Spooks: This Is The End

Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) and Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker)

“NOT while I still draw breath.”

Sir Harry Pearce is a joy to behold in the first episode of the last ever series of Spooks.

With just six hours left before we say goodbye, the writers of our favourite spy drama appear intent on celebrating the man who has been there from the very start.

Or perhaps more accurately, a skilled actor by the name of Peter Firth.

There’s very little I can say about Spooks 10.1 without spoiling it.

Big secrets are revealed in a thrilling opener.

There are flashbacks, deaths and iPads.

The jamming of a guillotine.

And a classic final four words of 10.1 script.

Quite aside from Harry making Ruth his “plus one” for a black tie event.

Ruth: “Very glamorous.”

Harry: “Yes. We’ll fit in perfectly.”

Extract from the first episode – don’t watch if avoiding spoilers:

Spooks fans will know to expect some shocks along the way in this farewell series.

Not least in episode two, of which more next week.

We’ll miss Spooks when it’s gone.

It’s a shame BBC schedulers have placed it in direct Sunday night competition with the second series of ITV1 drama phenomenon Downton Abbey.

But what’s done is done. I hope as many people as possible watch both series because they’re equally excellent in their different ways.

For now, let’s look forward to a cracking finale.

I went on set again back in April for small round table interviews with Peter Firth, Nicola Walker and other cast members.

At that stage they were working on the third episode and had yet to learn for certain how the series would end on screen.

My MEN feature interview with Peter Firth is below, followed by some extras from both him and Nicola.

Be warned, there are spoilers. But nothing, I hope, too revealing.

I’ve edited out much of what they told us about their characters and series 10 storylines.

Update: As well as the below, you can also now read further series two interviews:

Spooks: Lara Pulver

Spooks Geoffrey Streatfeild

*******************************************************************

Ruth and Harry in episode one.

SPOOKS star Peter Firth has no regrets about the spy drama being killed off.

The actor, who plays MI5 head of counter-terrorism Harry Pearce, says: “I will miss it but it’s been a fantastic run.”

Peter, 57, has starred in the show since the very first episode in 2002 and is at the centre of the action as Spooks (BBC1, Sunday, 9pm) begins its tenth and final series.

Sir Harry is facing a tribunal, accused of trading a State secret to a foreign power. Viewers saw him handing over “Albany” last year to save the life of fellow spook Ruth Evershed (Nicola Walker).

He denies his personal feelings for Ruth came into play and produces a report on her in an attempt to convince the panel members he did the right thing.

And that’s all before the opening titles at the start of a six-part series producers Kudos promise will do the Spooks legacy justice, having taken the decision to go out while the drama was still at a high.

Sitting in his dressing room on set, Peter is philosophical about the end of an era.

“I would have been reflective anyway. I think you get to a certain age and everything changes. Values change and concepts and direction. I’m definitely at a crossroads and I think Harry most certainly is too.

“But I think that’s inevitable. He takes stock. And he’s at that age when people begin to question their lives and the direction they’re going in. But it’s fine. And I won’t miss getting up at five in the morning for filming.”

Dimitri (Max Brown), Ruth (Nicola Walker), Harry (Peter Firth), Calum (Geoffrey Streatfeild) and Erin (Lara Pulver)

Secrets from Harry’s past emerge in the opening episode which begins a couple of months after we last saw him on top of a skyscraper, with Lucas North (Richard Armitage) having jumped to his death.

Some fans hoped Lucas might have somehow lived, as his leap was off screen. But brief added re-cap footage to episode one and a conversation between Harry and Ruth make clear he won’t be coming back.

“The last series stands out for me, series nine, as being the best we’ve done,” insists Peter. “Although it didn’t quite work, the end of it, with Lucas North’s departure. We ran out of money basically.

“We were in the last couple of days of shooting and what we planned for him, we couldn’t film. It was much more spectacular – involving the very tall skyscraper and a helicopter. But we couldn’t afford the helicopter.

