THE summer of 2008 has not been the best of times for TV drama.
Euro football, Wimbledon and the Open Golf have taken up big chunks of the schedules.
Not forgetting a little Olympic affair in Beijing still to come next month.
So if you’re feeling a touch deprived of top class telly drama, don’t miss Burn Up on BBC2 at 9pm tonight.
It’s a terrific two-parter, concluding at the same time on Friday.
I watched the first 90 minute episode almost two months ago in the screening cinema of a posh London hotel.
And the second last week, via my laptop, on a train from Manchester to Euston.
Spooks star Rupert Penry-Jones plays oil company boss Tom McConnell in a cast which includes The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford, plus Neve Campbell and Marc Warren.
You can read the MEN feature interview with Rupert here.
He also told me about a claim made in Burn Up that global warming will become unstoppable in five to ten years.
“Everything that is said, all the facts, are either true or probable or possible,” he explained.
“Nobody can say exactly, but it’s certainly very possible that five to ten years is too late.
“That’s scary and depressing.”
Rupert also revealed how Bradley helped persuade him not to become exiled from these shores.
“While we were in Calgary filming there was a TV show about to kick off, that I was getting very close to doing.
“I was asking his advice – and he was very helpful, in terms of the sacrifices that I would have to make and what it would be like
“And I decided not to do it.”
After filming Burn Up, Rupert worked on new ITV1 drama Whitechapel before filming his Spooks farewell.
When I spoke to him last year on the set of Spooks, he said he was determined to improve his work life balance.
So has he?
“I have now. I’ve turned everything down for the summer.
“It was hard to do. I’ve worked for years to get the career I have now.
“And I find that now I’ve got it, I actually need a break. It’s quite disappointing really.
“I’d love to cash in on everything. But at the same time I don’t want to be in something that could be detrimental to my career.
“So I’ve got to be very careful what I do next.
“Spooks, for me, set the bar very high and I don’t want to come in underneath that.
“There are a couple of scripts which I’ve been sent which are very exciting but they’re not green lit.
“If they do happen, I’ll definitely be there doing them because they’re fantastic.
“I have high hopes for next year.”
Rupert’s Green Concerns