Spooks: Tears In The Wind

Harry (Peter Firth) and friends

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.”

Lucas (Richard Armitage) late for the O2 Arena again

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.

Hermione Norris: Is that the script?

“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.

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13 responses to “Spooks: Tears In The Wind

  1. Sue

    I’ve loved the Sarah -v- Lucas storyline in this series and it will make it all the more interesting to see how the story ends for them (not a happy one I suspect!).

    I will miss Hermione Norris if there is a next series 9, although Richard Armitage seems to have a similar acting approach, perhaps it has something to do with them both training at LAMDA.

    Loved episode 7 and can’t wait to see the last episode next week, although I suspect we will be left wondering just who survives until series 9 (?)

    Lucas North is certainly an asset for MI5 and I hope they give him some good storylines to get his teeth into. No more bare bum scenes scriptwriters please, sometimes less is more you know! Not that I’m complaining you understand (who would?)

    A good series 8 on the whole and I defy anyone to say otherwise!Especially with such “talented totty” as Richard Armitage to ogle (oh dear I can hear his groans of annoyance from here!Just keep taking the tablets Richard and lie back and think of England!)

  2. I thought ep 7 was terrific . . . and frankly, in part due to the absence of Sarah Caulfield (sorry to any Caulfield fans, but that horrendous accent makes me wince every time she opens her mouth. I’ve never had dialect coaching and yet I can do a far more credible British accent that GOR can do an American one . . .).
    Hoping she meets her demise in the finale. Hoping Ros shows her what a real spy is like when they fight. Get her, Ros!!

    I dearly love Hermione as Ros and hate to think we’ll likely be losing her.
    Being a major and unabashed RA fan, I definitely want to see the return of Lucas North (who seemed to be back in fine form last week) in s9. Such a terrific actor and bless his heart, so lovely to look at.

    Awww, more Harry and Ruth tenderness? *grin*

    • Sue

      Yes Angie Richard is very easy on the eye, but a good actor too, so a double whammy I think. I’ve always been a Spooks fan from the beginning (but am a Richard A fan as well so the best of both worlds). Although the plots used to be quite complicated (I found them so anyway, perhaps I’m just thick?) but I prefer the action and tension to very complicated political storylines. The two different religions being set at odds with each was a very good idea from scriptwriters. I love how Lucas North is evolving into the maverick, all action hero. Richard Armitage has mentioned in interviews how he likes the Bourne films rather than James Bond and I can see more than a hint of that character in Spooks. It makes for exciting viewing and I hope the scriptwriters keep to this image. I am astounded how Richard has pulled off this characterisation. He looks every inch an MI5 agent, confident, smooth, suave and professional, who knows exactly where he’s at. The fight scenes were especially good, especially where Lucas elbows his opponents.

  3. Leslie

    Oh, Mr. Wylie! If you only knew how much I look forwards to your Spooks blogs – how can another Series be drawing to an end? Any news on a possible Series 9?

    Ah – Ruth and Harry on the rooftop. You’ve made my week. Nicola Walker and Peter Firth are two very fine actors and it’s always such a joy to have them on screen together.

    Sarah and Ros fighting? My money’s on Ros! Here’s hoping Sarah gets what’s coming to her. I will be heartbroken if Hermione Norris leaves – although Ros was a character I despised in the beginning – I now adore her. She will be sorely missed if the rumors are true!

    Thanks a million, Ian! I hope we get more Spooks blogs from you in the future!

  4. ghost

    “Richard Armitage has mentioned in interviews how he likes the Bourne films rather than James Bond”
    Where has he mentioned about it?

  5. Carol_OML

    I’m not sure if I should thank you for this entry….I was a little anxious still able to control myself and wait for next wednesday to come. Now I can’t!

    I’ve loved this series as a whole very much, in my opinion, it had great eps as 4,5 and 7, this 8 ep sounds very promising, although I wasn’t very fond on Sarah or her relationship with Lucas.

    Please writers, tell me Ros will be with us next series! The Grid without Ros won’t be the same.

    There so many things to solve, so much that will happen and in usual Spooks way a lot of question that will be answered in almost a year from now.

    And I’ll be definitely looking forward to a brand new Spooks post from you next year.

  6. Judith

    I am so looking forward to episode 8, I am really hoping for at least one fantastic Harry & Ruth scene, how I long for a ‘hug’ or better still a ‘kiss’ for them

  7. Many thanks for all your comments, and Leslie…

    Presenter Mark Lawson “announced” series nine (twice) on BBC Radio Four’s Front Row programme last Friday night, ahead of a pre-recorded interview with Spooks writers Ben Richards and Richard McBrien, who then also spoke about scripts for a new series. But at the time of typing this Kudos / BBC say they are not in a position to confirm series nine. I would be very surprised if it doesn’t happen but there are all sorts of things that have to be signed off before an official announcement can be made about any new TV series and I guess that’s what is happening now.

  8. sarah

    Thank you so much for all your blogs, Ian. Nice to read intelligent writing by an informed fan. I do hope that the BBC appreciate the fan base this show has and go ahead with season 9. Happy Christmas and heres to a non-nuclear New Year!

  9. Pat Kennedy

    Thanks for all your fabulous Spooks blogs Ian!

    …. and it’s nearly time for Hustle 6, so will start looking forward to those blogs now!

    Happy New Year Ian.

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