Character: Beth Bailey
Created by: David Wolstencroft
Episodes: Appeared in all season 9 episodes
Genre: Action & Adventure / Thriller
Running time: 58 min

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

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 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.

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.

Episode List


Aired: 20 September 2010
Director: Paul Whittington
Script: Jonathan Brackley & Sam Vincent
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth, Peter Bankole

Story Description
At Ros’s funeral, Harry proposes to Ruth, who turns him down. She produces evidence that former Home Secretary Blake worked with Nightingale and ordered the hotel bombing that killed Ros. Blake’s resignation in response to the $4 million found in a Dewitt bank account in his name was a smokescreen, a distraction. Shattered by the news, Harry visits Blake in his Scottish home and poisons his drink with a substance that makes it appear the politician has had a heart attack: MI-5 avenges the death of one of its own. One month later, Lucas boards a freighter in Tangier to assassinate Somali terrorist Hussein Abib (Peter Bankole). Harry is so disturbed by the deaths of his colleagues that he visits the new Home Secretary, William Towers (Simon Russell Beale), and submits a letter of resignation. The Home Secretary will not immediately accept it, and wants to sit on it for a few days. Before Lucas is able to complete his mission, the ship is hijacked by soldiers working for Abib. Dimitri Levendes (Max Brown), an MI-5 agent posing as captain of the ship, discovers Abib has loaded the ship with explosives, with the apparent intent of sailing the ship into Plymouth, where a Type 45 Destroyer HMS Endurance is about to be launched. With the help of private contractor Beth Bailey (Sophia Myles), who has been masquerading as an Eastern European passenger, Lucas and Beth escape the ship. Dimitri kills Abib. Beth tells Harry that she recognised a South American who was among the Somali terrorists; because he worked with submersibles to smuggle drugs, it is likely that submersibles were on board the ship. That is confirmed when Dimitri reports that he heard two boats go overboard while he was held in a container. When he checked for the explosives that he had seen earlier, they were gone, presumably on the submersibles. MI-5 deduces that the submersibles, laden with explosives, are heading up the Thames toward the Houses of Parliament. Discovering that “Talwar” (Sandeep Garcha), Abib’s contact, is in the UK, and a teenage girl, Lucas tries to force her to abort the mission by threatening to kill her parents. When the threat fails, Harry approves the launch of an EMP bomb underneath the Houses, which disables the subs electrical systems before they reach their target. Harry calls the Home Secretary, and instructs him to tear up the letter of resignation. In the end, Beth successfully applies to join the MI-5 team, while Lucas is paid an unexpected visit by Vaughn Edwards (Iain Glen), a shadowy character from Lucas’s past who is now partially disabled by a stroke; Vaughn leaves Lucas with a briefcase.


Aired: 27 September 2010
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Script: David Farr
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth,

Story Description
In her first operation, Beth is tasked with protecting an influential oil baron, Robert Westhouse (James Faulkner), after receiving intelligence that he may be assassinated by Nigerian agents. In a London hotel, potential oil industry contacts, including an undercover Beth, are the subject of a machine gun attack in the lift to Westhouse’s penthouse suite. Beth and another contact, Jacob Chapman (Nigel Lindsay), drop to the floor of the elevator a second before the attackers open fire. Beth and Chapman, survive unharmed. Lucas, investigating the incident, becomes suspicious, particularly about Beth’s role. Dimitri Levendis (Max Brown) and Lucas penetrate Westhouse’s highly guarded mansion, and place a bug in the house. It becomes clear to MI-5 that the Nigerians want Westhouse dead because he plans to launch a chemical weapon attack against Lagos and precipitate a coup to monopolise the country’s oil reserves. The narrative switches to a dual perspective of events from the points of view of Lucas, and then Beth. Beth appears to work with Chapman, who turns out to be the assassin hired to kill Westhouse, but Lucas and section D also discover that; Beth, however, successfully explains her subterfuge as “the way we used to work”, and avoids any damage. Meanwhile, Harry Pearce takes Westhouse on, face-to-face, and leaves him with a no-win situation. Nigerian agents mistake Harry, who has just walks away from Westhouse with Westhouse’s bag filled with chemical weapons originally destined for Lagos, for Westhouse, and attempt to assassinate him. Beth pushes Harry out of the line of fire, saving him. Lucas gives Beth another chance after he is promoted to Section D chief. Meanwhile, he looks into the briefcase he has been given by Vaughn and finds Maya Lahan (Laila Rouass), his first love. However, she does not want to be involved with him after he left her 15 years earlier.