“Lucas was always going to die. It was just how he was going to die. There was a version where Harry shot him on top of the skyscraper. And that involved a long falling man picture.”

The backdrop to the farewell series is Britain’s attempt to cultivate a “special relationship” with Russia, rather than America. True Blood star Lara Pulver joins the cast as Erin Watts, who has taken temporary charge in Harry’s absence. While Geoffrey Streatfeild as Calum Reed is another new arrival.

Action man Dimitri (Max Brown) and Tariq (Shazad Latif) are still there but Beth Bailey has left following actress Sophia Myles decision to live in the USA with her American partner.

Star Trek actress Alice Krige plays Elena, wife of Russian cabinet minister Ilya (Jonathan Hyde).

Ilya and Elena

Then there’s Harry’s own special relationship with intelligence analyst Ruth, who turned down his marriage proposal last year. Peter chooses his words carefully when asked what is to become of them.

“The Ruth – Harry thing is entering a new phase and it may be too late for them to proceed any further. They may have gone past the moment,” he smiles. “Harry does have a past – when he was with MI6 he was stationed in West Berlin in the 1980s during the Cold War. And, of course, he had a life then which could well come back to haunt him.”

There’s much more to say about Harry but perhaps best to stop there, for fear of spoiling what is to come. Safe to say, you may need the odd glass of whisky to hand as you watch these final six hours.

Peter was half way through filming when we met and scripts for the very last episode had yet to be finalised. How would he feel if Harry was killed off at the end? “They won’t kill Harry off,” he replied without hesitation.

Had producers Kudos told him that? “Never believe anything you’re told by a production company, let alone MI5. But it’s my belief that they would never kill Harry.”

Would he like Harry to enjoy the quiet retirement he surely deserves after 10 series of saving Britain from disaster?

“I’m not sure about that. It’s not a tea shop in Devon. So I don’t quite know. But a let up from conflict would be appropriate, wouldn’t it?”

As I get up to leave, I ask a last question. So no hope for Harry and Ruth? “Well, with love you never know, do you? You just never know. Anything can happen.”

*******************************************************************

Peter Firth Extras:

Where do we find Harry at the start of the series?

“We find him on gardening leave, or just having had a couple of months out whilst his tribunal is convened to deal with his misdemeanor. We open with the tribunal, which is threatening him with a charge of conspiracy to High Treason. In the last series, there was a deal with Albany, a state secret, which he traded for Ruth’s life. So they take a very dim view of that. And it has to be dealt with. But a situation arises whereby they need Harry, so he’s temporarily re-instated for the first episode.”

Britain has to forge a new relationship?

“Yes, it’s quite interesting. Again, a prophetic storyline it seems to me from the writers about the special relationship with the US, which seems to be deteriorating. But we do need friends and partners in the world and perhaps the Americans are not the ones we should be so pally with, as they have such an atrocious foreign policy. So Russia is the obvious choice for Britain to align itself with because they are a superpower and they have a much better image in the Middle East. And given the current turmoil in the Middle East, who knows what’s going to emerge from that, the threat being that rogue states…that hardline extremists may take power with the possibility of openly sponsoring terrorism agains the west. We’re in the front line here. It’s a longer flight from Tripoli to Washington than it is from Tripoli to London. So that puts us in the front line and perhaps we didn’t really want to be buddying up with the aggressors, the aggresive Americans, quite so much.”

Ten years of Spooks?

“We’ve only got three episodes so far. They write it on the hoof and try and keep abreast of the current situation in the world. But the great thing about Spooks is it keeps topping itself and keeps getting more adventerous with the storylines. This year is no exception. That’s partly the secret to its success but as the Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman said, ‘Nobody knows anything.’ And that’s true. Nobody knows why a thing is a success.”

Seeing cast members come and go?

