SPY (2011)

Full Name: Tim Elliot
Nationality: British
Organization: MI5
Occupation Agent

Creator: Simeon Goulden
Time Span: 2011 - 2012


     Tim Elliot is an agent with MI-5.

     If this is the first time you are hearing of Elliot, learning that he is an agent with MI-5 will not come as a surprise. If, however, you are already familiar with him, like his ex-wife, Judith, or his 10-year-old (going on 30) son, Marcus, or even his best (and likely only) friend, Chris, well, news of his being an operative would be a shock. One that would never be believed.

     When we first meet Elliot, he is a fairly unhappy late 30-something clerk or sales assistant (depending on who you talk with) in a computer store, a job he really has no liking for. He has one friend who works with him, the Chris mentioned above, who is the kind of friend that sometimes you are better off without. He is divorced from Judith who has remarried and who has nothing good to say about her ex. He has one child, that son Marcus, who wants very much to live with his mother because he has absolutely no respect for his totally undriven father. The only thing he seems at all good at is puzzles and that does not win him anything, certainly not the pride of his family.

     In that first meeting we follow Elliot when he decides he needs to improve himself to regain his son's affection and that will start with a new job so he quits his clerk position and heads to the Job Centre to find something new. That new job is a data processing one in Westminster. Nothing fancy, of course, but it seems better than a clerking position in a computer shop.

     Unfortunately, Westminster seems to be a very large place with lots of rooms and lots of people too busy to give directions and maybe the directions are not quite as accurate as they need to be because the Job Centre man was, um, interesting. Whatever the cause, he arrives at the wrong room at the right time and is given an application test and because it is mostly puzzles, he does quite good at it. Exceptionally well, as a matter of fact.

     Suddenly Elliot is given an interview, congratulated on his superb test results, lauded for his terrific ability to act as if he doesn't really know he is being offered a position with MI-5 as an agent, and handed his own firearm. Naturally, he is told that his job as a secret agent demands he keep it all very much a secret from everyone.

     Sound preposterous? Absolutely. It is also a great deal of fun to watch and stays fun as he tries to balance being an agent, which he is not sure he wants to be, and being a parent, which no one thinks he is capable of being, and dealing with two new women in his life, one of whom is throwing herself at him to his less than thrilled response and the other is thinking maybe she should as well. And then there is his boss, who calls himself the Examiner, who has a good number of quirks himself, not the least of which is throwing shurikens at all sorts of things for no apparent reason.


Number of Episodes:17
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2012
Network:Sky 1

Darren BoydTim Elliot [ 1-2 ]
Jude WrightMarcus Elliot [ 1-2 ]
Robert LindsayThe Examiner [ 1-2 ]
Dolly WellsJudith Elliot [ 1-2 ]
Tom Goodman-HillPhilip Quil [ 1 ]
Mark HeapPhilip Quil [ 2 ]
Rebekah StatonCaitlin Banks [ 1-2 ]

1 Codename: Loser
Episode 1-1, first aired 10/14/2011
Director: Ben Taylor
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Tim Elliot (Boyd), a divorced and single father disliked by his precocious son Marcus (Wright) and ex-wife Judith (Wells), decides to quit his job as a sales assistant in a computing store. From the Job Centre he learns of a data processing position in Westminster. Unknown to him, he is taking an exam for MI5, and passes to be a spy. When the bosses, including the Examiner (Lindsay) learn of the misunderstanding, they still offer him the position anyway, and Tim accepts.

2 Codename: Tramp
Episode 1-2, first aired 10/21/2011
Director: Ben Taylor
Writer: Simeon Goulden

During a training exercise, where he is to collect a bag of intelligence in an empty building, Tim comes across a homeless Eastern European man who falls during a struggle. Tim is viewed as a hero in the public eye for saving him, but the Examiner orders Tim to kill him, a mission which he is reluctant to carry out. Despite this, the man ends up electrocuted thanks to the faulty wiring in Tim's house. In the meantime, Tim also has to deal with a social worker named Paula (Cavaliero) to improve his relationship with Marcus. However, he realises Paula is insane, and she tends to think they are in a relationship.

