my addiction to 'MI-5,' and its garden roots

I LIKE ENGLISH GARDENS JUST FINE, but what I am positively mad for is British television, from costume dramas to coppers-and-crimes. One of my guilty pleasures was the longtime spy series “MI-5,” also known as “Spooks,” in which the astonishing Peter Firth played Harry Pearce, section chief of the unit. As swan-song Season 10 began, Pearce has just been reinstated to the service after a forced eight-week leave. Asked about his unrelished time away, the lifetime career-obsessed spy says: “In one particular dark moment, I actually considered gardening.” Perhaps he pondered a border of poison hemlock? (Photo from BBC One.)

  1. Terry Ward says:

    Oy, Spooks…
    When I get down or manic or just tired I do a Spooks marathon veg…..
    Alas ,I will never forgive them for murdering Zafar…

  2. Diantha Pinner says:

    Oh, but what genius to murder off the characters! You never knew whether they would make it out of a situation. And they were all such great characters. Loved them all!

    1. margaret says:

      Yes, Andy, and as with MI-5, I have been through all the seasons twice over the years. :) Love it. Thank you for saying hello — hope to see you again soon.

  3. CJ says:

    MI-5 and QI and, of course, Ground Force (the landscaping makeover show) … the best of British Television! But they didn’t have to kill Ruth (:

  4. Sue says:

    Loved MI5, and agree that killing Ruth at the end was a bitter pill. Any other suggestions, in addition to those above, for similar series?

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Sue…many, many. I have watched them all. Someone said Foyle’s War and I agree, and I have enjoyed Cracker, Wire in the Blood (much more horrific crimes — but I love its star Robson Green), Inspector Lewis, and I will remember the others at some point…

  5. Corrina says:

    Have you seen Robson Green in Touching Evil – or in Reckless? I love MI-5 and Inspector Lewis. I also enjoyed New Tricks…

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Corrina. Yes, I have seen all his work, including Touching Evil, Reckless (that was my first foray with him I believe) and Wire in the Blood, among others. Did you know he’s a passionate deep-sea sport fisherman? Kooky!

  6. NancyO. says:

    Totally addicted to several British mysteries such as Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, and Midsomer Murders. I also enjoyed Rosemary & Thyme and Foyle’s War. Will now add MI5 to the list. Thanks!

  7. Susan says:

    Inspector Lewis signs up for a garden plot, allotment, but gives it up. I love the Midsomer Murder series because of John Nettles, but also for all the beautiful gardens. Then, there’ “Rosemary and Thyme” women gardeners who just happen to solve murders. The British sure know how to do ‘mystery’.

  8. Cori says:

    I adore both Foyle’s War and MI-5. I am on enforced hiatus from gardening for two weeks while I recover from hand surgery (tip: restrict hand surgery to the month of January; I am watching my garden get swallowed up in weeds while I recover) and so I got all the Foyle’s Wars to watch while I spend the “free” time catching up on my filing. British TV is my favorite.

  9. Jacquie says:

    Totally addicted to the British mystery is my husband’s description of me, I am sure. But I want to share my all time favorite TV series (and with a strong garden connection) Cadfael. Loved the books and watched every one brought to life by the BBC. I paid attention to his herbs too, and grow betony at the end of our walk.

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Jacquie, for saying hello…and I have missed Cadfael! Will have a look (and also at betony). :)

      Hi, Linda. They are nuts, yes. I have watched some of their videos before. Thanks for the reminder!

      See you both soon again, I hope.

  10. Linda Cody says:

    Speaking of Brit’s and gardens have you seen the YouTube videos from the Royal Horticultural Society show, Three Men Went Out to Mow? It’s Monty Python in the garden. Just hilarious.

  11. leskruth says:

    Mmmmm…MI5 right before I go to bed. Now there is a compelling but deadly combination for a night of rough sleep! I cannot resist!!

  12. Donald says:

    MI-5 is the reason my garden suffers! ;) I’ve watched all the DVDs from seasons 1-9 including the ‘extras.’ Humm— go outside and garden in temps of 107 or relax in front of the telly with British Intelligence — easy choice sometimes!

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