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Comparison of Spooks and The Professionals.

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Comparison of Spooks and The Professionals By Ben Gowland Over the years, TV programming has improved in quality, and has had to change to meet the standards of modern life. In this essay I will be looking at the comparisons between a show from the 1970's and a show from the present time. (The Professionals, and Spooks). I will be looking at how ideas, characters, special effects and political correctness are completely different in each programme. The 'Professionals' is set in London, in the CI5, a fictional organisation based on the MI5. There are three main characters, Cowley, Bodie and Doyle. 'Spooks' is set in the 21st century and the 3 main characters, a white man, a black man and a white woman. 'Spooks' is also based on the MI5, in London; this is where the similarities end. The 'Spooks' plots are more complex often using political issues and terrorists. This mirrors the more complex world affairs with the break of the USSR and the escalation of terrorism. Each episode of 'The Professionals' is 'stand alone', i.e. it has a clear ending where each problem is sorted out or solved. ...read more.


'The Professional's' one-dimensional characters are not able to have this emotional depth or personal problems. The characters in 'Spooks' are stereotypical in there own way, by the clothes they wear and the identities they assume In 'The Professionals' we see top British agents dressed in ordinary working mans clothes, and talking like ordinary people. This may be one of the reasons why 'The Professionals' was so popular. They had none of the stereotypical 'James Bond' secret agent style or charm, which made them a lot easier for the viewing public to relate to. In 'Spooks' on the other hand, the leading roles are all dressed in suits and are much more technical and upper class. The special effects can be compared to the technology that was available at the time. 'The Professionals' mainly relied on car chases and 'shoot outs' to catch the excitement and fast pace of the show. 'Spooks' has less frequent special effects but they are more plot-based and the special effects often are more spectacular because of the advanced technology. ...read more.


That is not to say that these issues are not tackled in 'Spooks', rather that it is the handling of them that has altered. For instance, drinking would be seen as something to overcome rather than being accepted. Despite these flaws, 'The professionals' were one of the most popular shows of their time, at their peak earning around 17.6 million viewers. This shows how far society moved on from the 1980's. A show that was once watched and accepted by most British people, would now offend many. This shows how television has mirrored society in its views and acceptance of women and ethnic minorities. Although these are two very different ways of portraying the secret agent genre, both appeal to the audience, in different ways. 'The Professionals' with its easily understandable plots and unusual characters of Bodie and Doyle, and 'Spooks', with its cold, yet dramatic action, and the continual cliffhanger that runs throughout the series. In conclusion, 'The Professionals' and 'Spooks' are two series that are from the same genre, yet have little in common. Each reflects society and its interests and attitudes of the time. 1 By Ben Gowland ...read more.

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