Zafar Younis

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Zaf Younis
Spooks character
Zafar Younis (Spooks).JPG
Raza Jaffrey as Zafar Younis
First appearanceSeries 3, Episode 10
Last appearanceSeries 6, Episode 1
Portrayed byRaza Jaffrey
OccupationJunior Case Officer, Section D

Zafar Younis (1977–2007) is a fictional character in the popular BBC espionage drama Spooks, known in the United States as MI-5. The show follows the exploits of MI5's counter-terrorism group, Section D. The character is played by British actor Raza Jaffrey. Zafar (usually called Zaf) is introduced in the last episode of series 3, and he appears throughout series 4 and 5. The character is last seen in the first episode of series 6.


The BBC's Spooks website depicts Zaf as a loyal team member, devoted to his job and the protection of the UK. He has a quick wit, sometimes bordering on facetiousness. He enjoys being in the field rather than behind a desk and he excels in undercover work, but he can be "foolhardy, and his risk assessment [is] sometimes weak." He gets along well with section chief Adam Carter, whom he "hero worship[s]."[1]

To quote Raza Jaffrey, "Zaf is very good at his job. . . . He's hugely ambitious, but knows how much of a sacrifice a career with the intelligence service is. . . . He trusts Adam implicitly and the two have a great rapport. He doesn't always agree with [Adam] but he would lay down his life for him, just as he would for any of the team."[2] The BBC Press Pack for series 4 attributes to Zaf a Muslim background but notes that he is not particularly devout. He is, however, said to be sensitive to indications "that either he or his culture is being patronised or misrepresented," and he despises those who use their religion as an excuse for special pleading or facile rhetoric.[3]


In the episode in which Zaf is introduced, "The Suffering of Strangers," MI5 officers Fiona Carter and Danny Hunter are being held hostage by terrorists. Zaf is an MI6 officer who had worked with Adam Carter (played by Rupert Penry-Jones) before Adam transferred to MI5. Zaf assists in saving Fiona's life, but Danny is killed by the terrorists. With Danny's death, Adam asks Zaf to join Section D.[4]

Midway through series 4, the show gains another new character, the recruit Jo Portman, played by Miranda Raison. There is promise of a growing relationship between Jo and Zaf, but this is never fully developed.

At the start of series 6, Zaf is kidnapped by a band of mercenaries, and his colleagues are left uncertain of his ultimate fate.[5] It is not until episode 10 that they learn that he was tortured for a paying client, then sold to terrorists in Pakistan, subjected to further torture, and killed.[6]

Raza Jaffrey[edit]

After leaving the series, Raza Jaffrey became a member of the cast of the BBC drama Mistresses, playing Hari Dhillon, husband of one of the four female leads. The actor has commented, "What’s been really good about the roles of Zafar and Hari is that their story lines were nothing to do with their race."[7][deprecated source]


  1. ^ "Personnel File: Zafar Younis", BBC Spooks website. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Raza Jaffrey is Zafar Younis." BBC Press Office, Spooks Press Pack. 1 September 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Raza Jaffrey is Zafar Younis." BBC Press Office, Spooks Press Pack. 1 September 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
  4. ^ Alrick Riley (director); Ben Richards (writer) (13 December 2004). "The Suffering of Strangers". Spooks. Series 3. Episode 10. BBC. BBC One.
  5. ^ Omar Madha (director); Neil Cross (writer) (16 October 2007). "The Virus, Part 1". Spooks. Series 6. Episode 1. BBC. BBC One.
  6. ^ Alrick Riley (director); Ben Richards (writer) (18 December 2007). "The School". Spooks. Series 6. Episode 10. BBC. BBC One.
  7. ^ Maureen Paton, "In a taxi with . . . Raza Jaffrey." MailOnline, 1 November 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2011.