Here We Go — Spooks (MI-5) Returns Early

For those who are new to Spooks (MI-5) in America or if you have been living under a rock somewhere in the UK, the BBC has finally told us it is going to air in September (sometime the week of the 18th) as opposed to October or November as it has the last two years. I can barely wait. Not because Lucas North is my favorite character. He’s not, but I just love watching RA in action, and I usually love to read/hear his interviews.

The latest one on the BBC site is very interesting as it seems to say something by what it doesn’t say. When RA has been interviewed about an upcoming series, he oftentimes gives something away in how he talks about his character. This particular interview makes me think Lucas survives. There is absolutely no language implying he will be no more. If anything, there is language to the effect that he will survive as head of section D. The talk of him being under the microscope is mere plot summary. What’s interesting is when he speaks of Lucas’ bittersweet receipt of the job and of having to acquire Beth. There is everything in this language to suggest it will be difficult but nothing to suggest he will not succeed. Then there is the telling comment about Lucas’ past and new revelations taking him to the “very edge” but nothing in those comments to suggest he might go over it.

I have a confession. I’ve found myself wanting RA not to be quite so talkative about the characters and plots in these interviews and sometimes find myself wanting to say, “Richard, shut up. I love you, but shut up.” And of course I can’t help but think of him having talked in past interviews about spoilers being the bane of his existence, so then I want to ask: what are you doing? I realize these interviews are done in advance of the series wrapping, and with a show like Spooks, the actors can give something away without realizing it, so I’m not really down on RA.

Am I the only one who feels this way? Maybe I should read the Spooks Forum to find out what others think; however, for a while now I haven’t been inclined to read such places for fear the exposure will have a chance of making my voice stale. That is nothing against the forum. It is me. I’m weak and need to stay away so I can form my own conclusions, put my own spin on things. But sometimes I need a little confirmation of what I’m thinking. Hence this post. And certainly it’s fine to disagree with me.

Honestly, I hope that once again RA’s character has a fantastic death or end where we are still talking about it years later ala Tom Quinn. So I would love to be wrong in what I’m thinking about his survival. Unfortunately, I’m almost never surprised by endings and don’t need any help understanding what’s coming. I hate that about myself, and I probably am being a little harsh on RA in resignation that once again the end will be a foregone conclusion. But oh, how great if Richard really has thrown us a red herring.

For the regular readers of this blog:

I’m struggling with my diary entry on BTS. That entry is very personal, and no, it’s not what you may be thinking. I write about my family a lot in my journal entries, but it’s one thing for me to write about them and obviously another to publish. I want to leave in enough that it has some energy but don’t want to compromise anyone, and again, it’s not what you may be thinking. Hope you understand and will bear with me, and I hope the wait is worth it.

Screencap courtesy of the BBC website. That’s not exactly a capture, but it does appear to be RA in character for Lucas.


  1. RAFrenzy, have you considered that the interview may be at least partially written by someone else at the BBC? Also even if Lucas ‘survives’ he may still leave the grid for some reason.

  2. I just posted something with the same vibe! (About not wanting too much spoiled with Spooks S9.)

    BTS… aaaaah! Just kidding. I look forward to your take on it since we’ve discussed it in the past. :)

  3. I need to read Skully’s blog. Haven’t done that lately.

    RE: BTS I’m going to treat it exactly as I told you. I’m just traveling right now and having a really hard time finishing it.

  4. Well, I did read Skully’s piece a few days ago and even commented on it. I need to get more sleep or somethin’. LOL!

    I’ve gotten to the point that I HATE spoilers. If someone else likes them, that’s fine. But with something like Spooks, more than half the tension is the result of plot surprises.

  5. There is always a certain amount of spoiler info in the run-up to a product being released and it’s calculated to whet appetites. I think that the Spooks PR-machine has started rolling and that they are trying to create anticipation for the new series by getting Richard to drop a few tantalising tid-bits about Lucas for the viewers. The PR-folk know that people listen when Richard talks, so they use him for all it’s worth. I can’t imagine that Richard would reveal anything that would jepordise our enjoyment of the series. Besides I love it when he talks, so please don’t shut up, Richard!

  6. I am not following the Spooks publicity closely enough to comment, but I agree that I dislike spoilers. I watched Spooks 8 from illegal sources in the spring so that I could continue looking at the internet, i.e., to prevent it being spoiled, and I am going to have to do that with Spooks 9 as well. Perforce that means I end up blogging about those things, thus accelerating the problem.