3 Codename: Grades
Episode 1-3, first aired 10/28/2011
Director: Ben Taylor
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Tim learns how to computer hack, and decides to lower Marcus's school grades. His friend Chris (Baynton) also uses these skills to alter his bank details and gain money. Marcus and Chris develop a bond, but Chris is ultimately caught by the authorities for hacking the bank. Paula continues to make unwanted advances towards Tim.

4 Codename: Bookclub
Episode 1-4, first aired 11/04/2011
Director: Ben Taylor
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Tim has a large interest in joining Marcus' lavish book club, but is prohibited from taking part. Unknown to him, Marcus actually runs a different kind of club, and the "book club" is really a cover. Eventually, Marcus allows his father to join the club, just as he decides to end it. Meanwhile, the Examiner demonstrates his lie-detecting skills.

5 Codename: Blood
Episode 1-5, first aired 11/11/2011
Director: Ben Taylor
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Tim swaps blood samples with the Examiner. However, it is revealed there are drugs in the Examiner's system, and Tim is forced to attend a drug intervention programme, run by none other than Paula. She further embarrasses Tim by having his family made aware of his attendance in the intervention. Paula forces him to read that he has feelings for her, but he refuses after it is emerged he has feeling for Caitlin, a colleague at MI5. Furthermore, ex-wife Judith informs Tim of a child custody hearing so she could keep Marcus. Marcus meanwhile, is given a taste of power in his school, which he abuses.

6 Codename: Portis
Episode 1-6, first aired 11/18/2011
Director: Ben Taylor
Writer: Simeon Goulden

The custody hearing is not going in Tim's favour, until Chris steps in as his lawyer and wins the case, on the condition that Tim confess his feelings for Caitlin. Judith sleeps with the incompetent judge in order to win the case, however he has already sent off the case. Tim, going to confess his love to Caitlin, finds her kissing her presumed dead fiancé, an American CIA agent, Portis (Maynard). As their final training exercise, the Examiner creates a false security breach in MI5. At the conclusion of the exercise, Tim becomes an official MI5 agent.

7 Codename: Growing Rogue
Episode 2-1, first aired 10/19/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Marcus runs for school president, but is facing competition from a new boy at school, Nick. Tim and Chris perform surveillance on Nick and discover that he is paying off the school's new headmaster. Despite having the leverage he needs, Marcus forfeits his nomination. Meanwhile, Caitlin and Portis have trouble reconnecting, and Tim attempts to keep them apart so he could win Caitlin's affections. However this ultimately fails, as the Examiner has the two have sex in the bathroom. As of this episode, Tim's family is being assessed by a new social worker to determine who should have custody of Marcus.

8 Codename: Riding High
Episode 2-2, first aired 10/26/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Tim is assigned to look after Elaine (Anna Skellern), a woman on a witness protection scheme who was exposed by The Examiner. She quickly seduces Tim. Realising Tim is not his usual self, Judith, Chris, Owen and The Examiner work together to stop Elaine. Eventually, Caitlin convinces Tim that Elaine is crazy. Meanwhile, Marcus tries to learn how to ride a bicycle in order to beat Nick, but it does not go according to plan. Chris becomes a physical education (PE) teacher, even though he has no interest in it. Marcus aids Tim's escape as The Examiner gets hold of Elaine.

9 Codename: Lie Hard
Episode 2-3, first aired 11/02/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

By orders of Marcus' school, Tim is forced to send his son to his work place, even though he would be fired for revealing his true profession to anybody. Tim makes every effort possible to hide the building's true purpose, though this eventually gets him into trouble when an MI6 agent arrests the two, convinced they are enemy Russian spies. During this time, Marcus confronts Tim about his job. Meanwhile, The Examiner accidentally takes medicine that makes him hallucinate; he believes Marcus to be a figment of his imagination. Owen fails to seduce Judith. Tim and Marcus manage to escape from the MI6 agent.

