Tom Quinn was the fictional Section Chief in Section D, MI5's Counter-Terrorism Department, as seen in BBC spy drama Spooks (also known as MI-5 in the USA). He was portrayed by actor Matthew Macfadyen until his departure in the third season.



Tom was intelligent, dedicated and focused with impeccable instincts when it came to his job, making him an exceptional intelligence officer. He had natural leadership instincts and could relate to all of his staff. Having joined Section D directly from his training in June 1996, Quinn was particularly close to his boss Harry Pearce and the two ran Section D effectively. He helped both Zoe Reynolds and Danny Hunter (who were his junior officers) in their careers and training.

At the start of the first series Tom Quinn's girlfriend was Ellie Simm who knew him under the alias Matthew Archer. When later in the series she found out that he worked for MI-5 and had not even told her his real name, she was not happy. However she began to accept his career and all appeared well. However, during finale of season one their house almost got blown up when Tom unknowingly took a hidden bomb home with him. When Ellie and her daughter were nearly killed as a result she made Tom choose between her and his job; he chose his job and she left him at the beginning of season two.

During series two, the character developed more. Upon realizing Ruth Evershed was a mole, he managed to turn her and she had a faultless career since. In the fifth episode of the series (during an EERIE exercise) the team believed that a bomb had gone off in London and they were all going to die; however Tom (with the help of Ruth and Zoe) managed to keep the team together and he was congratulated on a 'superb display of leadership'. Towards the end of the series, Tom's conscience started to interfere with his work. After a difficult operation where he had gone undercover and an army officer was killed whilst trying to help better the army, he started to question the job. This was only made worse after he and Zoe lost a young woman in the next episode unnecessarily.

Tom's CIA girlfriend, Christine Dale, proved to be Tom's downfall as she unknowingly fed him a false telegram about an American hitman coming to the UK (during the second season finale). It was actually Herman Joyce, looking for revenge after Tom ruined the life of his daughter. Tom was framed for murder and shot Harry Pearce in the left shoulder while escaping with the intention of proving his innocence. The rest of the team believed Tom was a traitor and the last shot of Tom during the second series saw him swimming out into the North Sea.

Eventually, with the help of Adam Carter, the team was saved and Oliver Mace, who was using Tom's "treachery" to destroy MI5, was forced to back down. Tom was proved innocent and returned to Section D. However in the following episode, Tom was tasked to use a scientist and his family in a fly trap operation to try and capture terrorists. Tom got a rush of morality and almost ruined an operation, forcing Harry to relieve him with a very generous special pension, or pay-off for rogue agents. (Season 3, Episode 2)

In the book Spooks: The Personnel Files (2007) which is canonical within the Spooks continuity, it states that Tom gave an exit interview after being decommissioned and went on to set up Trans Atlantic Security in 2005 with his wife Christine Dale, the CIA operative who resigned in the first episode of series 3 that he was previously ordered to stop seeing by Harry Pearce. A footnote from Harry states that this info should be added to Tom's MI5 file and Harry is pleased for Tom.

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