Moving Right Along — SPOILERS

Spoilers for Spooks Series 9 and maybe Spooks 2 and 3.

I’m mostly over my disappointment of Spooks Series 9, but I would not have had such high hopes if it weren’t for Richard Armitage. When I know he’s in a cast, his investment in characters raises the bar for me. This was certainly the case with this show the last few series. But earlier I had let my expectations of Spooks slide after the first couple of episodes of Series 3, aka the final resolution of Tom Quinn. A commenter on my last post describes the effect well:

what…I have seen of the last 9 seasons, shows me they REALLY struggle with character development. The personal story arc leave much to be desired. For those that love Spooks, the weak character story arcs are fine. They do JUST enough to support the action, and that is enough for them. For me… it leaves me unsettled.

It seems unsettled might be the point. That is indeed how I’ve felt through most of Spooks, and being unsettled addicted me to it. I was continually in search of something to satisfy. Yeah, I was totally manipulated by the producers of this show for awhile, but I was growing weary of it until Richard Armitage was announced as a cast member in Series 7.

With the advent of Lucas North, I was relieved and my expectations were raised again and then some, and by the end of Series 7, I had a lot of hope for a great story. Richard joining the cast appeared an opportunity for Spooks to go way beyond what they had done before since they now had someone who could really pull off conflicted characters in a way Matthew Macfadyen has never even come close to doing in any of his pieces. No offense to Matthew. I appreciate his acting, but he’s no Richard Armitage.

And now we all know it wasn’t meant to be. The show is what it is, and the character of Lucas North is a miss for Richard, which is in no way a slap to RA. He did what he could with what he had. I think many of us are agreed on that. I just hope he was taking notes — not just on the artistic aspects of this show but on the business end, and more specifically on the bullshit that goes on behind the scenes. How can I know that? Are people and money involved?

Richard,

I believe you took notes on the bullshit and that you’re still taking notes. It’s figuring out the bullshit that’s a big part of getting something done. But I’m sure I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, or maybe I’ve strayed into what Servetus calls “B” or maybe “A” in Armitage Epistemology. I stray so boldly because my bullshit detector is sensitive enough to realize when someone else has a bullshit detector. And well, actually, I have the track record to prove that, but that’s another story.

For now the beauty of someone like me writing this stuff is that you don’t have to say it. You don’t have to call bullshit yourself. Let your fans say it for you so that you can maintain good ties with some of those same people who were involved in the crap that was Spooks this series. I realize you can’t burn bridges, so let us rail against this for you. Hey, I’m a business person, so I know how important it is not to ever burn a bridge. It may be an escape route someday or a great road to somewhere else. It’s funny how some of the crappiest experiences can put us in touch with people who become great assets. I’m sure you’ve learned that lesson by now. Good!

All of that and the fact you’re not spending much of your money means to me that you will eventually have your own production, and as much as I love your acting, I can’t wait to see what you’ve got. If it’s about Richard III, that’s great. If not, that’s great too. I don’t really care.

In the meantime, I’m glad to see you’re going to be in the movies and now free of serialization. You are better suited to vehicles that have a beginning, a middle and an end. I can hardly wait!

Take care, and speaking for many other fans, please know that we’re all so proud of you,

One of your crazy fans (crazy like a fox)

A picture of Richard listening to obvious bullshit:

I cannot tell you how good it feels to write these fake fan letters. Yes, I’ve said that before, but it bears repeating. I get to relieve my angst and peddle my bullshit, and no one is hurt. At least I don’t think anyone is hurt — except maybe the writers of Spooks in this case.

Note to the writers: sorry guys, but this one really wasn’t a good a series, and I think you know that. But I’ll keep watching ’cause I’m still addicted.

And before I go, another picture of Richard listening to bullshit. I had to post this one because it’s so cute, and I love it when he has an amused look on his face:

If you haven’t seen the interview this is from, you can go here and here thanks to Heather.

Screencaps courtesy of my stash.

edit: I would have a tag called “bullshit,” but then I would be tagging most of this blog.

16 Comments

  1. He’s just too cute in that last pic. Love this post, because I’ve been feeling like a lot of bullshit was being lobbed this last series, pre-series, during the series, and even after the series by certain Spooks apologists.

    As you say, Richard has got to be savvy about all this and burn no bridges. I know about that game, too. I work on two community newspapers, and I know the importance of maintaining good relationships with certain folks if I want to keep doing what I am doing.
    As it pays bills, and the fan fic doesn’t, must continue to play nice. And take out my frustrations with said fan fic.

    RA did the best he could with what he had, and I am proud of him of him for that. I was so excited about the character of Lucas North and like you, felt he was bringing something new and special to the ” sleek and stylish thriller.” But apparently it wasn’t meant to ever really be. Shame, really. Oh, what could have been . . .