“It’s great. I’ve met everyone in the profession. Everyone who comes loves to do it. It’s not just a job, it’s not just a gig for people. They’re invariably fans of the show and very happy to be in it.”

New regular characters this series?

“We’ve got Lara Pulver, who has made us all pull our socks up. She’s extremely enthusiastic and full on and filling quite difficult shoes to fill. It’s a very demanding role and she’s all over it. So that’s great. Max Brown, who joined us last year, who’s gorgeous, absolutely adorable and much loved by the ladies. I’ve got a 19-year-old daughter at university and they’re queuing up to visit the set, just to see Max. And we have a new character, Calum…he’s a welcome injection of a modern casual attitude to national security, who’s quite amusing. He’s very laid back.”

Many viewers will be surprised that Beth is not back in this series? A decision that Sophia made?

“Yes. I think she wants to live in America and who can blame her? She got married to an American and now she’s living in Laguna Beach. Bermondsey, Laguna Beach?” (laughter)

This series reduced from eight episodes to six?

“I wouldn’t imagine they’re spending the same amount of money that they would on eight on six. I think it’s a proper budgetary cut. So they can actually afford to make six. So it won’t impact what you see on screen, the fact that there are six rather than eight.”

How do you feel about just six episodes?

“It’s good. Eight is a long haul. We used to do 10 at one point and that just took up your whole life. Eight is quite a long haul, six is a breeze relatively speaking because it’s 16 weeks filming. So it’s not too demanding.”

Erin and Harry’s relationship?

“It’s set up that she would ruffle feathers. They presume that I’m going to find it difficult to work with her because she’s all business and new school, rather than my rather laconic old school stance. But no. That hasn’t emerged yet and we’re getting on fine. I’m very proud of her character-wise as a potential replacement.”

******************************************************************

Nicola Walker Interview:

Harry and Ruth is more complicated this year?

“Yes. And I think that’s good. I rate them for that. All the writers they get, they’re quite grown up about the relationship. They’re not going to make it easy for Harry and Ruth. I have no idea what they’re going to do. In all honesty. I know people always say that. They have told me and Peter that they have about six or seven different ideas and they’re not telling us any of them.

“At the moment, I’m being courted quite vociferously by the Home Secretary, Simon Russell Beale. So I get to do loads of scenes with Simon. I’m having an absolute ball. Especially as he’s just finished being in a ballet for the first time in his life. He’s been talking a lot about that.”

Ruth’s past still haunting her?

“I think it was last series. She was weighed down by that, last series. I think she’s changed significantly because of it. She’s become a different person. She’s lost a lot of her ease in the workplace, which I think is really interesting. When I think about how she arrived, she arrived tripping over, dropping files, swearing at lamps. She was very sweet, very naive, very comical. She’s grown up in the series and not necessarily always the best ways. The knocks that she’s had have taken away some of her joy. Which is really awful. Standing away and looking at her, I really feel for her that she’s lost some of that.

“I’m not sure if it’s going to come back in this series. She’s certainly getting on with her job and her and Harry are trying to find a way of working together without bringing their personal feelings into the workplace too much. But it’s sort of impossible for them because of what they mean to each other now. So it’s as it’s always been in a sense because it’s there whether it’s written or not. The writers are very keen on dropping little breadcrumbs through the series, which I think is better than doing a big full on obvious storyline about it. I think it’s more interesting.”

Courted by the Home Secretary – romantically?

“Well, me and Simon are playing it for that. We are definitely. Yeah. He thinks she’s been overlooked. It’s really interesting. That’s why I think Spooks is such a good series. When I read the script I was really surprised that the writers had chosen to go in that direction. He gets her in a very soft place that I didn’t think Ruth had – her pride about how good she is at her job, which she always plays down. She’s always trying to just get on with her job. And the Home Secretary works out how to get to her. He’s saying – you’ve been overlooked.”

Does that make Harry jealous?

“He doesn’t know.”