Aired: 4 October 2010
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Script: Richard McBrien
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth,

Story Description
After a discussion with the Home Secretary Townes (Simon Russell Beale), it becomes clear to Harry that one of the last remaining specimens of a deadly biological agent known as Paroxocybin is stored in Azakstan, a final legacy of the Cold War arms race; the specimen is likely to fall into the hands of a rogue Azakstan nationalist. A joint MI-5-FSB operation succeeds in seizing the agent, and rendering harmless. However, Azis Aibek (Jonathan Aris), an Azakstan terrorist, learns the whereabouts of the other remaining specimen; it is in London, with the exact whereabouts known to Prof. Kirby (Donald Sumpter), a chemistry professor at a university there. The Home Secretary forces Section D to take FSB officer Viktor Barenshik onto the Grid to help track down Aibek and prevent him from getting hold of the Paroxocybin. While following Aibek across London, it is revealed that one of the original scientists who worked on the agent before its destruction kept a sample. Aibek figures out that Prof. Kirby’s daughter Meg (Amanda Hale) may know where the agent is, and subjects her to water torture to get her to reveal the location. When Lucas, Beth, Dimitri, and Viktor arrive, Aibek flees. But Viktor, with the other members of the team searching for Aibek, continues the torture, and extracts the location from Meg. Viktor kills Meg to prevent her from talking. It is also revealed Viktor wants to take the agent to the Russians to justify their invasion of Azakstan. With his daughter dead, and Viktor having the only knowledge of the location of the Paroxocybin, Harry gets Prof. Kirby to reveal its location to MI-5. Aibek is captured but the capture is kept from Viktor. Section D gives Aibek a deal to trick Viktor, which involves faking a theft of the Paroxocybin. In the aftermath of the faked theft of the biological agent, Viktor kills Aibek; Beth kills Viktor, and Tariq forges a video that makes it seem as if it was Aibek that who killed Viktor and got away from the building. With the Russians thinking that Azakstan nationalists have the Paroxocybin, they withdraw their forces from Azakstan. Meanwhile, Vaughn approaches Lucas asking him for an MI5 file named “Albany”.


Aired: 11 October 2010
Director: Paul Whittington
Script: Jonathan Brackley & Sam Vincent
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth,

Story Description

A trio of highly skilled Chinese agents arrive in the UK to kidnap and assassinate Dr. Jiang (Daphne Cheung), a scientist developing revolutionary desalination technology. Beth turns Kai (Benedict Wong), a diplomat in the Chinese embassy, into an asset. Lucas and Dimitri break into the Chinese embassy to steal information regarding the agents. Ruth goes undercover in the company’s building to access their computers for Tariq. Kai informs MI-5 of a bomb in the same building; Jiang is working there. MI-5 jams radio frequencies around the building to prevent remote detonation. Ruth learning of the bomb, locates Jiang with the intention of getting her out of the building but she is in the custody of CIA agents. The agents are informed of a very secret safe house that CIA London HQ will reveal as they drive there with Jiang, Ruth, and Lucas. The CIA agents were set up; the Chinese, knowing that MI-5 would block the airwaves to prevent remote detonation, tricked the CIA with a fake broadcast, and kidnap Jiang. In response, MI-5 lets the Chinese intercept false intel through Kai indicating that the Home Secretary will authorise a breach of the embassy to rescue Jiang. The Chinese take the bait, and move Jiang, and Kai, who is under arrest, to the airport. The Section D team intercepts the Chinese van, and seizes Jiang and Kai. The head of Chinese intelligence in London informs Harry that if they do not hand in Jiang back to the Chinese, they will detonate a bomb in London. Dimitri finds the bomb and disarms it with Tariq’s help. Jiang is transferred to the CIA. Kai, who can have freedom in London, misses his homeland, and voluntarily turns himself in to the Chinese embassy. Lucas obtains the Albany file by logging into the network using the ID and password of Stephen Owen, another MI-5 agent. He also transfers a considerable amount of money into Owen’s bank account, apparently setting the agent up for a fall. Lucas delivers the Albany file to Vaughn. Believing he is free from Vaughn, and allowing him to restart his relationship with Maya. Although reported to have left the UK, the Chinese agents reveal that their mission is in fact to track and kill Lucas for undisclosed reasons.


