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"Semper Occultus - Always Secret"
—SIS motto.

The Secret Intelligence Service, almost always referred to in media by the term "MI6" (Military Intelligence 6'), is the external intelligence agency for the United Kingdom, roughly equivalent to the United States' CIA.

Formed as the Secret Service Bureau in 1909 under the leadership of Captain Sir George Mansfield Smith-Cumming[1], its existence was not officially acknowledged until 1994, although it now has a website.

Its reputation in media is inextricably linked to the James Bond mythos, and the agency's appearances in media tend to either play to, or directly contradict such notions.

By the way, the chief is known as "C" (after Smith-Cumming), not "M", although Ian Fleming, himself an ex-secret agent, was inspired by Smith-Cumming's use of green ink.

It has a rather cool base, namely its headquarters at Vauxhall Cross.


Works Involving The Secret Intelligence Service include:

Anime

  • Several characters in Darker Than Black work for the SIS. One of the agents, April, gets annoyed when it's called MI 6.
  • Been known to employ Golgo 13.

Comic Books

  • Queen and Country
  • Alfred Pennyworth, butler to Batman is usually depicted as having been an MI 6 agent in his backstory.
    • Except in The Dark Knight Trilogy, where it appears that he was a member of the Special Air Service...which abbreviates to SAS.
      • Though it would not be too unlikely for someone to have joined the SIS after leaving the military.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were originally MI 6 operatives, the "Black Dossier" also details the founding and history of the agency in that world.
  • Shang Chi and various characters from his comic book work for MI 6.

Fan Fiction

Film

Literature

  • Alex Rider
  • The works of John Le Carre. As matters were still classified when he wrote, he changed some things, such as using "Control" rather than "C" and having MI 6 nicknamed "the Circus" because its headquarters were said to be on Cambridge Circus (in reality it wasn't).
    • A real-life ex-SIS officer too.
  • The Bernard Samson series
  • The Laundry Series by Charles Stross, although only in passing. The Laundry itself is the sole surviving section of the WW 2 Special Operations Executive. MI 6 do not have a very high opinion of them, and the feeling is mutual.
  • In the novel (but not The Movie) The Hunt for Red October, British and US cooperation in tracking down the titular submarine includes interaction between MI 6 and the CIA.
  • Some works during the 1960s and '70s referred to the name being changed to DI 6 (MI 5 was also renamed DI 5). How accurate this was is uncertain -- the SIS website doesn't seem to mention it at all -- but more than one author used the new names (examples include Michael Gilbert's "Mr. Calder and Mr. Behrens" stories and Martin Woodhouse's "Giles Yeoman" series).
  • In one episode of Deep Space Nine, Bashir plays James Bond in the holodeck.

Live-Action TV

Video Games

Notes

  1. an ex-sailor who was eccentric to say the least, writing in green ink and stabbing his false leg with a penknife to shock people
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