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Sophia Myles is playing Beth Bailey
(Series regular: Yes)
MI5 not 9 to 5 | Your life depends on us | We are watching you

Tense drama series about the different challenges faced by the British Security Service as they work against the clock to safeguard the nation

Main Details

Created by: David Wolstencroft
Genre: Action & Adventure / Thriller
Filming Locations: London, England
Runtime: 58 minutes per episode
Rating UK: 15 / US: Not Rated
Premiered on TV UK: May 13, 2002 on BBC1 (now also on BBC3) / US: July 22, 2003 on A&E (now airs on PBS)
DVD Release UK: February 28, 2011 / US: July 12, 2011

Main Cast

Series 9: Peter Firth, Richard Armitage, Nicola Walker, Shazad Latif, Sophia Myles, Max Brown, Iain Glen, Simon Russell Beale, Laila Rouass, Robert Glenister

Former cast members include: Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, David Oyelowo, Megan Dodds, Hugh Laurie, Jenny Agutter, Rupert Penry-Jones, Anna Chancellor, Gemma Jones, Hugh Simon, Hermione Norris


Episodes featuring Sophia Myles

Episode 1 (Aired on September 20, 2010)
Directed by Paul Whittington
Written by Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent
Additional Episode Cast

George Georgiou, Peter Bankole, Jon Ivay, Patrick Regis, Souleiman Ismael, Sandeep Garcha, David Hounslow, Rashmika Torchia


Reeling after the explosion at the hotel, Section D are left considering the sacrifices they make as spies. But they are soon back in action, tracking Somalian AQ terrorist Abib on a boat from Tangier. When it becomes clear that the boat is carrying a lethal load, the team fear it is headed to Plymouth for the launch of the newest addition to the Royal Navy’s fleet. But is the real target elsewhere, and is it too late to find the UK source of the plan? Lucas’s own faith is challenged when he is visited by an unwelcome ghost from his past.

Episode 2 (Aired on September 27, 2010)
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones
Written by David Farr
Additional Episode Cast

James Faulkner, Nigel Lindsay, Paul Herzberg, Tom McKay, Victor Zaragoza, Daniel Adegboyega, Steve Toussaint, Joanne Howarth, Katy Barker, Jack Sandle, Richard Jacobs


The pressure is on for Beth when she goes undercover for MI5 for the first time. She is tasked with protecting a influential oil baron, Robert Westhouse, when the Team receive intel that an assassination attempt will be made on him at a meeting of top oil dealers. But an unexpected ambush throws things off course, and threatens to dredge up her murky mercenary past. Meanwhile, Lucas visits someone who never expected they would see him again.

Episode 3 (Aired on October 4, 2010)
Directed by Michael Caton-Jones
Written by Richard McBrien
Additional Episode Cast

Julian Lewis Jones, Jonathan Aris, Donald Sumpter, Amanda Hale, Nick Sidi, Tom Marshall, Kirsty Wark


Section D are forced to welcome an FSB Officer onto the Grid to help track down Aibek, a rogue nationalist from the ex-Soviet state of Azakstan. Aibek is in the UK to find the last known sample of the nerve agent ‘Paroxocybin’. The chase is on, but will the team find a way to stop the nerve agent falling into the wrong hands without ruining Anglo-Russian relations? Meanwhile, Lucas’s personal life takes a passionate turn.

Episode 4 (Aired on October 11, 2010)
Directed by Paul Whittington
Written by Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent
Additional Episode Cast

Benedict Wong, Colin Salmon, Daphne Cheung, David Ka-Shing Tse, David Lee, Christopher Goh, Nicholas Lue-Fong, Nigel Whitmey, Matt Selby, Ed Cooper Clarke, Wai Wong


When a highly skilled trio of Chinese agents arrive in London for 48 hours only, the team must find out why they are here. Ruth goes undercover in a major scientific research corporation where one Chinese scientist, Jiang, proves to be the ultimate prize. Beth activates an asset from the Chinese Security Services to be Section D’s mole on the inside, but has she activated him too soon? Lucas makes a decision that could change his course forever.

Episode 5 (Aired on October 18, 2010)
Directed by Julian Holmes
Written by Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent, Oliver Brown
Additional Episode Cast

Mounir Margoum, Akin Gazi, Paul Freeman, Maya Lubinsky, Joseph Long, Georgina Rich, Rob Heanley


The American president is on his way to London to chair top secret peace talks between Israel and Palestine, under the guise of his first state visit. Beth and Dimitri must keep their wits about them as undercover Home Office representatives, tasked with keeping the delegates apart until the talks. When a plot to kill the President is uncovered, they must also track down the assailant. The hotel is put in lockdown as a precaution, but are they locking the threat out? Or in?