    And I absolutely agree that in the seasons I have watched (1, 7, and 8 at this point, and I’m about a third of the way through 2) the first watching is heavily dependent on suspense. The show is really strongly plotted and particularly with 8 I often had to pause the file and calm myself down. I don’t want to know what happens to Lucas in S9 before I see it myself. I know they think they have to titillate us with scraps of info about Lucas’s love life, but really, they don’t. I’ll keep watching anyway.

  7. ps absolute sympathies about writing with as much power about something as you felt when you saw it, and preserving your and your family’s privacy. As you know I struggle a lot with how much to say.

  8. I’m rather neutral about spoilers, but found it amusing that the actor who waxed eloquent about a hatred of spoilers, throws out teasers in the pre- broadcast publicity period. So, now trying to distinguish “spoiler” from “teaser”.

    I hope, RAF, that you are correct about the future of Lucas. He’s too good a character for any us to wish see disappear into the ether of the broadcast world.

  9. RAFrenzy, you summed up so perfectly how i feel about spoilers and RA’s interviews and how what he “gives away” in interviews seems to contradict his own stated views about spoilers, which leaves me somewhat baffled. At the same time, I don’t want to get down on RA either for the reasons that you stated.

    And yes, I hope we are talking about Lucas North years later, “a la Tom Quinn” as you say :)

  10. Distinguishing spoilers from teasers. Yeah, that’s it. I wish the producers of Spooks would consider that these interviews done so far in advance can start off as teasers and become spoilers. I wish comment from the actors or whomever was so general that we’ve got nothin’ when we’re done reading/listening. Isn’t there a way to intrigue a potential viewer without giving away too much? It would seem that with all the machinations of the writers of this show that they would think about this more. But last season was almost a yawner in how predictable it was.

  11. I’m pretty sure that gives exactly the amount of information he is instructed to give as a teaser. It is really just the starting point of the series, perhaps the first two episodes, that the spoilers cover. If nothing else, someone has to give hints about what to expect from the new characters.

    BTW I completely agree that nothing he said indicates that Lucas will turn bad and/or leave the show.

  12. I’m sure he’s following instructions. He’s never struck me as a loose cannon. So perhaps the instructions need tweaking?

  13. Don’t think he’s a loose cannon, either, too self-disciplined – that’s more Lucas’ style! Sort of…

  14. Spooks will start Monday September 20th!!!!!

  15. All I know is that RA hit us over the head with the supposedly “sexy” relationship that Lucas and Sarah Caulfield share, and apart from laughing my head off afterwards at how off target he was, it was at that point I stopped believing almost anything he says. That things might get dire for Lucas? I suppose that isn’t that unexpected, especially given the fact that this is RA’s third year with Spooks. And now we know that he’s doing Strike Back 2. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the odds.

    I want Lucas to live and ride off into the sunset or something. I also recall RA talking about the fact that if producers are going to let go of the character, they call you into the office to give you a heads up. And I also do recall that they did call him in this year (where he reacted with “What?!!”!)

    Actually, I think that RA has become really good at whetting our appetites. He’s a real tease with those obscure and oblique references. Without actually saying anything concrete (unlike the olden days, eg., point of no return for Guy), he gets us all atwitter.

    I loathe spoilers and I don’t think in the latest case he’s spoiled much. But he has created enormous buzz and set people angsting. He’s done his job. As for me, I don’t care for the buzz so even though it’s not true spoiling, IMO, I really don’t want to get swept up in some manufactured drama beforehand. But that’s just me.

    Yeah, Frenz, in the past I would have agreed that he needs to zip it more, but I think he’s gotten better at saying nothing although it sounds like he’s saying a whole lot. But I do think it’s best to stay away from the spoilers, teasers and chatter. I know that that approach has held me in very good stead.

    I would like Lucas to live rather than die. I think after Adam’s death and Miranda’s and the great Ros’, it just gets wearing and rather predictable to the point of being manipulative and callous. And considering all Lucas has been through , the character deserves a better fate- a good life.

    BTW, has Spooks every done a “good life” ending for any of the spooks?

  16. You make an excellent point about Lucas dying, and I would also love to see a “good life” ending, but that requires some stellar writing.

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