Do we see this from episode one?

“Yes, they drip feed it from ep one. I don’t know how it develops but I know it goes all the way through.”

Does that mean we get scenes of Ruth on the Embankment walking along?

“God I hope so.” (laughs) “I love walking along the Embankment and being filmed. What is that? That’s some weird, strange need, ego thing in an actor. It’s just the most exciting thing in the world to be in the centre of London with the London Eye behind you. It’s so thrilling.”

Any more action / fight scenes for Ruth this series after last year?

“Yes. They were good, weren’t they? No, not so far. Maybe they think that – we let her out and she shot some guy! They’re not letting her out anymore. Not at present. I do go out. I am going out a lot more. But I tell you what’s nice, it’s very much more old fashioned spying going on. A bit more of the old feel, that sort of Seventies spying for Ruth, anyway, in this. She’s not going out and suddenly doing kung-fu! We’ve got a meeting coming up in an art gallery. I’m looking forward to that. Lots of that. Old school spying.”

How does Ruth deal with the new people on The Grid?

“Well the best thing is, because of the time jump you find her…already the new Erin has been working there for about eight weeks. She likes her. She thinks she’s fun. They get on great. I think she just thinks she’s brilliant at her job. It’s very odd to have her in Harry’s office. That bothers her. I don’t know if you ever get to see that. I just think that it does bother Ruth. She’s in Harry’s chair – that’s weird. Every time Ruth looks into Harry’s office she sees this young woman in his chair. But apart from that…”

Lots of people would assume some friction between two women?

“Yes, I’m pleased. They never do that. That’s great. I find that really tiresome when they do that. They’ve never done it in Spooks. Ruth’s always adored her colleagues, irrespective of their sex. I don’t think there’s ever been anyone that she’s disliked. They’re all at the top of their game all those young spies and I think she has complete respect for them, going out risking their lives every day. And she knows they are because she’s seen a lot of them come and a lot of them die. So she’s aware of what they’re doing and I think she has complete respect for them.”

Speculation (at the time of this interview) that this may be the last series of Spooks?

“There was speculation that it was the last one last year. And then at the end when it flashed up, ‘Spooks will be back next year.’ It surprised me!”

IF it did turn out to be the last series, how would you feel about that?

“I don’t know. I’ve been involved with it for nine years on and off. It would be…I was talking to Hermione Norris the other day about how she felt when she left. And we were both agreeing that the real thing that happens is that you form these relationships with cast and crew, and this building as well, strangely. That so much happens in your life over nearly a decade and it all gets tied up with not just the work but in the people that you’ve spent those 10 years with and in the fabric of the building. It’s very odd. It’s a very emotional thing to walk back on that Grid every year wondering if you are going to come back next year. To be honest it’s something that you always think about with Spooks. It always sounds like a cliche when we say we read the scripts and we don’t know if we’re there until the end. But you don’t. We have lost cast members. I was totally shocked when Ros went. And we had no heads up on that. So you know that every year could be your last year.

“So I have no idea how I would feel. Probably incredibly emotional. I’ve had a child while I’ve been here. Lots of things have happened.”

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33 Comments

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33 responses to “Spooks: This Is The End

  1. Lucy

    Fascinating and insightful article Ian – thank you! Makes me a little emotional. ;) It is sad to see such a brilliant series come to an end, though it is arguably good timing to end it whilst it is still on a high. We’ll miss it enormously. Thanks again.

  2. Well done, Ian, wonderful interviews and comments, as usual. I like that you have a section devoted to Nicola. The official publicity keeps saying that Series 10 is Harry’s series, so Ruth often gets overlooked in other interviews and reports. I can’t wait to watch the last 6 episodes.

  3. Peter Firth is great. But the Kudos producers couldn’t be bothered to leave Lucas North a hero and let him slip away at the end of series 9?