    So go on to shine like the star you are, darling Richard. You’ve got the amazing talent, keen professionalism and dedication to go very, very far. You’re not hard on the eyes, either.
    I believe the movies will treat you better, PJ believes in you, and we will be happy to do the kvetching you aren’t free to do as your career continues to be on the rise. Can’t wait for your own production, either. Whatever it may be . . .

  2. They should have made Beth and not Maya the lady at the crux of his downfall. That would have made the plot a bit more bearable for me… to read since I haven’t watched a single episode. I know I sound shallow-ish. Just a random thought.

  3. Welcome, Cresmix! I love your random thought. You’re onto something. :D

  4. Thanks for the welcome, RAFrenzy ;) You surely know I am, I kept thinking right from the start of S9 that since Sophia Myles joined the cast with a based-in-reality character to develop, and since Lucas was made to turn eeeevil or at least not what we’d known him to be – these two lines would be perfectly intertwined and correlated into a dramatic plot… Imagine, Beth actually being the woman from Lucas’s troubled past before the Grid, the one that knew the real “John Bateman”-him and knew that he was up to some mischief…. and she would join the Grid but having a long-term soft spot for Lucas, she couldn’t give him up right away… and so the story would progress with her being torn between her duty and her love, him trying to win her back but fearing she’d open up about who he is and blah-blah… That’s even more random, but at least it would’ve broken the sad Spooky tradition to pair RA with ladies who manage to sparkle zero chemistry in his presence… SM and RA would be amazingly convincing. Oh, well.

  5. Oh, wow. I LOVE your idea. That would have been fantastic! We need to lobby to get you on the Spooks writing staff.

  6. Someone near and dear to me is learning Russian, and she translated your blog for me the other day. I could have used Google Translate, but it was more fun to hear her do it. Anyway, I’ve I’ve been wondering if that’s you in the orange shirt.

  7. “The sad Spooky tradition to pair RA with ladies who manage to sparkle zero chemistry in his presence” . . . So very, very true. I am continually amazed at how they managed to cast (and script and direct) female “love interests” for Lucas that left us scratching our heads in puzzlement over what in the hell he ever saw in them. Sarah was a cold, snotty elitist b**ch with the World’s Most Annoying Voice. Maya was like a beautiful mannequin or a wax figure. Nice to look at on the surface, but there was nothing underneath. No spark, no fire, no passion.

    He had more chemistry with the lap dancer in Russia and the blonde in the strip club than he ever had with Sarah or Maya. And it’s not like you don’t have one very attractive, sexy, charismatic man here to work with. Oh well, indeed!!

  8. I meant to add I also really like cresmix’s idea (my poor brain is fried, but I did work a 12-hour day). I have read so many really clever and plausible story lines by fans that would have made a heck of a lot better series than what they gave us . . . *shakes head and sighs*

  9. Just great motivation for your fanfic, Angie!

  10. So nice of you to stop by at my fairly-dull blog, RAFrenzy ;) Yep, that’s me in the orange shirt from the Toronto Film Festival I voluntereed for in Sep.

  11. Dull was the furthest thought from my mind. I’m glad you have it so I can get to know you a little better.

  12. Well, RAFrenzy, I wish my blog was a bit richer on stuff about me… but it’s more about me reporting to my hometown folks in Russia in regards to all the Canada/Toronto-related stuff that is worth mentioning… I’ve been in Canada for almost a year on my own now, and many people back home were eager to keep track of me (and I am unable to write as many e-mails on a regular basis) so I started the blog. :) You are always welcome to it, especially having a translator at hand… and please send her my deepest admiration at her linguistic endeavours, Russian isn’t exactly the easiest language out there (ask RA, hehe).

  13. […] still wrestling with the end of Spooks 9, and I’m not the only one. Frenz is ranting and ranting and may yet rant some more. I’m not ready for a series post-mortem yet (my thoughts are still […]

  14. Series 9 was good up to about episode 6…When Lucas started turning…I didn’t believe all of a sudden he’s a baddie…I would have liked more of Beth as a love interest or savior for Lucas…She did tell him she believes in him…That was more believable than the other love scenes…Beth really cares…I am not sure about the Maya Character…They should have had Lucas being pursued by Vaughn or the Chinese..but do away with this Lucas isn’t Lucas stuff….

  15. […] (that I do not share). I thought a shift to film would mean seeing less of him — which many of us speculated could be desirable because of the way that series script writing blithely disrupts intensive characterization efforts […]

  16. […] to do more film work, and his stated apparent frustration with television scripts. Others, too, have speculated that the hassle of less than optimum scripts was a problem for him and that given his stage background, with its emphasis on writing character biographies and […]


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