The British series MI-5, available on DVD, is a spy series akin to Alias or 24 – featuring Alias’ concerns about the difficulties inherent to keeping one’s identity as a secret agent secret from friends, and the latter’s use of split screens to ratchet up the tension. This was a blind buy for me; I’d bought it only because one of the episodes reportedly stars Anthony Head, the gentleman who played Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s mentor Rupert Giles (the British librarian). I haven’t yet seen the episode of MI-5 in which he appears, but I already recommend the series to anyone who liked 24 – and to a lesser extent, to anyone who likes Alias. My only reservation for Alias fans is that the crimes depicted in MI-5 are more realistic – and therefore more upsetting – than the somewhat fantastic crimes (“fantastic” in the sense of “fantasy”) that are depicted on Alias. Indeed the series may be more inspired by Thomas Clancy films than by any spy tv series, both in the realistic crimes and in the gritty, nearly color-less world the characters live in. The characters themselves are nice enough: the lead of MI-5 is a sensitive and somewhat guilt-ridden man, and there’ s a handful of fellow spys he is comrades with, all in their 30s by appearances. Understanding their accents is not a problem, though they evidently sometimes use British actors to play Americans, which doesn’t sound too convincing.