Aired: 18 October 2010
Director: Julian Holmes
Script: Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent, Oliver Brown
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth,

Story Description

While Beth and Dimitri go undercover during the US President’s visit to chair top secret peace talks between Israel and Palestine, a plot to assassinate him is uncovered. Believing it is the work of Lebanese militant Muatt Hutri (Mounir Margoum), Lucas tracks him. Hutri, however, slips out of Lucas’s grasp, and traps and secures Lucas to a sewer grating but does not kill him. Lucas disentangles himself but Hutri is gone. Lucas visits Maya (Laila Rouass), telling her that now they can be together. Hutri gives himself up to MI-5; after questioning he convinces Section D that he is in London to stop the assassination. Hutri informs MI-5 that the actual assassin, is Baltasar Jad (Akin Gazi), a Syrian. Jad captures Beth, who is posing as a concierge at the Prince Edward Hotel, the site of the talks, by knocking her out as she looks into his truck, and secures her, by handcuffing her to a pipe in his workshop and gagging her. In front of Beth, Jad sharpens a knife, cuts himself in the upper thigh, and then leaves while bleeding onto his trouser leg. He enters the emergency entrance of a hospital a mile and half from the hotel—for security reasons the hospital is only taking emergency patients. Once in the hospital, he secures a hidden gun in the basement, and makes his way to the roof. Beth escapes, using a foot to pull to her a jack, which she uses to force the pipe apart, allowing her to get the handcuff chain between the two parts. She then reports Jad’s wound. From the roof, Jad is attempting to perform an impossible shot from a building a mile and a half away to take out the president. Jad shoots through the windows of a building between him and the hotel. A wild shoot wounds Raed Elwan (Joseph Long) of the Palestinian delegation. MI-5 figure out the most likely place to find Jad and inform Lucas, who gets to the roof of the hospital, and kills Jad. It is later discovered the sniper is a diversion. The actual assassin is Israeli Anna Cohen (Maya Lubinsky), who plans to blow herself up with the president as revenge for her father’s deserting her when she was once captured by Palestinians. Her father, Levy Cohen (Paul Freeman) and Dimitri are able to talk her out of the plan. She apparently recruited Jad by making it seem to him that he was acting on behalf of an Arab terror cell. In the end, Lucas visits Maya’s home but her boyfriend is there. First signalling Lucas to go away, she changes her mind and tells her boyfriend that Lucas is someone from work. The boyfriend turns out to be Vaughn, looking much better than the dishevelled way he looked in the places where he met Lucas earlier. Lucas realises Vaughn has no intention of leaving him alone.


Aired: 25 October 2010
Director: Julian Holmes
Script: Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth,

