I just finished watching the 87th and final episode of the British spy series MI-5 (all ten seasons are available for instant viewing on Netflix). Why did I spend three and a half days of my life on a soapy spy serial? For Jesus, of course.

And also because it was a provocative and immediately relevant series. The show—called Spooks in Britain—aired contemporaneously with the war on terror. The first episode aired on May 13, 2002 (with production beginning just months after 9/11), and the show ended June 17, 2011, just a few months before the last convoy of U.S. combat troops left Iraq. Neither I nor the show mean to make any sweeping claim about the war on terror being over—members of my congregation are still on the ground in Afghanistan. But this show got its oomph from addressing a reality right in front of us.

MI-5 features a counterterrorism unit of the British security service MI-5 called Section D. In one early show, the spies respond to a test scenario in which a dirty bomb kills the royal family and a few members of Parliament. In the drill, Section D debates whether to declare martial law and run the country or respond with less drastic measures. “Very Oliver Cromwell of you,” one character says to section chief Tom Quinn (Matthew Macfadyen) when he advocates a takeover.