Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pick of the Night

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pick of the Night

Article excerpt


Spooks 9pm, BBC1

It's a rough life in the modern MI5, isn't it?

In the old days, secret agents just used to hang around on park benches muttering enigmatic phrases like "the swallows are flying at midnight," and passing anonymous brown envelopes.

Pretty boring stuff compared with the excitements of Spooks, where every week there seems to be a new threat to the nation.

But even the all-action heroes of the modern MI5 must be finding things are getting a bit repetitive.

Tonight for example, we are back tackling that familiar enemy, the terror cell which is planning to explode a large bomb (a thermobaric bomb, in fact - which, as bombs go, is pretty serious).

So, as we've come to expect, one of the team - Zaf (Rasa Jaffrey, right), in this case - goes undercover in the cell and ends up living in the usual cold, bare flat favoured by terrorists. And after much bugging of rooms and tracking of suspects, there is a nerve-wracking climax in which a bomb is driven into the centre of London.

Then our dashing (in more ways than one) hero Adam has to make a heart-stopping, last-minute bid to avert catastrophe. Will he do it?

For followers of the series, this story is rather like Groundhog Day (without the weatherman and the funny furry animal, of course). It's a plot we've been through a dozen times before.

Still, as this is Spooks, even a potboiler episode (which this is) has enormous panache and class. And still manages to be more gripping than most other dramas on the box.

Nuremberg - Nazis on Trial 9pm, BBC2

This compelling drama-documentary is the first of a series looking at the war-crime trials of the three most notorious Nazis.

It starts with Albert Speer, the only defendant at the trials in Nuremberg who showed any remorse or admitted responsibility.

"Let the whole Nazi system and all who participated in it, including myself, go down with the ignominy and disgrace it deserves," he says.

But did he really believe that - or was he just trying to save his skin?

No one was sure at the time - and even now, 60 years on, opinions are divided. …

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