The Last Enemy S01E05 (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 the last episode of the series, we discover the full implications of TIA and what the government has been after. The UK is turned into a police state. People have tags surgically inserted into their bodies. There is no escape from Big Brother. We discover that Russell was working for Turney all this time. Nadir was never his step daughter. He’s the cleaner that she was talking about. Michael and Yazim make it out of the UK. Ezard is confined as a dangerous subversive in his brother’s apartment for the rest of his natural life. He will never be allowed to leave the UK. Michael is cured from the sickness thanks to Cooper.

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.

* * * * *

Turney and Nye find the Ezard brothers and Yazim through TIA.
Brooke is giving a press conference about the terrorist bombing that just happened.

Ezard takes his brother and Yazim to the underground slum. Nye and Turney know that Michael is sick. They are watching him. Russell pays a visit to Nye’s daughter. He copies his laptop’s HD. Nye hears a sound. He takes a gun and gets out of his bed. His wife is still slumbering. He finds his laptop has been accessed. He prowls around his house and sees that his door is open. He thought his daughter was gone. He runs upstairs and finds her with his wife.
Michael wants to know about his funeral. Stephen says that there were a lot of people. Michael knows that he slept with his wife. Stephen says that it happened after he had died, after the funeral.

Russell meets with Yazim. He says that Nadir’s clothes that she is wearing were tagged. She tells Russell that Michael is sick. Russell tells her that he’s got Cooper stashed somewhere. She takes the Ezard brothers to the location.

Nye deduces that the Ezards are in with Russell. They have lost him and them. Russell arrives. He gives Ezard the USB drive from Nye’s notebook. Out of nowhere, Cooper appears out of a boot of a car.

Cooper says that what would help, would be bloodsamples from other infected patients. The other refugees might be good candidates. Cooper says that if they are sick, they will be held at Brampton. Getting in is going to be a problem. Ezard knows how to get in. He uses the prints from a guy’s glass.

Stephen gets inside and starts taking blood samples. The guy that they stole the prints from arrives. He’s got problem getting in. He can’t get in because he’s already in. The government is onto Ezard. He’s trapped inside. Miraculously he makes it out when they shut down the system.

Michael has beaten the vaccine. Ezard thinks that it’s all about them. Brooke and Turney are talking when they see footage of a recovered Michael. Brooke wants this all shut down immediately with full effect. Turney tells Nye that she used a sweeper. She needed absolute surveillance. Stephen says that there was another experiment was going on at the same time. EZ759 is not just a tag, it’s the ultimate sanction. It didn’t kill Michael because he isn’t an Arab.

Turney confronts Cooper. The research was cancelled. Cooper was responsible for the experiments. Russell walks in. In the end, Russell was working for Turney. Russell wasn’t Nadir’s stepfather. Russell shoots Cooper. Nye walks in. Russell threatens Nye. Nye was working for the government all along.

Ezard fails in his decryption and all the data is erased. Stephen tells Yazim that they have to get Michael out of here. He tells her that she has to leave with him. They will go to no ends to destroy the evidence. Michael’s blood is evidence. They are flagged as soon as they enter the public transport system once more.

Ezard is arrested right outside. They scan him and say that he is UNAS. They bring him to Michael’s flat. The door opens without him scanning his card. Brooke is in the apartment. She tells him that the tags are now inserted into people. She had to convince others that he was worth it.

UNAS. Unaffiliated Subversive. It means that access to certain public buildings will be denied. He can’t use certain forms of transport and communication. His movements will be monitored as well as his communication. He won’t be able to leave the country. He’s been shelved. He should have left when he had the chance. Now they have put him in his box and thrown away the key.

She tells him that Michael is dead. Yazim is back in her country. Brooke is the Foreign Secretary.

In the last scene, we see Yazim and Michael leaving on a boat. They kiss. Russell appears when Yazim goes to get some food. Russell kills Michael and throws him overboard.

Yazim is back in Afghanistan. Stephen is in the UK stuck in his box. He’s watched at all times through CCTV. Big Brother is watching him.

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7 responses to “The Last Enemy S01E05 (BBC)”

  1. musicwork Avatar

    Thanks for the summary. Loved the show, but was confused by the last episode. Russell was working for Turney? She was with the government? Is that why Russell killed Michael? I think I’m going to have to watch the whole thing again now.

    Anyway, great summary. Many thanks.

  2. range Avatar

    It’s been quite a while since I watched it and I can’t remember the last details of the show. I’ll have to watch it again.

  3. Atmikha Avatar

    The thing is, Afghanis aren’t Arabs

    1. range Avatar

      Thanks for that. I can honestly not remember the exact context, and if it was said in the TV show.

  4. tree Avatar

    I just finished watching the last episode, and I am puzzling over why Russell killed Michael.


    I hope the show got canceled or else I can’t explain the finalle. I was really puzzled by it. It’s not satisfactory in any way. Michael is cured but then killed by that double crossing scumbag.They never explained why they needed Michael alive until that point and why did they have Russel help them at the other episodes and then force Turney’s co worker into suicide. Also why did he steal the data for the tag operation to begin with? Anyway in the end, the government wins, Michael is dead, Yasim will return to her country never understanding why he vanished and Stephen is forced into living in Uk supervised for his entire life not being able to go find Yasim? I mean seriously this is the worst series finalle I have ever seen in my life

    1. Ink Pastries Avatar

      I agree, wasted 5 hours of my life. I read 1984 and Brave New World. Twice in this world is enough. I get it and will hopefully die before they insert something under my skin. But truthfully, my phone listens to me and tracks me (I have evidence because of the ads they throw at me, even when I haven’t googled something, my phone seems to know what I’ve said in private to people). So if I’m addicted to my phone despite the fact that it’s invaded my privacy, isn’t that the same as having a “chip” under my skin? Anyway, I would have preferred understanding Carlyle’s role and why he turned so many times. It just made no sense and seemed like he was the plot “go to” when they didn’t know what else to do. Did they make this up as they went along? Ugh.

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