10 Codename: Mistaken Identity
Episode 2-4, first aired 11/09/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

After The Examiner makes an overly threatening recruitment video and is told he needs a new one he selects Tim and Caitlin to star in the new one. Meanwhile, Marcus is tricked into competing against Nick in a television quiz show that puts two fathers and sons against each other. Embarrassed of Tim, Marcus asks Chris to step in as his father and he agrees. Tim and Caitlin tell the Examiner that they can't do the video anymore because it will reveal their identities, so they end up doing it in wigs. Tim goes home in his wig and steps in for Chris after Chris finds out the quiz is on TV (he had a traumatizing experience on TV before). Tim and Marcus do well because Tim has an ear piece in and Chris is giving him the answers from the bathroom, until he is found and tied up by the opposition. Tim and Marcus end up winning because Tim correctly recites the chemical make-up of dynamite, even though the other team answered it "correctly".

11 Codename: Family Bonds
Episode 2-5, first aired 11/16/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Any chance of a rekindled romance between Tim and Judith was a long shot, however those odds shrink remarkably, when Judith receives a blow to the head and comes to thinking she's still married to the sleuth. Philip is devastated, but on hand to pick up the pieces is Chris, who believes the best course of action is to reintroduce him to the dating scene right away. While that's going on, Owen tries to help Marcus with his music recital.

12 Codename: Citizen Lame
Episode 2-6, first aired 11/23/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Marcus is obnoxiously bright and the kind of child you imagine becoming a world leader one day, or, alternatively, criminal mastermind. After being sent on work experience, however, he develops a taste for retail. Elsewhere, it's no surprise to learn that The Examiner's appraisal doesn't go too well, considering his unorthodox approach to his job.

13 Codename: Ball Busted
Episode 2-7, first aired 11/30/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Marcus's hopes of organising the Summer Ball are dashed when Mrs Godfrey usurps Philip as the school head teacher. Meanwhile, Owen and The Examiner help a struggling Tim to find a date and improve his luck with the ladies. Maybe he should take a leaf out of Bond's book.

14 Codename: Double Oh
Episode 2-8, first aired 12/07/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

After discovering he has an apparent-genius MI5 body double, Tim agrees to compete for custody of Marcus. Moritz, meanwhile, is asking for trouble when he crosses all sorts of lines by trying to woo a hostage's worried girlfriend.

15 Codename: Pulp Friction
Episode 2-9, first aired 12/14/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Chris' bid to turn Marcus into a celebrated author backfires when he pretends that Marcus is dying. Meanwhile, Portis busily prepares for Caitlin's birthday, but fails to factor in a major obstacle in the form of saboteur Tim.

16 Codename: Last Scupper
Episode 2-10, first aired 12/21/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Tim is given extra incentive to rekindle his romance with Caitlin after, thanks to Moritz, finding himself on an assassin's hit list. Marcus, meanwhile, has been biding his time and is in prime position to humiliate rival Nick at Justine's dinner party.

17 Codename: Show Stopper
Episode S-1, first aired 12/26/2012
Director: John Henderson
Writer: Simeon Goulden

Christmas Special. Portis suspects that Caitlin has feelings for someone else and plots his revenge. Marcus' plans for the Christmas party go awry. Philip and Judith contemplate taking things to another level. (Double length -- 45 min rather than 23 min.)


     This series is so very wickedly funny and the lines are delivered with such incredible timing and, more importantly, volume that it is not to be missed. By volume, I mean that not every tidbit is shouted; most are said low and sedated, as though they are spoken aloud but not really meant to be heard. It makes listening to everything very important.

     Now, the actual spycraft that is being done is not very much but when it is, it is all trope done in an over-the-top method that is a superb take-down. I would never want to have to work next to Tim Elliot in the field but I would love to have had a few more episodes of his activities.


My Grade: B+


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