I Haven’t Been On For the Ride

It’s occurred to me that my thrill factor has been pretty low with regard to Spooks Series 9. Lately my attention has been diverted by other things in my life. Maybe that’s an excuse for why I’m just not as into Series 9 as I was all the other series of Spooks. I’m not sure. But in fairness to Richard Armitage and to the other wonderful cast members of Spooks, I’m going to watch Episodes 1-7 again before next Monday’s finale. Then perhaps I will be infected with what many of you are infected with — enthralling anticipation of Episode 8. And I so want to be infected with that. I really do want to be on the ride.

In the meantime, I hope some of you can bear with me and my less than gushy response to Lucas North. I will say this, I’m not alone in what I’m thinking amongst the fandom. Several fans have told me privately they’re not that into Lucas and would rather see him in stills than animated. Wow. I’m not quite that down on him, but it made me feel less of a “traitor” to hear that. LOL!

But I have to agree with them that he looks mighty fine in stills, and I noticed that Servetus and I made some of the same screencaps. At the risk of merely objectifying Richard Armitage, I could not pass up the chance to capture that jawline. Phew!

I mean c’mon that should elicit a response from most women. Notice I didn’t say “all.” I realize there are a few women who would not find him attractive. They have to be in the minority, and they might be dead. LOL!

I wonder how many women would not be moved by this coming at them:

Screencaps are mine.


  1. Oh dear. I didn´t notice you didn´t like Lucas in your earlier posts and prefer the stills.

    So far I do like Spooks 9 up tp 9.7. Haven´t posted about all episodes yet, and restricted my phwoars, but I do think it´s really good (acting and writing).
    I want to apologize for the “hot tottie” phrase on my blog. It takes the attention away from the quality of the acting. Oh well, blast, I remove it!! (yeah right) Or I could write something about the acting…… :O For the rest, I have my secrets ;)

  2. I think I got brain damage from the last ep. I am not sure what you mean by saying you prefer Lucas in stills rather than animated.

    I am not so enthralled with Series 9 as waiting for it to be over and my questions answered. Then I can go back to a saner life style.

  3. I never said I don’t like Lucas. He’s just not my favorite RA character.

    As far as preferring Lucas in stills, that’s not my comment but what I’ve heard.

    I also feel brain damaged from episode 7. :D Maybe my intellect is not quite sufficient to keep up with it. LOL! I laugh, but I’m actually serious about that. Too much going on for me. I love layers, but maybe that was too layered for my little brain.

  4. As I already have responded to your comments on Servetus’ blog, I now post here directly. I very much like your blog and follow it quite regularly. Thank you for the wonderful comments and analyses!

    I also have my problems with Lucas / John in series 9, so I do understand your reserve very much. Only the last episode 7 now made it a bit better for me, as quite unexpectedly I really did like the storyline and RA’s acting. Though his acting I always like even when I think he has more chemistry with Dannielle and Beth than with Maya.

    After 9.6 I was quite devastated, because I hated the passive way with which Lucas / John seemed to act. In 9.7 Lucas / John started to take his fate in his own hands again and that is now much more believable to me in the light of his time in Dakar and even as spy Lucas North.
    In my view the scriptwriters really put RA in a hard position to act in so many layers of betrayal, showing that betrayal to the viewers, but not Harry, etc. Just absolutely complicated and I wonder how RA could keep track.

    I am eagerly awaiting 9.8, as I expect major solutions and quite different interpretations of all the shown events so far.

  5. I confess that I was blown away by this episode. I’ve only watched it once but hopefully will squeeze another viewing or two in before the final (sob) episode of the series. Will let you know if my opinion changes.

  6. I have to say that I’ve been puzzled at my own love for Lucas. I want not to like him, but I do despite myself. As to series 9, I think there are three or four wildly improbable things that you have to let go of to enjoy it. If we find out more info in episode 8 then some of those things may fade into the background — or not.

    I guess all of this is to say that I think there are good reasons not to like this series — it’s just that I got blown away by a number of fantastic scenes with excellent scripting in 9.7, and I just can’t stop thinking about them — now almost 48 hours later.

  7. My favorite RA role was Guy of Gisborne. RA is sexy as Lucas but I am more of a period piece kind of lady, so Thornton ranks pretty high.

  8. @RAFrenzy

    My mistake!

    I didn’t warm up to Lucas until this series. Go figure. I think it’s because RA got to act a huge range of behaviours and emotions whereas in the first two series he was far more constrained emotionally (by necessity). In the first two, Lucas was an emotionally cooler character.

    Yep, all those layers. Too deep for me :). I can’t get past the lack of logic and continuity and inconsistencies, because to me this has been a total retcon of Lucas’ character. I loathe that kind of manipulation beyond words. It’s cheap and sensationalistic and opportunistic. I believe I called it “vacuous crap” somewhere. :) At this point I think I will stop and go underground until this is all over. Strike Back would be quite soothing at this point.

