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The fifth year of MI-5, AKA Spooks, maintains the speed and complexity fans have come to expect. Victim of a sniper attack in series four, Adam (Rupert Penry-Jones), returns to work just in time. The Home Secretary (Robert Glenister, Hustle) is in danger, the prime minister's son (Simon Woods, Pride & Prejudice) is in hiding, and a coup is in the works. For those just tuning in, it'll take an episode or two to get caught up (a basic knowledge of British politics won't hurt). Before the season is over, one agent will leave, one will be injured, and another--a first-year veteran--will be killed. Cast changes are nothing new for the BBC drama, however, and in the second episode, Adam welcomes the chilly, yet effective Ros Myers (Hermione Norris, Cold Feet) to the fold. As she quips to junior officer Jo (Miranda Raison), "If I wanted a job where everyone loved me, I'd have become a vet." Other cases revolve around a terror cell, in which Zafar (Raza Jaffrey, Eastern Promises) becomes embedded, and a suicide with which Ruth (Nicola Walker) becomes obsessed. All work and no play would, however, make these spies rather one-dimensional. So, branch superior Harry (Peter Firth) finally asks out Ruth, and the stressed-out Adam, a recent widower, seeks comfort in the arms of a friend. Unlike past fully-loaded sets, extras are less abundant this time around, but still worthwhile (with the exception of Raison's video diary, which isn't especially informative). They include cast interviews and commentary on two episodes from writers Neil Cross and David Farr, director Julian Holmes, and assistant producer Katie Swinden. Helpful tip from novelist Cross (Mr. In-between): Always keep a carton of milk handy in the event of a tear gas attack; the fat will neutralize the sting.

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Special Features Featurette: A Guide to Series 5 Series 5 trailer Commentary on episodes 9 and 10 Sneak peek of series 6

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WA38363 MI-5 Volume 5 DVD (2006) $59.98 $53.99