Spooks Wiki
Tom Quinn
Tom Spooks.jpg
Show Spooks
First seen Thou Shalt Not Kill
Last seen The Sleeper (regular)
Series 10, Episode 6 (guest)
Job Former MI5 officer
Status Alive (Decommissioned)
Portrayer Matthew Macfadyen

Tom Quinn is a fictional character in the BBC espionage television series Spooks (called MI-5 in the United States) which follows the exploits of Section D, a counter-terrorism division of MI5.

He is portrayed by British actor Matthew Macfadyen. In the first two series, Tom is the chief of Section D. The character was in the first and second episode of the third series but was decommissioned as a result of sabotaging an operation.

Character History[]

Pre series[]

Not is much known about Tom's life before the start of the series except for brief mentions. In "Traitor's Gate", Zoe reviews Tom's file and asks Danny if he knew that Tom was recruited by Peter Salter. Danny replies that "Tom doesn’t talk about how the service got him. It’s one of his things." In Harry's Diary, he is first mentioned in the "31 January 1994" entry where he is refereed as a young Cambridge graduate who is in the middle of training. He was around the age of twenty four at the time of his recruitment.

In "Smoke and Mirrors" it was revealed that in Tom's early MI-5 career that he was investigating a European hardcore anarchist group during which he recruited a woman named Lisa Joyce. Lisa was an untrained agent sent into a dangerous situation and couldn't cope with the stress, ending up in a mental hospital as a result.


Tom, along with Zoe Reynolds, Danny Hunter and Harry Pearce, make up the core team of section D in the first episode "Thou Shalt Not Kill" where he leads the team to take down American terrorist Mary Kane, who is responsible and they have smuggled 20 bombs to target more family-planning doctors.

In Harry's Diary "5th October 2004," Harry says that he sent Tom to Maine to check on Lisa Joyce after the events of "Project Friendly Fire" where she has now lost both her mother and father. He was sent after writing a field report which questioned Five's responsibilities towards Lisa. Harry concludes that it was a mistake to send Tom on the visit as he came back a changed man who appears to have suddenly acquired a conscience about the whole episode.

Tom's behaviour after being proven innocent of the crimes he was framed for by Herman and Carmen Joyce worried Harry. This was because Tom's behaviour had become erratic with him experiencing a "conscience explosion" and sabotages an operation to lure a terrorist cell into buying "red mercury" because he did not like what was being done to the scientist in order for him to attempt to create it (which includes forging gambling debt causing the man's wife to leave him, leading to an alcohol problem). As a result, Tom is decommissioned by Harry and takes early retirement from MI-5.

In Harry's Diary entry for "1st December 2004," he reveals that he received a cryptic postcard from who he assumes to be Tom. It reveals that Tom had embarked on some kind of round the world trip and how nice it was that he was travelling with only one passport. In the book "Spooks: The Personnel Files," Tom is revealed to have married Christine Dale following his retirement and to have founded a private security company called 'Trans Atlantic Security.'

Tom is briefly seen in the final episode of the entire Spooks series in Russia. It is strongly implied that Harry assigned Tom as a "private contractor" to track down and assassinate Elena Gavrik's Russian Nationalist colleagues.


Tom Quinn was serious, focused and popular with the team he led. Deeply intelligent and with impeccable instincts, Tom's job was everything to him and always came first. While this made him an excellent Spook, it didn't make him such a perfect boyfriend, as his girlfriend Ellie soon found out.

Tom's loyalties were called into question when he was framed in an assassination plot. Unable to persuade his colleagues of his innocence, he shot Harry in order to avoid capture. Tom eventually managed to prove his innocence. He was exonerated of any wrong-doing and returned to the Service. However, it wasn't to be for long. Tom's moral questioning of his job caused a crisis of confidence. He jeopardised an important mission and Harry was forced to de-commission Tom from MI5. Following his decommission from Section D, Tom becomes a freelance security specialist.

Section D Chief Operatives
Previous (Known)
Lucas North
Tom Quinn

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Adam Carter