The entire show comes across as one of those school teachers who tries desperately to be trendy and get down wiv da kidz. Innit. The overwhelming desire to pander to the yoof demographic means that swear words are conspicuously jammed into the dialogue at any opportunity, with added emphasis. It leads us to witness Jez's sex life in too much detail and endure an overly stylised flashback scene in a nightclub, complete with hip music and slow-mo.
A dearth of originality governs the plot, as that old chestnut about a spy/copper sleeping with his informant is painfully wheeled out. Even the informant's death in front of her lover, when she was on the verge of detonating a bomb, is totally devoid of any tension or emotion.
On the subject of romantic intrigue, how nauseating is the flirtation between Charlie and Rachel? It comprises a series of lingering glances that are so forced it makes one wonder whether the director is pointing a gun at them off camera. It's painfully artificial and highlights the 'by numbers' approach to the scriptwriting.
After that barrage of negativity, let's look at the few positive aspects of the show. As Kylie, Georgia Moffett is very good at conveying a sense of urgency that makes your ears prick up, while Liam Boyle has fashioned makeshift boss Charlie into a nice combination of authority and sheer geekiness. Visually, the scenes of frenetic rush hour evacuations were also quite affecting given their close links to the real world.
Overall though, Spooks: Code 9 has yet to show enough signs that it can transcend its current status as a piece of condescending, uninvolving tripe. Innit.
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