    I say they should have given Lucas a parachute, let him land on the car with a thud (causing the car alarm to go off and perhaps spraining his angle), then Lucas could have slipped away to a private life. Perhaps he could have gone to a peaceful island and soaked in the sun–since Richard Armitage as Lucas was the palest guy on the planet. Sir Guy, Lucas, Porter–it’s almost getting to be an inside joke. Oh, Richard is playing the role? Let’s kill him off. I know, Thorin Oakenshield dies, too Sigh!

    We need heroes exemplars in our lives and in these times. And literature–or film–has often been where we find those qualities that reflect and influence our society. Lucas North as portrayed with exquisite brilliance by Richard Armitage was just such an heroic exemplar. So, I’m deeply disappointed that Lucas North was given such an ignominious end by tossing him off a building. To quote Jane Austen’s Emma: Bad form, Kudos. Very bad form, indeed.

    But to Mr. Armitage’s credit and amazing talent, he was the consummate professional actor in giving Lucas North life, and then death. So, kudos to Mr. Armitage–even if “Kudos” the producers didn’t live up to their name.

    Cheers! Gratiana ;->

    • Saerwen

      I agree 100% with your views, Richard Armitage portrayal of Lucas North raised Spooks to greater heights his character most of all deserved a better ending after all he did endure 8 years of torture in a Russian prison and returned to the UK.
      I do despair of writers who throw continuity out of the window which continually happen in Series 9, and feel they insulted the viewers who have been their from the beginning.
      I hope Peter Firth will have a better exit in the remaining episodes.

  4. Jodie

    FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC Of an Interview!! Been waiting to read this for ages and was NOT disappointed at all. As ever Ian you are fabulous. Love the added extras with Nicola and Peter. No amount of Thanks could ever be enough!!!!

  5. angie

    After watching Series 9, I predicted it would be 10 and done. The last series was just so ludicrousm yes even for Spooks, never the most grittily realistic of shows, we will all agree–sorry, Kudos, but it jumped the shark for quite a few viewers–I didn’t foresee if lasting a lot longer.Unlike some other Spooks fans, I never held out any hope Lucas was still alive. Frankly I am glad for Richard Armitage’s sake he has moved on to MUCH bigger and better things. As Gratiana said, he is the consummate professional actor– and a heck of a nice guy, as I am sure Ian would agree.

  6. James Armstrong

    I still find it amazing that the last series of Spooks is being taken so easily. I feel very sad but also angry that more has not been done . Boycotting all films and tv series from Kudos would let them know of our disapproval which is what I will do. And whereas i have bought the DVD,s in the past this time I will not. Where have all the champions gone? James Armstrong Windsor Ontario

  7. Amber

    Amazing interview as always Ian. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a star. <3

  8. Brilliant read :) I’m even more excited now!! :D Ruth in that picture with Harry on the grid she looks like she’s just staring at him..

  9. Well, it’s been 5 months but worth the wait, really interesting interviews and pics revealed here. I’m liking the promise of some old-fashioned spying, in fact Ruth’s hairstyle looks rather 1920s-ish in the black tie photo, looking forward (I think) to seeing how everything unfolds. Interesting that both NW and PF are playing down the chances of a happy outcome for Harry and Ruth, maybe this is intentional – from reading the spoilers I think a bit of jealousy on both sides might be the prompt that’s needed. And talking of prophetic storylines, did the writers have advance knowledge that David Cameron would be visiting Moscow this week on the eve of S10 to revitalise UK-Russian relations – how’s that for timing!

  10. Siouxsie Sioux

    Thanks so much for this brilliant insight into the final speight of Spooks! Another person who was in total denial over Lucas actually dying from the alleged fall – hoping that he’d rigged a dummy, and had abseiled down the side of the building, so I guess this is closure for me. But, thanks to you I now look forward to watching Spooks to its conclusion, after all having RA feature in the series was an added bonus for someone who has watched it from the word go. Your snippets IW have been greatly appreciated.