Story Description

At the Grid, Dimitri is practising his bomb defusing skills using the components of the bomb from episode 4. He assures Ruth he has separated the components so it won’t explode if he makes a mistake. After an American drone is hacked by enemies in Afghanistan, the head of CIA London, Alton Beecher (Colin Salmon), pressures the Grid into installing the new advanced “Cybershell” system. Lucas, who is pressed by Vaughn into finding the Albany file, is tasked with transporting CIA cyber-expert Daniella Ortiz (Fiona Glascott), who has in her possession the codes for Cybershell. However, Tariq discovers the Grid is bugged by a coalition of Russian and Chinese agents, who plan on sabotaging Cybershell. During a two-minute, faked power shortage that prevents the eavesdroppers from listening, Harry calls meeting to let the team know what they are up against. Vaughn orders Lucas to bring the Albany file immediately, even though Lucas tells him he is in the middle of an operation. After he picks up Daniella, Lucas pretends to observe that he is being followed; he drives to a garage where he and Daniella change cars ostensibly to avoid the tail, but really to switch to an untraceable car and lose Daniella’s CIA bodyguards. Lucas then makes an out-of-protocol detour to Malcolm’s home to get his hands on the Albany file. Lucas fabricates a story, telling Malcolm that Harry is in trouble, and needs the file. Daniella, who is suspicious of Lucas since he left her CIA bodyguards behind, has left the car, walked to one of the windows to Malcolm’s house, and overheard some part of the conversation between Malcolm and Lucas. She returns in the direction of the car but flees into the woods. Malcolm goes into his garden, digs into the soil, and returns with a box containing the Albany file. Lucas returns to the car but sees that Daniella has gone. He pursues her in the woods, and finds her; he senses she knows something, but how much is not clear. Lucas receives a call from Harry about a rendezvous point, but it is hackers who fabricated Harry’s voice. After the hackers lock down the Grid, Harry and the others have no way to contact Lucas; the hackers, using Harry’s voice again, order Lucas to assassinate Daniella, though he later realises it is faked. With Daniella locked in the trunk to prevent her from fleeing, the two are ambushed at the rendezvous point he received from “Harry”; Lucas, however, kills the attackers. Daniella is shot in the neck during the attack. When Daniella lying on the ground and tended to by Lucas she mentions that she won’t disclose anything about Albany or the unauthorised visit to Malcolm. Lucas fakes a phone call to the emergency medical service, letting her bleed out and die to keep Albany a secret. Back at the Grid, the team has been trying to find a way to physically escape the building and contact Lucas. Tariq is able to track what the hackers are doing and the team at the Grid overhear the calls with Lucas. After several different failed attempts to find a way out of the building, Dimitri uses the bomb components he was practising with to blow open a door to the street. Using the information Tariq has acquired, they determine the hackers’ location. A fabricated Harry talks to the hackers over the Internet in a stall routine while Dimitri and an armed counterterrorist squad storm the hackers’ building and apprehend them. Ruth reveals to Harry that she has been bugging Lucas and that she believes he can’t be trusted because of inconsistencies in his recent reports. Meanwhile, Vaughn calls and tells Lucas the Albany file Lucas gave him (via Malcolm) is fake. Lucas returns to Malcolm’s home, only to find the house cleaned out.


Aired: 1 November 2010
Director: Edward Hall
Script: Anthony Neilson
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth,

