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Sophia's Spooked

18 September 2010   |   Written by Steve Clark

Moonlight actress Sophia Myles has a new day job – on Britain’s favourite spy drama

The last time actress Sophia Myles played a spy, it was the iconic Thunderbirds character Lady Penelope in the 2004 live action version of the classic 60s television show. Now things are about to get a whole lot grittier for her as she joins the cast of the BBC1 drama Spooks.

The previous series of the long-running drama ended with a massive explosion which, we now know, claimed the lives of MI5 stalwart Ros Myers and the Home Secretary she was trying to save.

As the ninth series begins, Section D is still in mourning following Ros’s death, and the counter terrorism chief Harry Pearce is on the warpath after discovering the a trusted friend was involved.

When Lucas finds himself in mortal danger, his unlikely saviour is an eastern European prostitute. But appearances can be deceptive and he soon discovers that the girl is no quite what she first appeared to be. She actually non other than covert British mercenary Beth Bailey, played by 30-year-old Sophia, who is also tracking Abib

Before starting work on Spooks, Sophia met a real-life spy, similar in age to her, who had spent time in Iraq. “She was just so amazing,” she says. “I kind of wanted to be her best friend! We look quite similar and, although I’m not completely copying her, I have drawn elements of her voice and certain other things into the character.”

Meanwhile, Richard Armitage’s legions of fan will be pleased to know that he’s returning to serve alongside Sophia’s character, as Section D hard man Lucas North. Richard, 39, says Spooks‘ future looks secure, because international terrorism continues to be a threat, both in real life and in the imaginations of the show’s writers.

“There’s an on-going situation of terror which means there’s always new material,” he says. “Just when you think it’s disappearing, something else happens. Then there’s the fact that characters can be killed off and replaced with others, which keeps it fresh. The series is very ambitious. We start it on the cargo ship loaded with explosives and it couldn’t be more Bond-like or cinematic.”

Also joining the cast this series is 29-year-old Max Brown, who is best known for playing Sam Grey in Mistresses. Max plays Dimitri Levendes, who is a member of the Royal Navy’s elite special forces unit, and has been seconded to work with MI5 because he is an expert in seaborne mission and anti-piracy operations.

“Like most boys, when I was a kid I’d run round with sticks pretending they were guns, so it wasn’t hard to film scenes with them,” he says. “When I filmed my first scene I had to run round a corner and get my gun out. I just had this big, beaming smile on my face. Naturally, I made a gun noise too. I think everybody does that first time!”