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4.7 out of 5 stars
MI-5, Volume 4
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2006
Format: DVD
The fourth series of MI-5 (Spooks) packs a slightly lesser punch than the previous three, but fascinating and entertaining nonetheless.

For my money, this series leaves stuff like 24 at the starting gate - it retains a good grip of the real world and does not treat other countries as either idiotic or as a fiefdom. The fact that the series is working through its' second team of actors is edge of the seat stuff and validates plotlines nicely.

The issues of state sponsored torture, big brother, personal privacy and civil rights are raised throughout, but never challenged to any great extent.

Well produced, slick and gives Mr Bond a run for his money.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Why, Why, Why does a US cable station not pick up this wonderful show. A&E showed the first 3 seasons but even them, it was when A&E decided and did not really care if anyone watched.

This show, espec. seasons 1 & 2 are miles ahead of anything else on US television today.

My recommendation, buy all 4 box sets, get tons of popcorn and spend your entire weekend watching a 10 out of 10 show.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This series captures the best of the thriller, English spy game with plots that reflect current global events. It is a roller coaster thrill ride with every new episode, and unlike American TV drama, they aren't afraid to put key characters in mortal danger. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2008
Format: DVD
Season 4 did not disappoint...

Like a lot of other fans, we first caught MI-5 on A&E and BBC America, but couldn't watch it consistently. DVD Boxsets are a God-send. My wife and I blazed through the first 3 seasons between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and just finished Series 4 a couple days ago. Thank goodness Series 5 will be out next week, because I don't think we could wait too long to see how the cliff-hanger gets resolved.

I'm a huge fan of the way the show tackles all the thorny issues that go hand-in-hand with fighting enemies, who have declared to the world that your destruction is their reason for being.

The themes that run through Series 4, are all too real -- Abuse of power, misuse of intelligence agencies for political purposes, controlling/manipulating the media, disillusioned officers, etc., etc., etc..

The episodes are written in a fast-paced manner, and the emotional impact of each crisis on the officers' humanity, as well as on the victims and conspirators is always obvious. This isn't a show where violence is gratuitously presented; it's always the honest, realistic result of the circumstances leading up to it.

There are moments where we are reminded that spooks are a breed-apart, and dispite the temptation to romanticize them, there's a great deal of pain (physcial and psychological) that goes with the territory. Spooks lie for a living, but they also have to be singularly brilliant to get the best of fanatics, psychopathic-killers, and homicidal-idealists, hell-bent on raining terror down on society.

MI-5 is a great show, and Series 4 did not disappoint.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2007
Format: DVD
After three seasons of a series one always wonders if a formula becomes old.... not so with SPOOKS. The fourth series is definitely worthy of the other three, with some excellent new cast members and tension-filled episodes, that introduce terrorist plots to destabilize the country by different British and foreign cells (and not just Muslim fundamentalists). Moreover, throughout the season MI-5 gets increasing competition from other government agencies and is pressured to slowly infringe on the privacy of citizens. It makes the leading characters and the viewer wonder: when does the good guy become a bad guy, or is everything allowed in the war on terror?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
While I found it hard to lose most of the original main characters from the first 3 years, season 4 still delivers a great series that is head and shoulders above 24 and anything else on U.S. television. Also, as of the date of this review I have discovered (much to my delight) that BBC America has picked up MI-5 and is showing it from the beginning. The bad news is, they seem to be putting in even more commercials than A&E did. However, that just makes viewing the DVD version that much more enjoyable.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
It's too bad that A&E dumped the series to a one day extravaganza. One of the best shows of its genre, it deserves to be owned. Unforntunately it does appear next season will be picked up by A&E, so, fans stay alert for the DVD release.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The writers of MI-5 have kept up their high quality into the fourth season. Characters come and go, but the series never misses a step and keeps this viewer interested, entertained and looking forward to more. The variety of credible threats to the UK never ceases to amaze me.

