The Last Enemy S01E04 (BBC)

The Last Enemy is a BBC TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and featuring Robert Carlyle and Max Beesley which first aired on 17 February 2008.

Set in a near-future United Kingdom beset by terrorism and illegal immigration, it features the introduction of “TIA”, a centralised database that can be used to track and monitor anybody effectively by putting all available government information in one place. The story deals with a political cover-up centred around the emergence of a deadly virus, as well as the moral, social and privacy concerns (and even merits) of such a system in a post-9/11 world. The story is told through the eyes of a mathematical genius who is portrayed as a recluse and showing some signs of OCD.

I’ve always been a fan of espionage, ever since I read the Robert Ludlum novels at a tender young age of 10. This is one of the reasons why I’ve stopped reading them, since they simply followed a tried and tested formula. It got repetitive after 10 novels or so. I got really interested in Tom Clancy novels after that.

The Last Enemy is really interesting. In the future, the UK has become a Big Brother like society. It’s not really as extreme as that epithet leads you to believe. It’s the beginning of the end of free will to protect the society from imagined or real terrorism. It draws a disturbing parallel with what is happening in the US right now. That’s not to say that this isn’t happening in Europe as well.

I enjoyed the show. It’s about TIA. What’s TIA? Total Information Awareness. It’s a gigantic DB that links all of the other DB that have been compiled in the UK into one real time accessible system. Meaning that you can track anyone at anytime thanks to satellite coverage and CCTV cameras, as well as tracking their purchases and habits through their spending.

In this episode, Minister Brooke tries to help Ezard but Turney and Nye make sure that she does the right thing for the government. A politician’s loyalties are easily swayed with promises of power in the administration. Ezard gets kidnapped by Michael. Ezard ends up without anything. No ID, not identity and he’s in trouble.

There are a lot of conspiracies, the main one involves the government covering up a nascent plague in the Middle East since they believe that they caused it in some fashion through some vaccines. I really like this series. It’s compelling, disturbing and original. I recommend it.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

* * * * *

The episode starts with an anti-ID protest. Ezard is screaming in his bag. He doesn’t know what is going on. His brother kidnapped him. He wants to know where Yazim is. Ezard is in shock. The big man wants to torture him. Michael thinks that he is following him. Ezard was at Kellerman-Deloit. Ezard wants an explanation. The assassin followed them.

Michael unties his brother. Michael says that he wasn’t in the jeep. There wasn’t much left of the people inside. Ezard says that Yazim is alive and that he will tell her. He can’t tell Michael because he might be under surveillance or tagged. She will contact him.

Russell is surveilling Nye with his daughter. There is a tracker under his car.

Eleanor is getting prepped for a press conference. Turney phones her to tell her that Ezard is off the grid. They can’t find him. Ezard goes to Russell’s place. Russell is still following Nye. Nye picks up Gibbon. Russell sees that Ezard has come to his hideout. He knows that he probably was followed. The hideout is blown. Michael has followed his brother. The assassins have followed the lot.

Ezard tells Yazim that Michael is alive. He wasn’t in the jeep. She doesn’t believe him. He says that he will take her to him. The assassin touches the gate and is deep fried by the electric fence. Michael comes out of his hiding place. Yazim is dumbfounded. Russell arrives. Russell shuts down his systems. He’s about to leave. He destroys his hideout.

Gibbon and Nye go to see the patient. He’s disappeared. He died. They are about to start an autopsy. Nye and Gibbon arrive just in time before they start cutting. Cooper is there. They identify the illegal. Nye calls a crew to clean-up the mess.

Michael apologizes to Stephen. Michael says that he nailed it down to one batch of bad vaccine. Michael wants to get a blood sample from the infected illegal. Michael phones Beppa.

Turney receives a call. They found Michael, Stephen and Yazim as they entered the public transport system. They have been made. Beppa has been made as well. He’s being detained by the police. He was driving the illegals somewhere. They are released. He drives them to the train station. Turney receives a call. She flagged the IDs. The agents detain Ezard. Michael and Yazim make it away. Nye is on the scene. The net has closed in. They bring him to see Brooke. He is told that his research has been funded for the next five years. Eleanor wants to get rid of Ezard by sending him back to China.