  11. James Armstrong

    More to the point does anyone know why Armitage decided to leave the series? And why make his character out to be a ‘maverick’ Could it be that at the beginning of series nine he made it known that he wanted to leave but again why/ A fan very recently wrote he was going onto BETTER things. What could be better than M.I.5? Why did they not make North a man devoted to his country. It seems to me that Armitage was doing a Jonas armstrong on us: he came out of Robin Hood after the third series. they don’t like staying around too long , do they James Armstrong Windsor Canada

    • jaydee

      Well, I wish we could clone Richard Armitage, James. Sadly, we have not only lost him as Lucas but also as John Porter in Strike Back. The new series has just kicked off with a three minute cameo and JP’s death. BUT, he is definitely going on to better things. He is currently in the middle of 18 months of filming in NZ where he has been chosen to play the major role of Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s two films of The Hobbit. These films are likely to be bigger than anything else so far and he is working with some great actors in a wonderful environment.,,,,,,,But, if only he could do it all.

      And, sorry, absolutely no idea why they turned Lucas into a maverick.

    • Dear James,

      I can commiserate with you that you miss Richard Armitage as Lucas North–not to mention we miss him as John Porter. But I would gently urge you not to blame Mr. Armitage for the method of his departures from each of those franchises. As I suggested in my earlier comment to Ian’s post here, there were other choices that the writers of Spooks and Strike Back could have made to leave those characters alive–and maintain their hero statuses. But the writers chose not to do that–very shortsighted of them. I think keeping those characters alive and heroes would have only enhanced the mystery and intrigue in each of those shows.

      And to Mr. Armitage’s credit, he has said nothing derogatory about the mode of his characters’ exits from these shows. He has been very magnanimous–true to his gentlemanly persona–and not chastised the writers, whatever his true personal feelings might be. Mr. Armitage is a professional, a member of the ensemble, and a team player. But, one has to wonder if Mr. Armitage also feels nostalgic about Lucas and Porter–two indelible and heroic characters among his varied roles. And I regret for him that he doesn’t get to explore these roles further–as he had stated himself that he had hoped to do with John Porter.

      But, it is done. And Mr. Armitage–as all actors do–has moved on to his next project: The Hobbit films to be released in 2012 and 2013. I hope that you feel as much excitement as I do for this wonderful opportunity for Mr. Armitage to show the international filmmaking community his exquisitely talented artistry. Though Mr. Armitage is too humble to think as highly of himself as his fans do. I, for one, hope that he will be extended a wide range of artistic projects to explore.

      Mr. Armitage is such an amazing storyteller–an acting chameleon who makes it all look so effortless, but we know from his interviews the detail and research that he goes into for his varied roles. I believe that Mr. Armitage will be esteemed as one of the finest actors of his generation very soon when the whole world is introduced to him. And we, his current fans will watch him reach new artistic heights and think, we admired him first and look at him now. I’m thrilled for him.

      Cheers! Gratiana ;->

  12. Pingback: Spooks: Lara Pulver | Life of Wylie

  13. Fantastic piece! so sorry this is MI-5′s last season!

  14. picard1109

    Totally gutted that it’s the last series. If anyone from Kudos reads this: WRITE A SPIN-OFF SERIES ABOUT HARRY!!!!

  15. James Armstrong

    Gratiana: I am not blaming Armitage but i am suspiciously looking at the scripts of series nine starting with the character who met North presumably near the Thames and said something like’whoever you are now’. this is where the ‘rot’ began or the ending of Lucas North. And I repeat whose idea was it to have his character come to such a terrible ending? Since featherstone made this decision to end the series-even the BBC was against it- why make North into a despicable character. why not carry his role right through to the end in the same fashion as Adam. This is what separates me from the rest of you because i cannot just sit back and accept Featherstone doing what she has without some effort. I just had to put that in But to my way of thinking it would have been much nicer to see Lucas North go into number ten and finish by being a good agent. If anyone can get to the scriptwriters-can you Ian-and find out why they did what they did I would like to know.Someone really made a mistake with this one. And one further matter: I hope armitage is better with this Porter character than Hermione Norris is with the character she portrays in a series called ‘Private Lies’ She plays a secretary to a solicitor and after watching one episode I turned it of. She should never have left Ros. But was this her choice or someone else? James