This is the ONLY Television series I have ever purchased, and I share it with a couple of friends who are also hooked on MI-5!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
As I have previously stated on this board. I became a huge fan of the fine BBC spy/thriller MI-5 starting with Season Seven (7) and became so very addicted to the series that I started viewing the past seasons. Now I am "up to" Season four (4) of catching up to the current season of MI-5 , I am still very much thrilled with this super intense British "high tech" spy thriller. Season four (4) of MI-5 is so finely done that it kept me poised on "the edge of my seat" in anticipation of "what happens next" and/or how is this terrible "espionage problem "going to be solved plus I was "blown away" with all of the extreme "high tech" gadgets that the spies have at their disposal in season four (4).

Season four (4) of MI-5 contains ten (10) very well written, wonderfully directed and fabulously acted episodes on five (5) discs, My god, the episodes are so good. I was always trying to differentiate the "good" characters from the "bad" characters. One can never, at first, determine if a character is really what he/she says she/he is--a lot of "double agents" to keep the viewing audience guessing and surprised. A very fine season indeed, although I "lost" many of my favorite characters through tragic circumstances. I look forward to the next seasons--I am truly "hooked".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 4, 2012
Moving into its Fourth Season, MI-5 retains its seemingly impossible-to-achieve status as one of the smartest, most intelligent, and most dramatic shows you'll ever see. "MI-5" is about a group of British citizen individuals who join "5" to help "defend the realm." (MI-5 is that branch of the British secret service that is focused on domestic threats, be they economic, terrorist, civil uprisings, or any externally originating threat that has found its way back to the UK; a sister branch, MI-6, not a part of this show, deals more exclusively with external threats to the country.) The series introduces us to all kinds of real-world threats--both potential and operationally real--and shows how the members of 5 must react in order to counter and/or eliminate these threats. The series is so well written, produced, directed, filmed, and acted that each episode is more of a 60-minute movie than a television episode. The drama, intrigue, intelligent stories, and, yes, action, establish the series as a standout among even the often high-achieving BBC (already the producer of many world-class shows), making it with little doubt one of the best shows of this nature ever made.

Season Four again focuses on a new series of threats to the UK, and, perhaps more than any other season to date, has a "thematic" flavor that carries through the entire season. And although it seems increasingly impossible that the show could ever match the emotional excitement and achievement of each last season, Season Four raises the bar once again and seems to defy all "regression to the mean." I liken the show to one of those plate twirlers who gets a plate spinning up in the air at the top of one of those skinny sticks, and while you are trying to understand how he is doing it, starts another plate stirring on a second stick while keeping the first going. And then, to your incredulity, he adds yet a third plate on a third stick, and now maintains all three plates. You scratch your head with amazement even as you watch him keep all three plates twirling on those sticks, and yet he does it right in front of you. That's what MI-5 is like as you enter the third and fourth seasons.

Because of the complexity and the intellectual development of characters (as well as the plots themselves), it is best to watch MI-5 in order by episode, with no skipping of episodes, and this makes the DVD release of the show perhaps the very best manner in which to view the production. The DVDs allow you to step your way through each season, episode by episode, thereby viewing the show in the manner in which it was intended to be viewed. This gives you the ability to watch how characters are developed, and to better gain an understanding of how the MI-5 Section D group works. With the exception of the very first episode of Season One (the first episode is really not up to the standards of all the remaining ones, an issue attributable to the difficulties inherent in plot development) the shows are incredibly exciting, but also intelligently written in a way that will make you re-think the issues surrounding the role of the security forces in countries, what actions should and should not be allowed, the best way to address classes of threats, the implications for a free society when eliminating threats, the intersection of political and security concerns, and much more. You might at first glace think that MI-5, as an entertainment production, would be no more than that; but MI-5 is certainly more than a simple entertainment show. Be prepared to be entertained, but also mentally stimulated.

This is a truly amazing show. It's easily seven stars out of five. And the prices of the discs have come down dramatically from earlier years. But don't forget: you need to watch these IN ORDER. If you haven't seen it yet, start with Season One, work your way through that first not-so-good episode, and then watch the thing take of a like a jet. You'll be hooked by the time you get to the end of Season One.
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