Do you have a diary? Flip it open for me, and if you haven't already, insert "Watch Spooks on BBC One" in the entry for next Monday. This weekend, I watched the first three episodes of the new season (in order to write a preview for heat magazine, Kudos lawyers!), and they're as tremendous as I'd hoped.
Why do I love Spooks? Let me count the ways. Topping the list, if I'm honest, is Peter Firth's performance as MI5's Section D chief Harry Pearce. The man carries such gravitas and presence, while barely raising his voice above a near-whisper. Rupert Penry-Jones, too, has cemented himself into the show as unflappable action hero Adam Carter. Hermione Norris endlessly fascinates as nails-hard ice maiden Ros Myers, and I can honestly say there isn't a single weak link among the rest of the ensemble.
Spooks' plotting is exemplary, with storylines twisting and constantly rotating to reveal different sides and bigger pictures. Then there's the sheer pace of the beast - it's a rare episode of Spooks which doesn't hit the ground running, at such a fair old clip that you wonder what can possibly happen for the rest of the hour.
Vitally, Spooks is also one of the few continuing dramas where you constantly fear for all of the characters' lives. No-one is safe, as we've seen from a number of shocking fatalities over the past six seasons. This makes it consistently exciting.
Talking about unpredictability, here's something I've realised about my favourite TV characters, who are the aforementioned Harry Pearce, the Doctor, Boyd from Waking The Dead and Vic Mackey from The Shield. Something unites them all: you never know for sure how they're going to react to anything. Perhaps that's something to aspire to as a writer, if you see the appeal in this - creating a character who's well-drawn, but never predictable. Consistently unpredictable, in fact...
Note: Let's keep any comments spoiler-free for Spooks seasons past and present, even after the new episodes air.