In his car, Gibbon receives a message. “Burn them all”. At his flat, Gibbon hears strange noises in the night. He investigates. He finds his door open. On the inside, once again he finds the message “Burn them all”. He sees footage of the bodies being burned in the incinerator on his big TV.

Ezard is going home. He’s shut out of TIA. He’s at the airport. He forgot to put his keys away. He is stopped. He phones Yazim. He tells her that he knows what is going on.

Turney tells Eleanor that Ezard didn’t make his flight. Turney says that she is sorry. They are planning on killing him. Ezard tries to get money but can’t get anything out. He has to do a runner to get away from a cabbie he couldn’t pay. He leaves his bag behind. His phone has been cut off. He can’t even get into Michael’s apartment. He is let in by someone leaving. He finds Michael’s line disconnected. His water and power have been switched off. He takes a few pennies and a clock to sell. He can’t sell it without a valid ID. He sees a tactical team converging on Michael’s flat.

They bag everything. He runs away.

He tries to contact Cooper, but is refused entry.

George confides in Nye about the messages he’s been getting.

Someone is surveilling Ezard through TIA. He gets caught in a protest rally. He tries to get them to help him, but they are all on inline skates. They come and go. A strange man offers him some help. He takes him to an underground slum. He has to give blood to get some money, but is burgled as soon as he leaves the underground slum.

Ezard stumbles back to the university to see Cooper. He finds Yazim on her way there. He tells her about what he discovered. He says that the vaccine must have been tagged nanotechnologically.

Cooper is told about Dr. Anwar. As soon as he sees her, he comes down to see her. On his way down, he is bagged by someone. Gibbon is staring at his painting in the museum. Turney phones Nye to tell him that they lost Cooper. In front of his painting, Gibbon shoots himself in the mouth so that the splatter of his blood lands on it. Russell was following him. Nye sees the suicide. Russell follows Nye.

Brooke and Turney consider the fallout.

Stephen meets with his brother. Michael says that he has been tagged by the same vaccine. He didn’t want to tell Yazim. Michael is hurting. He is infected. He doesn’t know how he is going to tell Yazim. A car bomb detonates near them. They are all thrown to the ground. Michael notices an apparent tenderness between Yazim and Stephen.

* * * * *

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4 Responses to “The Last Enemy S01E04 (BBC)”


  1. 1 Henry Richards May 2, 2008 at 21:58

    I think the premise on the TIA system was slightly different. In fact it is closer to the present reality.

    The system would not create new tracking mechanisms (etc) – it would, rather, draw together as yet unconnected strands. The ID cards were already in place in the series. The TIA gave a single interface which enables complex questions to be asked of it.

    The ID card debate is quite heated in the UK right now – we have ministers exactly like the blonde woman in the series – who believe that ID cards are the best way forward. They are biding their time – probably waiting for a crisis in which the changes can be quickly made! There is definitely a creep towards the state shown in the programme.

    Altogether, I thought the programme was a wake-up call to remind us where we could end up if we don’t remain vigilant against civil liberties.

  2. 2 Patrushka November 4, 2008 at 07:07

    Please – could someone do a summary of the final episode similar to the materful ones already listed here?

    I know truth is more powerful than fiction, including the controversy about big government always watching us, similar to our US government tapping phone lines without a court order.

    Carlysle’s role as David Russell really throws me though and I would love to have more explanation as to where he really stood (does anyone know?). It makes you think if the govt. doesn’t get you, some other force will. Was he supporting the government’s position all along? Was his connection to Nadir a total lie?

    Also – was Doctor Cooper involved with the dirty vaccine, which is why they said he held a private conference with 4 biologists from the Deloitt biochem company?
    Thanks.

  3. 3 range November 4, 2008 at 09:39

    I might have it with me already written. I’ll check my archives and if I do have it, I’ll post it later this week. Since it’s midterm week, it will have to wait until the weekend.

  4. 4 range November 24, 2008 at 03:52

    Hi, it was published a while ago on my blog. Here is the recap:

    http://range.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/the-last-enemy-s01e05-bbc/


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