Story Description
Ruth looks into a suspected dead drop witnessed by local council employee Keith Deery (Trevor Cooper). Her colleagues are sceptical that Deery has real evidence because he has a history of mental disorder and had applied for a position at MI-5 several times earlier but was rejected each time. Having tracked Lucas’s keyboard, Ruth tells Harry that she suspects Lucas of treachery. Harry upbraids her for her being “overzealous”. Dimitri is headed to the Thames to join the police as they pick up a Mafia boss who is giving himself up to the British authorities; there is a contract out on him, and giving himself is preferable to being a target. Ruth is approached by Deery in a park, but sends him away. She, however, senses that Deery may have stumbled onto a real crime. She goes to Deery’s council flat to investigate. Meanwhile, two Chinese operatives who are already in Vaughn’s apartment when he enters; they tell him that if he doesn’t deliver the Albany file, the bigger and more thuggish of the two will rape Maya then cut off her head. Vaughn kidnaps Maya to force Lucas to get the file. Harry, having revisited the 1995 bombing of the British Embassy in Dakar, realises that Lucas was involved. He orders Beth to follow Lucas. Vaughn chains Maya to a pipe in the basement of an apartment building. Lucas tracks Vaughn to the housing complex where mothers and children are outside; given the context, Vaughn tells Lucas not to show his gun but insists on obtaining the file. Instead of using a gun, Lucas stabs Vaughn in the thigh, and moves the knife about to force Vaughn to reveal Maya’s whereabouts. Before the location of can be revealed, Beth pulls a gun on Lucas to prevent him from hurting Vaughn any further. Vaughn escapes with a knife in his thigh. Ruth enters Deery’s flat. A French assassin targeting the Mafia boss springs on Ruth, and ties her to a chair. Deery has already been tied up. Ruth uses a hot iron to break free from her bond. She frees Deery; together they kill the assassin. When Lucas is apprehended, he reveals to Harry that he is actually John Bateman, who unknowingly sent the bomb to the Embassy, killing 17 people. Lucas tells Harry that Vaughn gave Lucas the briefcase containing the bomb, and that Lucas unknowingly planted the briefcase in the embassy in Dakar. Lucas also recounts that Vaughn later killed the real Lucas North (James Daffern), who was soon to enter training for MI-5. John Bateman took the identity of the dead Lucas North. He convinces Harry to release him and rescue Maya. Having been stabbed by Lucas earlier, and before he dies, Vaughn recounts to Lucas that it was John Bateman who bombed the Embassy and murdered the real Lucas. Lucas frees Maya. After their ordeal, Ruth and Deery are in the hospital. Deery is doing poorly; Ruth tries to comfort him. He no longer talks and is on suicide watch. With Harry visiting, Ruth tells him she is fine and is, strangely enough, ready to return to work. When they are both back at Thames House, Malcolm visits Harry to tell him about Lucas’s visit. While Malcolm is in Harry’s office, Lucas calls. Harry tells Lucas that the latter is needed. But in the end, believing Harry may not cut a deal, Lucas intends to flee.


Aired: 8 November 2010
Director: Edward Hall
Script: Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent, Richard McBrien
Episode Cast: Richard Armitage, Max Brown, Shazad Latif, Nicola Walker, Peter Firth, Vincent Regan, Hi Ching, Simon Russell Beale

Story Description

Harry leads a manhunt to find and capture Lucas, and hires specialist and former MI-5 officer Alec White (Vincent Regan) to help. With Vaughn dead, Lucas makes a deal with Chinese agents for Albany. Lucas meets the MI-5 team at a rendezvous point, and apparently gets a man in a hooded sweat shirt to run, tricking the agents to follow him, and shoot him. With the distraction, Lucas kidnaps Ruth, throwing her into his van and driving away with her bound and gagged. At his hideout she is secured to a chair and gagged by him. He ungags her after giving his message, and when she asks to speak to Lucas he informs her he is not Lucas. He threatens to kill her using an anaesthetic drip which renders her unconscious unless Harry gives him Albany, which is revealed to be a blueprint of a genetic weapon that can be designed to target members of a specific ethnic group but is harmless to nonmembers. Harry gives in to the demand. The team finds Maya; Alec tells her about Lucas’s past actions. By doing so, Maya turns against Lucas. Alec also gets Maya to wear a tracker, and as Lucas gets away she convinces him to call the team and tell them where Ruth is. The two escape from Beth and Dimitri, but Maya is mortally wounded in the shootout. After handing the Chinese Albany, Lucas threatens to destroy a train station unless he sees Harry alone. Ruth tells Harry her life was not worth trading a state secret that could bring about so much destruction. Though the bomb is revealed to be a fake, Harry sees Lucas alone, knowing Lucas intends to kill him in revenge for Maya’s death. There, on the roof of a tower, Harry reveals to Lucas that Albany never worked but that information was kept from the outside world. Albany was used as a deterrent. Lucas realises now that he has nothing to live for, points a gun at Harry and tells Harry to turn around. Awaiting a certain death, Harry encourages Lucas to shoot him quickly. When no shot is fired, Harry turns round to find Lucas has disappeared. Hearing a commotion at the base of the building, Harry looks down, and sees that ‘Lucas’ has jumped to his death which upsets the other Grid characters. The episode ends with Home Secretary Towers revealing to Harry that because he gave away a state secret in Albany, there will be a full investigation into all of his activities and decisions