Episode 6 (Aired on October 25, 2010)
Directed by Julian Holmes
Written by Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent
Additional Episode Cast

Fiona Glascott, Colin Salmon, Hugh Simon, Alec Utgoff, Uriel Emil


Relations between the CIA and MI5 are stretched after an American drone is hacked in Afghanistan whilst in British care, leading to the loss of American lives. Beecher – head of the CIA in London – arrives on the Grid to oversee installation of the US’s advanced cybersecurity system, ‘Cybershell’, to prevent any future disasters. Lucas, out in the field, is tasked with protecting and delivering to the Grid Daniella Ortiz, the young ex-hacker turned White House cryptographer who holds the installation codes. When the Grid is hacked and locked down, the Team are plunged into a nightmare. Will they escape and prevent the theft of all CIA and MI5 intelligence? Will Lucas be able to protect Ortiz when the hackers decide to cut out the middle man?

Episode 7 (Aired on November 1, 2010)
Directed by Edward Hall
Written by Anthony Neilson
Additional Episode Cast

Hugh Simon, Trevor Cooper, Hi Ching, James Daffern, Robert Hitchmough, Dave Legeno, Rosalie Craig


Lucas is plunged further into the depths of his past when Vaughn takes his manipulations to a new level. Ruth is approached and followed by an imbalanced council snooper who is convinced he’s found a dead drop. She initially keeps her distance from him, but when her curiosity gets the better of her she ends up trapped in a situation not even he could have predicted. Lucas and Harry come face to face in the pursuit of the truth.

Episode 8 (Aired on November 8, 2010)
Directed by Edward Hall
Written by Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent, Richard McBrien
Additional Episode Cast

Vincent Regan, Hi Ching


The team face their toughest challenge ever: tracking down Lucas North, their Section Chief, friend and one of the best agents MI5 has ever had. Harry decides the team are too close, and brings in a specialist to help with the hunt. But it will not be easy to find a man who has nothing left to lose, and as the search becomes increasingly desperate, Harry and Lucas become embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Sophia's Role

Sophia Myles plays Beth Bailey who comes from a background in private security and joins the MI-5, Section D Team as Junior Case Officer.

Beth is illiberal but principled and not at all establishment. She’s opinionated and a provocateur who never plays by the rules. She joined M.I.5 when she was young and was trained by them, but was kicked out due to her inability to follow orders. Harry was the officer who made that decision. He saw how volatile she could be and that she wasn’t mature enough to be a spy. Her reputation in the field is what attracted M.I.5 to Beth. She wants to go back and agrees to because of her own agenda.

The character is based on a real-life person’s life.

Due to unknown reasons Beth Bailey wasn’t brought back for series 10. Spooks lead writers said “Beth was… a type we hadn’t really seen on the Grid before. There were plans to explore that a lot more, show her torn between her new sense of public service and the pull of her lucrative past.”

Her character was demoted off-screen. Erin, who got Harry’s job, said in episode 1 of series 10: “Her conduct during the West House operation, her links with the Columbian drug cartel were unacceptable. I expect higher standards”.


• The series airs with no credits on BBC One, to maintain an atmosphere of the anonymity of real-life spies and the drama of each episode.
•  The character of Beth Bailey is based upon a real life English spy whom Sophia has met up with.

Quotes from Sophia

Beth was head-hunted by MI6 when she was 18 as a student in Edinburgh University studying English. So she went through all the training at MI6 when she was 18. She passed everything with flying colours, and actually Harry Pearce met her back then. She’s actually based on a real-life woman, who I’ve met. She was very rebellious so she decided at the last minute that she didn’t want to go and work for the government. But she was passionate about security and intelligence so she went into the private sector instead. First she went off to Columbia but most of her 20s was spent in the Middle East – she owned a private company and had like 600 SAS soldiers working beneath her by the age of 26. She’s come back to London and I think looking for a bit more stability, so she applies for a job.

Probably her closest ally is Dimitri, just because they’re the same age. I think from day one because they join at the same time, they’re both like the new kids at school together. And I probably think of everyone he’s the most likely person she would want to go out with and have a dinner with or something out of work. I think they’re most likely to be friends in real life.

Quotes from Reviews

Daily Mirror

Sophia Myles is already proving to be a most exciting addition to the Spooks team.

Beth Bailey (Sophia Myles) looks poised to bring a refreshingly brash self-confidence to the party.

The Telegraph

But Myles’s grubby debut is noteworthy because it’s a leap from the crinolined English roses we’ve seen her play up to now in costume dramas such as Mansfield Park, The Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and Tristan & Isolde.

This page was last modified on: March 12, 2016