Monday, September 26, 2011

Why Spooks? Why?

I was lucky to be able to watch Episode 2 of Spooks (MI-5), Series 10, late last night. (Thank you friend M, for making it possible, and Ricrar for alerting me about last night's episode!).  I was shocked that another beloved character has passed on to Spooks Heaven (I won't give it away here, but the news is already out there).  But I was also not shocked because after all, this is Spooks,and as an old fan of the series,I've come to expect characters to depart in all sorts of ways. I was happy though to see that it was a heroic death and we could all have good memories even if with a tear in our eye. (*Also, I was reminded of the real life spy death that inspired last night's episode.)

But then this morning, thanks to, there is this radio interview clip with Nicola Walker and Peter Firth (see link below), and Nicola talks a bit about how Richard Armitage dealt with the reversal of his character, Lucas North.

So here I am, angry again, so very angry again, about what the Spooks writers did in Season 9 to the heroic character of Lucas North we grew to care for and admire from Season 7 and Season 8. It wasn't very original, or original at all, to make Richard Armitage play another villain, when he had just played a villain in another BBC series, Robin Hood. (Though I confess I love Guy of Gisborne, who had the reverse story arc, starting as a villain and ending as a hero. Thanks to Richard Armitage he was the most complex character in the Robin Hood series.) Even Ros (Hermione Norris) who was not the most loyal of spies on the Grid for most of the character's career in Spooks was allowed to die a hero. So why Spooks writers, why? If Lucas had to go, because it was time or because Richard Armitage was cast in The Hobbit, why not let the character die a heroic death? 

We need more heroes in this world.

Thank you to

*The Real Life Death-by-Umbrella** of Georgi Markov: In 1978 Bulgarian dissident writer Markov was killed on the streets of London after a ricin pellet was fired into his leg by means of an umbrella. His death was ordered by Bulgarian Intelligence. The real life case was referenced in Sunday's episode of Spooks in a scene with Sacha Gavrik. You can read the details HERE.  I  also thought the Spooks writers were inspired by the story of Alexander Litvinenko, a real life former agent of the KGB and later FSB. He had left with his family for the UK and lived in London. He died as a result of radioactive poisoning administered in a mysterious way after meeting with two former KGB agents. It is still an unresolved case.  Yes, truth is stranger than fiction.

** Thanks to The Compleat Sean Bean for inspiring the title :)


  1. Strange, I had not been able to get hold of Spooks 10.1 or 2 so far, but when I interpret the interview correctly, my tip with who dies next was right. (This character was intended to be the first to go in my story as well ;o) Reassuring, that I am of one opinion with the scriptwriters again. Now I am even looking forward to seeing Spooks 10.
    The interview at least reveals, we were not the only one's who struggled with the story line of Spooks 9 and that consoles me as well ;o)

  2. We're agreed 100% about the Lucas dilemma in Spooks 9.

    They were fortunate to have a superb actor such as Richard to give some credibility to the character's downfall.

    Ricrar aka Ann

  3. Hello CDoart and Ricrar! They were lucky to have an actor like Richard Armitage who could turn his character around so completely. But I don't think I will ever understand why the Spooks writers did what they did and not have Lucas end as a hero.


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