    • Dear James,

      I agree with you that Spooks series 9 “went off the rails” as we say in the States–meaning the train went off the tracks–with regard to the direction of the Lucas North character. However, I have only seen snippets of series 9 and read the episode summaries. But my other Richard Armitage fan friends agree that Mr. Armitage gamely stepped up to the plate to play Lucas in Series 9 despite what the writers did to his character. And, like you, I also voice my displeasure at the direction that series 9 took when opportunities arise–such as with Ian’s post here. So, I don’t really think that you and I are that far apart in our views.

      As to Richard Armitage’s John Porter character in Strike Back series 1, I urge you to watch it. You Tube has it on the Tassuett channel if you can’t see it otherwise–there are 6 episodes, each with three parts, with each two episode doublet forming a complete storyline . Here is that link to episode 1 part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZqBEpThRKU&feature=related. Mr. Armitage as Porter portrays Porter as an amazingly complex and fully fleshed out individual. One of the hallmarks of Mr. Armtage’s acting style is that he so immerses himself in the characters that you as the audience “forget” that you’re watching a fictional story. However, Jaydee who commented here also laments–as do I–that the Strike Back script writers for series 2 decision to kill off John Porter when Mr. Armitage had scheduling difficulties due to The Hobbit filming. SB2 writers could have let Porter retunite with his daughter Lexi and just be a dad for a while and no appear in SB2. But, oh no, the SB2 writers killed John Porter off in the first 10 minutes of SB2 episode 1 in grisly and ignominious fashion–a bullet to the head. I’m sorry if this is a “spoiler” for you. But I was appalled. Though here again, Mr. Armitage has been gracious about what was done to a character that he had hoped to explore more.

      But I ask myself, what are the writers of Spooks and Strike Back thinking? It’s almost becoming a cliche. Oh? Richard Armitage is playing the lead? Then let’s kill off his character. I know. Thorin Oakenshiled dies, too. Sighhhh. C’est la vie.

      Mr. Armitage will no doubt bring to his portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit films all of the brilliance of his acting talents. I can’t wait to see him in those films! I just hope that Mr. Armitage might be able to work in a little film in the meantime to tide his fans over–because December 2012 is a really long time to wait to have Mr. Armitage “tell us a story”.

      Cheers! Gratiana ;->

  16. jaydee

    I think, James, that no-one understands why they did what they did to Lucas and if Ian can find out more then we’d all be grateful. Most people seem to think that the scriptwriters did what they did for shock value. The response was divided: some viewers totally hated the story-line whilst others took it on the chin and decided that it at least gave RA the opportunity to act his socks off. He ALMOST convinced us of LN’s turnaround. As for the character of John Porter, the first series of Strike Back came out last year before series 9 of Spooks – he managed to film them together. JP is a great MI6/SAS character and it was an entertaining series, pulling in some good figures for Sky – but it was a shame to see yet another of Armitage’s creations wiped out when the new series of Strike Back started a few weeks ago.

  17. Chrissy

    I too was bitterly disappointed with series 9. I have watched and loved Spooks for many years – but at times during S9 – I wondered if Id wandered into soapland territory. It was too ludicrous for words.
    I think Richard Armitage must have thought it was April Fools day when he read the script – but credit to him he made a brilliant job of it, great actor that he is. Both he and his character Lucas deserved better than that.

    However Im looking forward to S10 – and am intruiged by Harry’s past. All good things must come to an end … and sadly that time has come for Spooks. How about a movie though ..?

