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29-Dec-2015 19:27

Brown’s Boys D’Movie, the form has tailed off this film follow-up to the ten-season BBC One post-millennial spy show is at once a pleasant revival of an old tradition and its reinvention for a new age.

From the Hammer Quatermass films of the 1950s through to macho spin-offs like the Callan and Sweeney movies of the 1970s, there was once a strong tradition of bringing British TV hits to the big screen.

Outside of comedy, which has yielded everything from On The Buses and Dad’s Army to Mrs.

This means that unlike most TV spin-offs, the Spooks movie can’t rely on the proven appeal of a star cast in their popular roles — among the regulars over the years have been David Oyelowo, Keeley Hawes, Matthew Macfadyen, Shauna Macdonald, Jenny Agutter, Sophia Myles, Richard Armitage and Rupert Penry-Jones, all busy elsewhere these days.

By default, the script has to revolve around the sole continuing, surviving character, Peter Firth’s Sir Harry Pearce, who is basically George Smiley with a smartphone.

, while Pearce goes off the grid and improvises trickery and connivance on a hugely complex level to protect Queen and Country at any cost.The downside is that newcomers have a hard time keeping up.