite the absence of so many heroes we've grown attached to--only to see them taken away. I don't know of any other show that regularly kills their most beloved characters without disturbing the perfection. Bottom line, this is even better than the previous seasons. So get your hands on it! This is not the place to gripe about price. If you walked out of a broadway production you felt inspired by and excited about, then ran into a friend who asked you what it was like---would you actually tell them it was garbage, simply because you felt it was too pricey? These reviews should be about content so that you can look at the number of stars and get an idea at a glance about the quality. Let people here decide for themselves how to spend their discretionary income. Those of you who gave a low rating...watch season 6. I dare you to do anything but rave. Then, see if you could throw a few more stars up there out of respect for this show.
Thanks in advance.
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