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

Heavens, it's a complicated business, this spying lark. Not only are there wheels within wheels and plots within plots, but you never know who the good guys are.

And, of course, you cannot trust anyone - not even your friends.

Which is why tonight's high-adrenaline episode opens with MI5 agents spying on our "allies", the Americans.

It's the eve of a massive international summit at the Havensworth Hotel in rural Berkshire, and what MI5 has discovered is that the USA and France are colluding to pull the plug on the conference, thus dashing the hopes of the British Government.

You'd think that there isn't much that can be done about this, but our favourite spies have other ideas.

Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones, right) puts it straight to the Government: "We'd like you to give MI5 the authority to mount an operation inside Havensworth - to deliver the agreement, in whatever way possible."

Which sounds fearsome, and indeed it turns out to be. Using a bunch of dirty tricks and enough hi-tech surveillance equipment to fill a fleet of pantechnicons, they set about bringing the two errant nations into line.

But the team's digging around also unearths some other, more deadly, plots... As the story develops, there are some pretty preposterous twists and turns, but the chances are you won't notice, because the rattling pace at which the story moves leaves all doubts in its slipstream.

This is drama that's smart, seductive and slick. And sometimes just a little bit silly. But it's great fun.

Autumnwatch with Bill Oddie

8pm, BBC2

Bill Oddie and Kate Humble (below) return, hoping their infectious enthusiasm for wildlife will prove as popular as it did with Springwatch. Back in May they had the unusual honour of denting the ratings of both EastEnders and Coronation Street. Can they do the same again tonight?

As before, the duo (plus reporter Simon King) present live daily nature reports from around the UK.

Of course, part of the enjoyment of these programmes is that no one knows in advance exactly what is going to happen. …

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