Kit Harrington is giving BBC series Spooks a big screen leg-up this week as the show spawns an action-packed spin-off movie.
It's not the first time a show or movie has spawned a high-profile spin-off. With TV production values giving movies a run for their money, small-screen storytelling has never been more popular. And in the spirit of that Spooks spin-off, it's the perfect time to celebrate some of the greatest TV spin-offs ever...
The Original: Joss Whedon's cult hit Buffy The Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as the eponymous foe to all things fanged.
The Spin-Off: Vampire-with-a-soul Angel (David Boreanaz) left at the end of Buffy season three to head up his own show. Relocating to LA, he sets up his own detective agency to help the helpless.
Why It's Great: With a later time slot and a brooding anti-hero, Angel could go to dark places Buffy was never able to. By the time its deliriously dark third season rolled around, it had hit its stride and was easily one of the best genre shows on network TV.
The Original: Before Homer, Marge and co got their own show, they spent three seasons starring in shorts on The Tracy Ullman Show from 1987.
The Spin-Off: Only the longest-running American sitcom. The Simpsons debuted in 1989 and is now in its 26th season. It's like they're part of the family.
Why It's Great: Though general opinion is that the 'golden era' of The Simpsons ended way back in season nine, the show's popularity endures thanks to its mix of lovable characters, wacky plot-lines and saccharine-free look at modern family life.
The Original: The Coen brothers' indie classic of the same name. Set in Minnesota, it follows Frances McDormand's pregnant cop as she investigates a series of murders in her town.
The Spin-Off: A dark comedy overseen by Noah Hawley. The series sees Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton) sweeping into a Minnesota town while cop Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) investigates a series of murders.
Why It's Great: Like the movie, it contains humour-tinged darkness but features even quirkier characters and some fantastic twists. Bring on season two!
The Original: Long-running sitcom Cheers (1982-1993), which was set in a bar run by Sam Malone (Ted Danson). One of the many patrons included Dr Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer).
The Spin-Off: Frasier got his own show in 1993 after Cheers ended. Moving back home to Seattle, his finicky psychiatrist hosts his own radio show while contending with the dramas of his brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and father Martin (John Mahoney). The show ran for 11 years.
Why It's Great: It's surely the classiest sitcom that ever existed, and despite all its high-brow Opera jokes, it was always hugely appealing as the Crane family got into one stitch-in-side pickle after another.
The Cleveland Show
The Original: The animated goliath that is Family Guy, which revolves around the manic lives of the Griffin family. And their dog.
The Spin-Off: Deli owner Cleveland gets his own series, The Cleveland Show, and a new wife in the form of Donna Tubbs.
Why It's Great: It takes the format of Family Guy and does its own thing with it including those familiar cut-aways.
She-Ra: Princess Of Power
The Original: By the power of Greyskull! Inspired by Mattel's toy line, He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe was set in Eternia, where He-Man fought the forces of the evil Skeletor. While wearing not very much.
The Spin-Off: Did you know He-Man had a twin sister? Well, she got her own show in 1985's She-Ra: Princess Of Power, which introduced a whole new cast of characters, including big bad Hordak and the adorably rainbow-coloured Kowl.
Why It's Great: The theme tune alone deserves serious respect, and while She-Ra wore an outrageously short skirt (this family really hates clothes), she did it in the name of girl power. Which is always nice.
Xena: Warrior Princess
The Original: From myth to small-screen hero, Hercules: The Legendary Series starred Kevin Sorbo as the half-god in the Sam Raimi-produced show.
The Spin-Off: After appearing as a recurring character in Hercules, Xena (Lucy Lawless) was deemed interesting enough to go it alone in Xena: Warrior Princess. She's joined by sidekick Gabrielle and constantly goes up against renegade gods.
Why It's Great: There was simply nothing like it on TV. While Hercules was overtly goofy (and, yes, a bit naff), Xena plunged headfirst into its themes of redemption, so there was real darkness amid the campery. Also, the musical episodes are genius.
Better Call Saul
The Original: A little show you may have heard of called Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston stars as a chem teacher who becomes a criminal mastermind.
The Spin-Off: Set before Breaking Bad, this series centres on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), a small-time public defender scraping a living in New Mexico.
Why It's Great: It's completely different from the show that birthed it, which is only a good thing. With the same creative team working behind the scenes, Better Call Saul is just as dark without feeling beholden to Breaking Bad.
Ashes To Ashes
The Original: Hit BBC series Life On Mars, which aired 2006-2007. Jon Simm stars as a detective who travels back to 1973 after being involved in a traffic accident. He works for Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister).
The Spin-Off: Gene Hunt returns in this 2008 spin-off, in which present day police officer Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes) is shot, which somehow causes her to travel back in time to 1981.
Why It's Great: It's a chance to revel in the eighties, and though the show's first episode wobbled, it soon found its feet and became a compelling period detective drama.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The Original: George Lucas's genre-defining space saga, which he began with A New Hope in 1977 and finished with 2005's Revenge Of The Sith. We don't need to remind you it's being resurrected this Christmas...
The Spin-Off: Set in the period between Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith, this animated series takes a closer look at the war between the Republic and the Separatists, with Anakin and Obi-Wan taking centre stage.
