Results tagged “Spooks Code 9”

Episode 4 - Spooks Code 9 - how not to protect MI5 informants

It is hard see how anyone who has watched the TV adaptation of John le Carré 's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy etc. will be impressed with the way in which the [spooks] code 9 series treats the important topic of the protection of their own members of staff, and of their informants, from violence and murder by enemy organisations.

Episode 4 opens with the murder of an MI5 informant, whose body is thrown from a building, landing on top of a car, terrifying the driver.

"It looks like someone's after our assets" says the torturer / former medical student ( Rob who spends half of his time getting illegal access to his former teaching hospital's computer systems to delete or fake evidence about his former girlfriend's lover, who he may or may not have murdered when the bomb went off in London)

"Could Hewitt's gang have found out that he was an informer ?"
"There's no way that they would know"
"If they did find out, then we would have a security leak, which would be very, very bad" , says Charlie. the mathematician, and new leader of the Mi5 Field Office 19 team, stating the obvious.

"If word gets out that our informers are dying, then we could end up losing all our assets". says Vik, re-stating the obvious.

The Charlie and Rachel decide that they still cannot cannot trust the rest of their team, in their attempts to find the MI5 traitor supposedly behind the nuclear (or was just atomic) bomb attack on London (does that already count as a massive security leak ?) Rachel goes undercover, after a fake stabbing incident at a night club.

It is simply inconceivable that the MI5 team, who are all out drinking and dancing together (again), should simply stand by whilst one of their colleagues is carted off in an ambulance (which was suspiciously visible in the background as they were leaving the club, before the "stabbing" incident in the street outside) and would meekly accept the refusal of the ambulance crew to tell them where they were taking Rachel to.

Given their previous record of bullying and blackmail and torture, of many of the other people they deal with in the series, why would they not flash a warrant card and insist on accompanying her to the hospital ?

Given that their former boss had been recently assassinated, and that an MI5 informants has just been murdered, did none of them think that this might be a deliberate attack on them, and act accordingly ?

Charlie says, inside the ambulance, "We're clear. I cannot believe that worked".

Neither can the audience !

Did none of the "trained observers" in the rest of the spooks code 9 team notice their boss Charlie lurking inside the ambulance, as Rachel was stretchered inside ?

The next MI5 informant is murdered with even more explicit violence (stabbed in the stomach, and throat slit), having watched a TV advert for the private sector "missing persons" tracing service,much in demand after the nuclear / atomic bomb attack on London (supposedly only a 10 kiloton device, i.e. half that of the Hiroshima or Nagasaki atomic bombs, something which would be a complete technical failure for a H bomb).

This advert features a website URL , which is a parked domain name, registered to Kudos, the production company resposible for [spooks] code 9.

They missed an opportunity to create another "back story" supporting website, but at least they have secured the advertised domain name from squatters.

The advert also features a Premium Rate phone line number, which, wisely, considering the recent scandals involving such numbers and TV programs, both on commercial and BBC TV programmes, uses the number 090908 79 09 79 which does conform to the Ofcom Telephone numbers for drama purposes (TV, Radio etc) rules.

Premium Rate Services 0909 8790000 to 8790999

"I doubt these terrorist groups have joined forces, so maybe something else is going on", says Charlie, after the MI6's brilliant deduction that the two murders of MI5 informants from two different terrorist groups, both in their witness protection scheme, both of whom have had notices pinned to their chests saying "MI5 informant", might actually be linked together.

"What the hell is going on ? Two of your informants dead, and one of your team in hospital after a drunken brawl. Not an exemplary week!", says the MI5 Director of Field Operations, who should have already disbanded this team by now.

BBC Spooks Code 9 - still looking for clues

Episode 3 of the BBC 3 tv spin off series [spooks] code 9, was full of amusing or annoying technical howlers, as well as the casual, desensitising violence, swearing. nudity and and Orwellian surveillance.

Is there sub-plot, which has featured in each of the three episodes so far, of some "hacking" / mathematical puzzle solving, involving "clues" to a possible alleged traitor in MI5 who might have been behind the nuclear bomb explosion in London, left by Hannah, the assassinated former head of the MI5 Field Office 19, going to appear as an online Flash based game or puzzle ? If not, then BBC 3 are missing out on generating some online interest in the series, something which it desperately needs, despite associated fan discussion websites like

There is also the cynical attempt at a Paul Verhoeven RoboCop or Starship Troopers film style "future news" Liberty News website. This comes . complete with astroturfed i.e. faked "grass root" user comments, reminiscent of the heavily criticised "Information Revolution" advertising campaign which failed to wean many people from Google to the rival Ask search engine in 2006.

