Oct. 7th, 2010 04:43 pm
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
All right. This business about Eames working for, or having worked for, MI5. I know it comes from the mouth of Tom Hardy himself, but take it from me: Tom Hardy is an actor; he's hardly the authority on all things government.

Let's examine the key statement in more detail:

There’s something very old school, MI-5 about [Eames] as well. He’s got the Graham Greene "Our Man in Havana" type. Old and faded, slightly shabby, down and out diplomats. A bit unscrupulous and off-the-radar.

The correct definitions:

MI5 is the British Security Service. It's the domestic security agency, meaning that it works mainly within the UK to identify and mitigate threats to national security, e.g. terrorist attacks and foreign espionage activities. The characters on Spooks work for MI5.

MI6 is the British Secret Intelligence Service. It's the UK's foreign human intelligence collection agency, and as such the bulk of its work is performed overseas. Its role is roughly analogous to that of the CIA. James Bond works for MI6.

Graham Greene worked for MI6. Most of his characters, being expats of various sorts, are associated with foreign intelligence agencies: MI6 or the CIA. The protagonist of Our Man in Havana is reluctantly recruited as a spy by an MI6 officer; Pyle in The Quiet American is a CIA operative undercover as a US diplomat.

If Eames is loitering around dodgy bars in Mombasa with a G&T in hand while professing to be 'in business', it's just way more likely that he works for MI6 rather than MI5. Especially if he happens to know his way around the pointy end of an assault rifle.

I'm just saying.


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