Why It's Great: It's Star Wars on the small screen!
Men In Black: The Series
The Original: Barry Sonnenfeld's tongue in cheek sci-fi. Will Smith is recruited by Tommy Lee Jones to become a secret agent who keeps the extra-terrestrial lifeforms on Earth in check.
The Spin-Off: Airing between 1997-2001, this animated spin-off follows the continued adventures of Agent J and Agent K as aliens infiltrate our planet.
Why It's Great: Before the movies derailed a fun franchise, the animated series told some ace stories and the animation is brilliantly scuzzy.
Sabrina The Teenage Witch
The Original: TV movie Sabrina The Teenage Witch (from 1996), which introduces us to that titular spell-caster, played by Melissa Joan Hart. Also notable for co-starring a very young Ryan Reynolds.
The Spin-Off: Magical teen sitcom that picks up with Sabrina as she attempts to keep her magic life and her high school life separate. While mooning over Harvey (Nate Richert). Drool.
Why It's Great: Though it wasn't exactly 100% comedy gold, the show's main appeal was the talking cat, Salem, a maniac with plans for world domination. Also, Melissa Joan Hart's just so perky it's impossible to not like her.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
The Original: Gene Roddenberry's 1966 series Star Trek. William Shatner stars as Captain Kirk, with Leonard Nimoy on hand as Spock.
The Spin-Off: First airing in 1987, this first TV spin-off stars Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard as he and the crew of the Enterprise set out to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Why It's Great: Sleeker and smarter than its predecessor, Star Trek: TNG reignited the cult of Trek and became a huge hit, nabbing 18 Emmy awards over its seven season run. Also, Picard rules.
The Original: Marvel's cinematic releases, which began with 2008's Iron Man and continue this year with Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man.
The Spin-Off: Created by Drew Goddard (Cabin In The Woods), the Daredevil series stars Charlie Cox as blind lawyer Matt Murdock, who fights crime in the Hell's Kitchen neighbourhood of New York.
Why It's Great: Airing on Netflix means the show can go to seriously dark places there's swearing and gut-wrenching violence, making this a truly adult take on the Marvel universe. Also, Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk is really something to behold. We can't wait for season two.
The Original: Thomas Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon, which introduces brilliant psychologist Hannibal Lecter. He also happens to be a cannibal.
The Spin-Off: Critically acclaimed drama Hannibal, created by showrunner Bryan Fuller and starring Mads Mikkelsen as the titular menace. Hugh Dancy plays the forensic investigator who becomes his prey.
Why It's Great: How can one show make you feel hungry and sick all at the same time? Hannibal manages it with its gorgeous visuals and savage depictions of violence. It's a beautiful nightmare of fantastic performances and grisly murder scenes.
The Real Ghostbusters
The Original: Cult 1984 movie Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as buddies-turned-paranormal investigators working in New York City.
The Spin-Off: Seven-season animated spin-off that continued the adventures of the Ghostbusters from 1986 to 1991.
Why It's Great: It was a chance to hear the Ghostbusters theme every single week, and featured a bumped-up role for Slimer. Plus, who doesn't want to see the 'busters in action fighting gooey baddies on the streets of New York?
Marvels Agents Of SHIELD
The Original: Like Daredevil, this show was spawned by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Spin-Off: Reintroduces Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), who somehow survived after Avengers Assemble and heads up his own SHIELD unit.
Why It's Great: It took a while to get going, but once SHIELD started dealing with the fall-out from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it transformed into something unbelievably compelling. Some of the twists are genuinely hand-to-mouth shocking.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
The Original: Time-traveling action sci-fi epic The Terminator, directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of his career.
The Spin-Off: Time gets warped again as Sarah Connor (Lena Headey) and her teen son John (Thomas Dekker) are protected by a new, slimline Terminator named Cameron (Summer Glau).
Why It's Great: Though it sadly only lasted two seasons, showrunner Josh Friedman crammed some great stuff in. Glau's robo-protector is a clear highlight.
The Original: Wes Craven's smart slasher flick A Nightmare On Elm Street, which pits the teenagers of Elm Street including Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) against dream-stalking serial killer Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).
The Spin-Off: Freddy continues to hunt nubile teens in this two-season horror anthology. The focus is entirely on Freddy, as he dispatches a fresh batch of victims every episode yes, each episode is essentially a bitesize Nightmare On Elm Street movie!
Why It's Great: Alright, it's not exactly the best thing ever broadcast, but we have a soft spot for it thanks to Robert Englund's obvious glee at getting to play Freddy again. It's cheesy as hell and you won't find it anywhere on DVD, but that's ok we prefer our rose-tinted memories of it.
The Original: French spy thriller La Femme Nikita from director Luc Besson.
The Spin-Off: Besson's film spawned a cheesy '90s show before we got the sharper, cooler version starring Maggie Q as the titular spy, who's hellbent on bringing down the government agency that turned her into a cold-blooded killer.
Why It's Great: With its shoot-outs, big plot twists and atmosphere of paranoia, this is one of the slickest spy shows on TV and Maggie Q makes for one formidable action hero.