These "clues" are being "solved", on his own, by Charlie Green, the new leader of the MI5 Field Office 19 team , who is supposedly a mathematician,

BBC [spooks] code 9 - aargh !

[spooks] code 9 is a new spin off series from the popular BBC Spooks drama supposedly about MI5 Security Service officers in action.

The first two episodes were transmitted back to back, and are currently available online from the programme's website (for the next few days)

Aimed at the 16 to 25 "yoof" audience on digital TV channel BBC 3, this is a spin off from the stylish and successful mainstream BBC 1 / 2 / 3 series "Spooks", which might account for the violence, swearing and sex.

The motto for the series appears to be "For Queen, For Country, For Kicks"

The series is set a few years into the future in 2013, in the Orwellian Police State which has emerged after a (small) nuclear bomb attack on London.

Supposedly the casualties cased by this single bomb incident are such that the rest of the UK carries on, with refugee camps etc., people trying to find their dead or missing relatives, and an Orwellian Police State, with pervasive CCTV surveillance, phone taps, secret concentration camps, compulsory ID cards, a black market in ID cards and radiation sickness drugs etc.

The tentacles of state repression includes the series protagonists, who are supposed to be a Field Operations team of young, inexperienced MI5 officers, working in one of the distributed offices of MI5, Field Office 19, somewhere vaguely in Northern England e.g, the County Arcade in Leeds appears as a location.

The two episodes so far have been stylistically less glossy than "Spooks", but just as full of technical howlers. This series also seems to be full of actual current New Labour
government policies e.g.

"we know what we have to do, get out into the communities, and target the young"

Most of the scenes which do not involve any actual surveillance or investigation work or the use technology, seem to be reasonably well acted.

There have been some violent episodes of the original Spooks series, but these usually involved a decent plot build up, and came with a dramatic shock.

Some details of the technical plot errors in the first two episodes - not sure if these will spoil your enjoyment or add to it:


About this blog

This blog is discusses and analyses the new book Spook Country by cyberpunk author William Gibson, published in August 2007.

This will be primarily from a United Kingdom perspective, as some of the themes of espionage and surveillance and hidden forces really do resonate in our endemic Surveillance Society.

This blog has been described, quite fairly, as "otaku-worthy immersion"

Email Contact

email: blog @ SpookCountry [dot] co [dot] uk

Here is our PGP public encryption key or download it via a PGP Keyserver.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g.

Spook Country Links

William Gibson Books discussion bulletin board Spook Country *NO SPOILERS* forum

William Gibson Books discussion bulletin board Spook Country - *SPOILERS OK* forum

William Gibson video about "Spook Country" on YouTube and on the official website.

William Gibson Links

William Gibson blog - written by the author himself, on which he has test marketed fragments of his novel Spook Country whilst writing it.

William Gibson Books discussion bulletin board - William Gibson book promtion website in Germany

William Gibson aleph - lots of resources about William Gibson's works.

The Cyberpunk Project - some online texts of some of William Gibson's writings hosted in Russia.

Wikipedia Links

Wikipedia entry for "Spook Country"

Wikipedia "Spook Country" page edit history RSS feed or Atom feed

The character "Hubertus Bigend" has his own fictional Wikipedia entry in "Spook Country", which has now become now a real one.

Node Magazine

  • Node Magazine - a fictional magazine which "seems to be actively preventing the kind of buzz that magazines normally cultivate before they begin to exist" mentioned in the hints given about the Spook Country book, which has already been created online by a fan (patternboy), before the book has been published.
  • - Node Magazine is publishing 2 Chapter Summaries and Quotations each day in the 42 day countdown to the official publication of Spook Country
  • Spook Country blog's "cloud of hyperlinks" in numerical chapter order - commentary and annotations on the annotations to Spook Country.

Fictional British TV Spooks

James Bond 007

Stylish, if somewhat far fetched, BBC TV drama based on MI5 the Security Service - Spooks

BBC children's TV series M.I.High

2008 spin off TV series from Spooks [spooks] code 9 , set a few years into the future in 2013, in the Orwellian Police State which has emerged after a nuclear bomb attack on London.

Fictional Spooks

The Spy Wise Blog by Wesley Britton

Real Spooks

MI5 - the Security Service - counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, domestic surveilance

GCHQ - the Government Communications Head Quarters - intercepting and deciphering enemy communications, and protecting UK ones.

MI6 - SIS - the Secret Intelligence Service - mostly foreign intelligence - not quite like depicted in James Bond films.

Ex - Spooks - Richard Tomlinson - still being harassed by his former employer MI6. There are also links to Cryptome's archives of articles and alleged, unproven, lists of names of former or mcurrent MI6 agents (including, improbably, some UK Ambassadors), which caused lots of controversy. Tomlinson denies publishing anything not already in the public domain.

