Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

The Greater Good


Starring: Peter Firth, Kit Harington, Jennifer Ehle and Elyes Gabel
Distributor: Entertainment One
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 28 September 2015

Spooks was a successful television show which detailed the lives of British spies working for MI5. The show ran from 2002 to 2011 clocking up ten series which were critically well received.

Spooks: The Greater Good (2015. 1 hr, 39 min, 41 sec) is the spin-off film. Directed by Bharat Nalluri, the story is set several years after the end of the show.

When a terrorist transfer goes wrong, leading to the release of Adem Qasim (Elyes Gabel), Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) suspects that the operation originated in his own department, but who to trust and who to suspect? Finding no way of discovering the truth, he fakes his own death and goes on the run in order to draw out the traitor.

Not convinced by Harry’s suicide, MI5 turn to Will Holloway (Kit Harington), a protégé of Harry’s until he decommissioned him citing poor performance. However MI5 are aware that the connection between the men stretches all the way back to Will's father, who worked with Harry until he was killed in Berlin.

Shows do not often translate well from the small screen to the big, but this is not so with Spooks, which presents a viable film, with a cinematic visual language which belies its modest budget. I did watch the show on and off, but could never have been considered an actual fan, so came to the film with a relatively fresh pair of eyes.

In the look and feel of the show, it reminded me more of the down and dirty spy films of the early sixties, the Harry Palmer films especially, where good work relied on hard graft and a lot of luck, rather than the more high tech and emotionally removed world of 24. That is not to say that the film is without style, it has this in abundance, but its style without unnecessary flash. That said, it relatively low budget and lack of techno toys might make some feel an element of disappointment, but this film is not trying to compete with the likes of James Bond, rather it presents a good, solid thriller.

Since it has been the best part of four years since the show was on, the inclusion of Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) was a sensible move to bring in a more recent audience. For Harington’s part the film allows him to show that he has a wider acting range than was required by his role of Jon Snow, even MI5 works out that he knows something this time.

It’s very hard to fault the acting of the ensemble cast, including Lara Pulver, Eleanor Matsuura, Tim McInnerny, Elliot Levey, Jennifer Ehle and David Harewood; all turn in a solid performances.

The DVD disc offers up both a 2.0 and 5.1 audio track, as well as subtitles and a description track. For extras you have the Making of (10 min, 36 sec) with contributions from cast and crew interspersed with sequence from the film. It’s entertaining enough, even if you don’t really learn that much about the making of the film. Next up are the deleted scenes (5 min, 06 sec) two in all, although in truth these are more extended scenes, so they are finished elements. You get a trailer (1 min, 28 sec) and cast and crew interviews, eight in all, with variable running times between one and five minutes.

Overall, I liked the film, certainly it will appeal to fans of the show, but it’s well worth a look for a wider audience.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Amazon Instant Video
iTunes GB
Digital Download