  18. Saerwen

    I would like Series 10 to clear up who betrayed Lucas North in Russia, though Connie said it was her I wasn’t convinced. I will be interested to see how the last episodes turn out and whether the two writers will choose effects over the story line to make it end with a “bang” so to speak.
    I was so disappointed with Series 9 the way they treated Lucas it was as though all that he did in the previous 2 series didn’t exist.
    Having read Spooks creator David Wolstencroft’s two books, the two writers of 9 and now 10 should have read them and they would have learned how continuity was properly handled.

  19. James Armstrong

    Before I make any comments on Strike Back which I know nothing about which company in which country produced it? James Windsor Ontario Canada

  20. James Armstrong

    My following comments are in keeping with the subject:M.I.5 Looking back on it it now is obvious that the writers, directors, producers whomever wanted Lucas North out and i forget how many series he had done but I think of series such as American Dick wolf has made and the characters go on for much longer. Same with Mash. Oh yes, some characters left but a lot more stayed and I think of ’5′ and look at the actors who have come and gone . Look at the two coloured actores one of whom was killed by Connie. I thought both of these fellows were terrific. they are no ssoner in than they’re out. Is this a British characteristic in tv over there/. And here is another thought which I have mentioned before: Featherstone said we are going while we are ‘high’ so why is Coronation st. still here? In fact here is what angers me about you 5 fans: couple of weeks ago CBC did not show their nightly Corrie episode; the fans around here were upin arms. CBC

  21. James Armstrong

    this is a continuation of what I was saying. CBC that night was so flooded with protesting fans that the next night they doubled up on Corrie st. If they can do it ……… James Windsor Ontario Canada

  22. jaydee

    I think it was Spooks/MI5 that started the idea 10 years ago that it was OK to kill off major characters unexpectedly. Everyone was really startled when a central female agent met her death in a deep fat fryer in only the second episode. It was so shockingly successful that Spooks repeated it constantly thereafter: no-one was safe. Harry is the only survivor. Americans like their viewers to feel that their heroes will survive which is why so many viewers were taken aback when Sean Bean didn’t make it through to the end of Game of Thrones just recently. The new Strike Back is picking up the same idea with two major players dead after only 4 episodes. The original SB was a British production (the hero survived) but the new one is a British/American co-production.

  23. Pingback: Spooks: Geoffrey Streatfeild | Life of Wylie

  24. Pingback: Spooks: Sands of Time | Life of Wylie

  25. From what I’ve seen, Spooks keeps getting better, especially last season, which makes me think they’re going be great at their final one. The reviews also seem to be pretty good, something that doesn’t happen often with shows that have been going for so long. All in all, the most impressing thing is that none of the characters or the issues they face seem to get tiring. I’m a little anxious about the new ones though and how the writers are going to make us love them in the little time they have left but I still feel confident enough to tune in next week ;)

  26. James Armstrong

    Josephine: In a moment of naivness I thought I had a comrade in protest at the fact that this is the end. for Spooks. fact is this blog is getting almost as dramatic as the series is. i keephopingthat a last minute reprieve will come about or that i will wake up and find out is has all been a bad dream. Oh yes my letterto featherstone at Kudos is probably on some rubbish site. James Armstrong windsor canada

  27. BETH

    I must confess that I started seeing spooks only to see Richard Armitage. Is greatly disappointed that eliminated Lucas North. And with regard to Strike Back 2 my disappointment was even greater with the writers of the series to eliminate so infamous that the protagonist of the series! and if we compare SB 2- SB 1 shows the influence of the American market, as in every episode there are sex scenes that do not make history, by the mere fact of having to engage in certain kinds of audiences? I saw him no more, without JP and no real substance to the story, to me SB 2 is history. Beth from Argentina.

  28. Pingback: Spooks: Harry, Ruth and William | Life of Wylie

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