Martin Ingram, Welcome To The Dark Side - former British Army Intelligence operative in Northern Ireland.

Operation Billiards - Mitrokhin or Oshchenko ? Michael John Smith - seeking to overturn his Official Secrets Act conviction in the GEC case.

The Dirty Secrets of MI5 & MI6 - Tony Holland, Michael John Smith and John Symond - stories and chronologies.

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Spooky Info - including various spooky documents which some Government agencies would prefer not to be online.

Alan Turnbull's - "An entertaining guide to using Internet-based research tools – Ordnance Survey's maps, Getmapping's aerial photos and Google Earth! to reveal the UK's "hidden" MoD facilities and military sites"

Eye Spy Magazine - " The world's leading newsstand magazine on intelligence and espionage" - photos, articles, book reviews, private sector surveillance equipment and services adverts etc. N.B. Sometimes uncritical articles on various anti-terrorism and espionage topics, presumably in order to keep in favour with their anonymous sources.

Historical Spooks

Science Museum, London - Science of Spying Exhibition - for Spy Kids of all ages until September 2007.

Bletchley Park - "Historic site of secret British codebreaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer."

Imperial War Museum. London

Spooky CyberPunks and CyberGoths

The Dose is a "free, downloadable PDF zine ranging from industrial and gothic music to indie game development, Japanese visual kei, eyecandy, cyberpunkness" produced in Hungary.The three (so far annual) issues so far, with another promised in July 2007 contain plenty of CyberPunk and CyberGoth images and reviews, with the occasional reference back to William Gibson or other cyberpunk fiction authors.

Spy / Surveillance Art Projects

Spy Box - "A digital camera inside a parcel looks out through a small hole and captures images of its journey through the postal system. The Spy Box was sent from my studio to the gallery taking an image every 10 seconds recording a total of 6994 images these were then edited together to create an animated slideshow." - by artist Tim Knowles

Benjamin Males - "Face Targeting and Analysis System (2008) - Software designed to find and analyse faces in a video stream. First stage in an ongoing project looking at the potential misuse of technology"

London CyberPunk Tourist Guide

As part of the preparations for William Gibson book signing and lecture event promoting Spook Country in London, during August 2007, this "local knowledge" guide to places of interest to cyberpunk fans was compiled, and has been subsequently expanded.

London CyberPunk Tourist Guide -

Please feel free to add comments or send emails, to keep it up to date.

Zero History


Zero History blog - - discussion and hyper link cloud enhanced literary criticism of William Gibson's forthcoming novel, entitled Zero History, which is due to be published on 7th September 2010.

See the Fragments of a Hologram Bill thread on the William Gibson Books discussion forum for the snippets of writing which have been released for discussion to the public so far.

Syndicate this site (XML):

Zero History


Zero History blog - - discussion and hyper link cloud enhanced literary criticism of William Gibson's forthcoming novel, entitled Zero History, which is due to be published on 7th September 2010.

See the Fragments of a Hologram Bill thread on the William Gibson Books discussion forum for the snippets of writing which have been released for discussion to the public so far.

Cover Artwork

US cover art (the design we prefer):

UK cover art:

See how the cover artwork designs have changed slightly over time in the Cover Artwork category archive

"Spook Country" hyperlink cloud annotation

Our "Spook Country" hyperlink cloud annotation - re-orderd into numerical Chapter sequence

The Node Magazine, which this was a collaborative online contribution to, was online even before the official publication date of the first hardback edition of the book in August 2007.

This has been commented on by the author William Gibson, and described by Emeritus Professor of English Literature John Sutherland as "the future of literary crticism"

Recent Comments

  • Memetic Engineer: Cryptome now has the Indictment plus two almost identical Affidavits read more
  • Mau: it is in fact so that they wear adidas. As read more
  • Rupert Allman: For those interested in hearing about his e-annotations, JS was read more
  • Memetic Engineer: @ James - was this some sort of homework assignment read more
  • James Bryson Culp: What is the first known or cited usage of the read more
  • Memetic Engineer: @ Adrian - your design for the Liberty News website read more
  • Adrian Hon: Hi, I'm the lead designer of Liberty News, and I read more
  • giusec: Not very original and creative choice, the one from the read more
  • giusec: Just FYI. The new Italian hardcover has hit shelves yesterday, read more
  • Sean Anderson: narcotics in cop-speak refers to all prescription only drugs on read more

Campaign Buttons

Campaign for the Freedom of Information

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Free Gary McKinnon, who lives in London, is accused of hacking in to over 90 US military computer systems, and is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid_150.jpg - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
Spy Blog - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Open Rights Group
Open Rights Group

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves." The project makes use of Tor as part of their anonymity infrastructure.

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

June 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30