RUTH Evershed likes to get to the heart of the matter.
“At present, we have more questions than answers,” she points out.
Will Ros survive to make it into another series of Spooks?
Who will she shoot this week?
And just what is her perfume made of?
Harry (Peter Firth) has a smile for Ruth (Nicola Walker) in the final episode of series eight.
But also appears to have something in his eye as they stand together on a rooftop.
“Do you still sing, in your choir?” he asks.
As they discuss the prospect of imminent nuclear war between India and Pakistan.
She puts her hand on his arm:
Harry: “Just the wind, Ruth.”
Ruth: “Yes, of course…”
Firstly, a word of caution.
The preview DVD I was supplied with was not the final edit.
Several passages of dialogue had yet to be re-voiced.
Although they appeared as text on screen as instructions to the actors.
While a number of other final touches had still to be made to the episode.
But most of what you will see on BBC1 next Wednesday – or whenever – was in place.
Including smiles from both Lucas (Richard Armitage) and Ros (Hermione Norris).
Or at least the nearest you’re going to get to a smile from those two, as Lucas says to Ros:
“I can’t think why Nightingale haven’t tried to recruit you.”
And she replies: “It’s been gnawing away at me, as well.”
An explosive episode eight sees the return – from India – of Sarah Caulfield (Genevieve O’Reilly).
With orders to kill Lucas.
We first encounter Sarah drying her hair in a London hotel room.
But the sassy CIA turned Nightingale missy has also been out buying a wig.
Ros and Sarah fight.
Ruth (Nicola Walker) leaves The Grid to meet a Chinese diplomat in the park.
Watched over by, among others, Tariq (Shazad Latif).
We discover that new Home Secretary Andrew Lawrence (Tobias Menzies) is on Twitter.
Can he be trusted?
Ros is one of those who aims to find out.
There has been speculation that this may be her farewell episode.
“Just not frightened of dying,” maintains Ros during this final 59 minutes of Spooks 2009.
All may, or may not, become clear next week.
And remember – if you find a tear in your eye, well…it’s probably just the wind.
*Spooks episode eight, series eight is on BBC1 next Wednesday (December 23).
Spooks has always prided itself on being just ahead of the real life headlines and makes great efforts to produce the best drama possible.
Which can lead to some hairy, not to say Harry, moments on set.
At a round table interview with Hermione in September, she revealed that it had been particularly difficult for the cast this year.
“Because we shot episode one and two, then about episode seven, then episode four, then episode five, eight…it was all over the show.
“Obviously they’re very complicated stories that are changing all of the time.
“So the first script you receive at read through doesn’t bear any resemblance to what you’re saying on the floor or what you see in the cut.
“It’s working very immediately.
“For example, the last scene of this series I was handed on the floor a few minutes before turnover. So to try and work out where you’ve come from, where you’re going, who’s involved…often we have to stop.
Which is when she told this story about Peter.
Click on the icon for a very short audio clip:
Adding (still laughing): “And it was really like that this year, seriously it was. It was when he said – ‘We’re on fire.’ And the whole crew had to exit.”
Was there any particular reason for that this year?
“They set a very high benchmark, to keep it current and to keep it fresh and exciting.
“Also to find writers, it’s a really difficult thing to ask writers to fit into a script, the thrill, the politics, the relationships, understanding all the characters.
“I would imagine, as a writer of Spooks, with the involvement from the BBC, Kudos, everybody, that would be quite a tough thing to do.
“And on the ground, as the actors and the crew, we are at the bottom of that chain and we’re the ones that are experiencing all of the consequences or whatever first hand.
“Because you’re the ones that have to say it, and if it doesn’t make it sense…and, obviously, you have to know what you’re saying.”
In the face of all that sort of pressure, Hermione has been absolutely superb as Ros.
With Ms Myers winning her place as one of Spooks’ all-time heroines.
“I’m sure MI5 have a good laugh at us on a weekly basis,” smiled Hermione, who always keeps a sense of perspective, whatever role she plays.
“I think that is the truth of it – there are hundreds of people involved in keeping our country safe, not a group of five people and certainly not one woman wielding a gun. That is the reality. It is a TV drama.
“I get to pretend to be blown up, be strong and all those things.
“I would imagine being a spy is probably 98 per cent utter boredom and two per cent terror, in reality.
“I don’t know, though. Who knows? I’m not one.”
And finally…thanks for reading the Spooks blogs this year.
I appreciate the company and all of your comments.
Let’s hope we can do it all over again in 2010.