In a press release, the BBC said that 'MI-5' "has been famous for killing off its much-loved characters in their prime, and now the series itself is going to be killed off at the top of its game."
Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive, Kudos Films & Television, the makers of 'MI-5,' said "It's hard to believe that as 'Spooks' enters its tenth series, the world prepares to face the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities. It feels like now is the time for 'Spooks' to bow out and make way for new spy dramas which reflect the changing world around us."
Set in the world of British intelligence officers, and airing at various times in the US on PBS, A&E and BBC America, 'MI-5' follows the exploits of Harry Pearce and his team of "spooks," or undercover agents, as they protect British national security. Groundbreaking in its heyday, the drama has won multiple BAFTAs, and has also courted controversy for its gritty and sometimes all-too-real portrayal of torture and terrorism.
However, it seems as though the fate of 'MI-5' may have been sealed months ago. There were reports in the UK as far back as the beginning of last yearthat the BBC was planning to ax it on the grounds of cost and falling ratings.
Unusually for a long-running successful drama, numerous fan-favorite main characters have regulary been killed off. And usually in grisly ways -- death by deep-fat fryer being one of the more notorious -- although other methods have included car bombs, hanging and being shot in the head.
'MI-5' has also boasted an impressive guest star roster, with Hugh Laurie, Sophie Okonedo and Benedict Cumberbatch amongst those who've stopped by, and it's been a career-making springboard for stars such as Matthew Macfadyen, Keely Hawes, Hermione Norris and Rupert Penry-Jones.
At the heart of the final season will be Harry Pearce and his relationship with the woman he has loved from the beginning: Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker). Jane Featherstone says that "Harry Pearce, played by the wonderful Peter Firth, has always been at the heart of the show and this series focuses on Harry's past, bringing his tumultuous relationship with Ruth to a head."