Lately Channel 4 are producing really good original programmes. Competing with the BBC and ITV is quite hard, but they are managing to do this with their latest documentary.
From the makers of the intense and gritty SAS: Who Dares Wins, comes Spies. It had the same premise as its predecessor whereby a group of ordinary people with a range of jobs see what it takes to become a spy by following a similar course to what professionals go through. What I liked about it was they there was an equal split between the sexes, whereas the SAS just had men.
The team of professionals only known as Cameron, Julian and Deborah have worked for the likes of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. As soon as the episode started the contestants were chucked into the deep end by the former spies. They had 2 missions in the field where they had to track a suspect and immerse themselves at a convention. One of the professionals former GCHQ spy Cameron was used as a mole in the operation to see if he could uncover information from the competitors. This was predictable at first, but was seen as a useful way to engage the audience. The show had a twist to SAS, but by watching it you kept thinking about the similarities between the 2 shows. Although the world of spying is an interesting one that I for one wanted to see what happens in it.
The episode focused on a few of the contestants at the start and the funniest moment occurred when they had to go to a cyber-convention and had to pretend to be someone else. One of the wannabe spies Bev mistakenly used her own name, but quickly corrected with her fake name Beth. This made me shout “what are you doing” and think her time on the show would be short.
The next few episodes look to be explosive showing them having to fire a gun. After enjoying SAS, I hope Spies is just as good, but hopefully stays different.