  9. Some folks are suggesting that there might be a cultural divide in response to Spooks, especially series 9, noting that the Spooks style of story telling (which involves a lot of trickery and deception) is not often seen on American TV (not to this extent, supposedly), so some in the American audience are not as inclined to get caught up in it. Not being able to take things at face-value is supposedly more disconcerting to an American audience. What one audience sees as a brilliantly complex plot, another audience sees as a convoluted web of improbabilities. Obviously the show has lots of US fans, though. I have no thoughts either way on this matter (I’m just the messenger!), but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. There’s different cultural preferences with humour (personally I prefer British sitcoms to Americian ones), so one imagines there could be preferences with story telling too.

  10. @skully,

    Don’t worry. I never shoot the messenger. :D


    Can’t wait ’til you come out of your den. LOL!

  11. Hi Skully – as a long time American fan of Spooks/MI5, I don’t know if I would go as far as to see it as a cultural divide between UK-US. The series seems to be popular with US Public Television (PBS) viewers, since it’s has been showing on PBS for years. Yet the series apparently was not very popular on BBCAmerica (low ratings) and they took it off their schedule right away. (Don’t get me started on what’s wrong with BBCAmerica!). Hope no one shoots me, but I do think audiences in the US prefer their stories to be less complicated, more “black and white” than the gray moral relativism Spooks specializes in, so I’ll be curious to see what they do with the US version of the series. But even for Spooks, Season 9 has been quite a rollercoaster, not always in a good way :)
    I love Lucas, even in Season 8, but I can see how he could also be a difficult character to like.

  12. @musa, Re: “culturall divides” in a geographical sense. And don’t get me started on what’s wrong with BBC Canada! For which I pay extra. One more repetitive season of Top Gear – considering canceling :/ Thank goodness for the generosity of PBS and it’s canny recognition of strong support from sufficient of a Canadian population, to expand co-operative broadcasting into this country.

    From what I read, British TV is as riddled with reality shows as we are. At its best, British productions can be exceptional. And definitely, MI5 has very much explored the issues of grey moral relativism. So from my perspective have very good U.S. productions, such as HOUSE, and other U.S. productions. (And some Canadian ones – such a small population, funding is as problematic here as it is for the BBC).

    There are so many markets/audiences in the English-speaking world for networks and broadcasters to satisfy to remain viable. I know what I like, (and it includes costume dramas and MI5 and House, and it’s not all dependent on Richard Armitage – though that is is powerful draw these days! I’m frustrated when I can’t find what I want, and very annoyed with the slow international negotiating of distribution rights. However, I think perhaps our national markets are internally diverse, and the issues of preference for “black & white” vs moral relativism just might apply all over. What do our cousins in OZ think?

  13. Skully, just read over your comments, you already addressed the cultural divide issue from your Australian viewpoint. And diverse as we might be, we all our find our communities of interest, and more unites us than divides us. Which also applies to those from countries wherein the first language is not English.

  14. I was moving through here pretty quickly when I responded earlier, so my apologies for not addressing everyone.


    Thank you for your comments. I’m hoping for a good wrap up as well.


    I have many thoughts on this show, and I think in the interest of easier reading, I’ll put my thoughts in another post.

  15. cultural divide: interesting possibility but it would have to be significantly complicated. I (US-ian) love shows where you don’t know the solution and the moral categories are complicated — always have, though this capacity was deepened while living in Germany and watching all of the different TV Krimis avidly. But I agree that I have a very hard time with a lot of British comedy.

  16. If there were no popular shows like House or Mad Men or several others I could name, then the cultural divide argument might be plausible. But honestly, it sounds like it’s coming from someone who is not well informed about U.S. culture.

  17. I don’t think it’s a cultural divide. I think it’s partially a generational divide.



  18. @fitzg

    Yeah, I also pay extra for BBCAmerica and hardly watch it anymore, except for RH and a few other programs – few and far between.

  19. I think a lot of folks are put off by the fact that this year’s Spooks is way darker…We’ve had dark episodes before..But you could count on those on the “grid”…Now, you have Lucas North kinda going bad himself..So you can’t really count on the usual “heroes”…Also, the steamy factor was indeed not that high this year..Hardly any love scenes…Maybe that is what is lacking…Well onto episode 9.8 and We will see how next year’s Spooks unfolds…That’s just my take…


  20. I may be going against the general consensus here, but I have loved this series of Spooks and I don’t really mind what happens to Lucas in the end so long as I am blown away by the storyline. Of course I am sad that it seems like Richard won’t be around for Spooks 10 but I have coped with big change in Spooks before! I’m glad that Richard and the rest of the cast have been given such a good story to tell.

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