Friday 31 December 2010

Parallel between Ruth and Maya – Rehabilitation of the Scriptwriters

While re-watching episode 9.8 one aspect which hit me with its deep meaning was the parallelism in the filming of Ruth’s rescue and the shooting of Maya. The camera technique and the cut of these scenes is brilliantly done and carries so slight criticism though not openly making it a topic, that I was really impressed what effects Spooks can reach with cutting techniques alone.
Lucas / John, the bad spy, rogue officer and killer, does not kill his involuntary helper Ruth or even the no-name step-in for him, whereas Harry, the in contrast good spy, with his rescue team kills Maya as well as the no-name ‘Lucas’ step-in.

I even doubt that Lucas / John really intended to poison Ruth.
It is never mentioned, that he indeed had the poisonous substance in the mixture he injected Ruth. This ambiguity of possible interpretations in Spooks 9 is congenial as well as irritating. This is the reason, why first my interpretation was heavy on the side of irritation and now, only slowly after re-watching Spooks 9 from beginning to end, grows heavier on the side of congeniality. All the hints are such a deliberate network of possible interpretations that I admire the scriptwriters now for being able to create such a full and potent ambiguity.

And now, after re-watching the whole of Spooks 9, I really think the parallelism and indirect criticism of our evaluation of good and bad is deeply ingrained and very much intended by all the makers of the film and by the scriptwriters. This in a very gripping way shows the closeness of good and evil and wants us to evaluate our concept of it.

After a long time, I really must admit, I admire the scriptwriters for their thoughtful and well calculated construction of Spooks 9. (Even the issues I have with Lucas are well placed by the scriptwriters to distract any clear concept of this person. This still irritates me a lot, but even that is well calculated by the scriptwriters.)

Directly after the parts of series 9 came out, I watched and re-watched each part over and over again till the next part came out the following week.
But now, to my absolute astonishment I must admit that watching the whole episode from beginning to the bitter end again did me good.
After watching Spooks 9.8 this one episode totally brought me over to appreciation and admiration. Before, I still had been doubtful, though I really love the interrogation scene in 9.7. My appreciation still does not mean that I do not see the discrepancies in Lucas’ characterization and background, but these elements do not disturb me so much any longer.

Now I can finish this year really satisfied, though lots of my questions still remain unanswered. Spooks 9 – at least the storyline of each single episode for me is brilliant and actors, producers, cameramen and crew really did top all previous Spooks and those I already admired greatly.
Only the hints and characterization and the unused possibilities of Lucas / John still remain open wounds for me. I still think the scriptwriters made a blunder with the characterization and background together with its related hints of Lucas North. But it was the only thing they blundered. The other things they got extremely well right, so the rest of Spooks 9 now is settled.

When I think that I feared re-watching so much and now am really glad I did ;o)

I can now end the year with absolute admiration and adoration for the extremely well written episode scripts! The magnitude of depths they got into relatively short episodes really impresses me!

In part, I think my new Urizen-interpretation triggered the new approach towards Spooks, which lead me to appreciate the storyline and the breaking down of Lucas / John much more. So in combination the William Blake post and re-watching Spooks 9 was a good finale of the year 2010.

I hope you will find a good finale as well and have a wonderful and happy start into a successful New Year 2011 !

Thursday 30 December 2010

Impressions From my Re-watching Spooks 9

Harry and Lucas’ Weapon in episode 9.7
When Harry gives Lucas his pistol back, I first thought, he gave it back to him because he wanted to give Lucas a chance for an ‘honourable death’ like harakiri. – Quite dramatic interpretation of me, but the whole atmosphere of the situation and the body language even while re-watching, drives me to this interpretation. From here on I had no doubt any longer, that Lucas / John had to go at the end of series 9.
Harry does not trust Lucas, but still gives him back his ‘professional status’ as MI-5 spy with a ‘license to kill’.
(I know this quotation refers to another spy, but it fits so correctly here, except, that Lucas does not kill any longer.)
But Harry reestablishes Lucas / John Bateman as a spy.
He applies to his sense of duty and honour, though he does nothing of this kind in his speache and interrogation of Lucas. He in a way offers acceptance and expecting himself, that Lucas will follow through with a right way of acting.
In an outsiders point of view, Harry’s action means, that he lets a ‘foreigner’, an unknown entity (=John Bateman), into the MI-5.
I still do not see the whole breadths of significance of this scene, but it impressed me greatly none the less.
“Betraying is a cancer. Let it eat your soul …”
This statement of Harry reminded me very much of the interrogation scenes of Spooks 7.7, where Harry was at the receiving end. Harry was innocent or at least innocent in the way of the accusation. Should this be compared as a parallel or in contrast to the current situation?
Could this possibly tell us something about Lucas’/John’s ‘guilt’ or about Harry’s reasoning for letting Lucas/John go?

Lucas and a Mercedes
The clearest sign that Lucas is irretrievably bad I saw, but discarded immediately. It was in episode 9.6, when Lucas changes cars with the computer specialist and swaps his tracked car for an unmarked Mercedes.
You will ask what significance does that have? But totally in Anglo-American tradition, all baddies drive expensive German cars ;o)
I feared from this time on, but still had some hope that Spooks would ignore such old traditions and think on its own. But tradition seems to die hard.
I do not mind baddies using German cars as at least they have nice cars. I would mind much more if they were not used at all. But as I myself can drive but do not have a car myself (As I am living in the center of a town), this rather is a topic of slight amusement for me to recognize and not a matter of further importance.
Still I should have given that aspect more attention, especially when the situation was repeated in episode 9.7, when Vaughan was driving a Mercedes as well.
It is the only correct or at least afterwards correctly readable hint I detected so far about Lucas / John clearly being bad. – And here I threw all the obvious signs in the wind, because I thought that can’t be true ;o)
- I must ad that I live near a big Mercedes building with lots of expensive cars on display. If only all Mercedes drivers were like Lucas – what a funny idea. Perhaps I should go to the building and have a look? – Not really serious about that. I do already know Mercedes drivers enough and know they cannot compare ;o)

Lucas the outspoken (9.4)
You will wonder, what can come now. The silent and brooding Lucas North is not outspoken.
What rubbed me quite the wrong way and absolutely sounded unbelievable for the Lucas character as I had imagined him was the outspokenness Lucas suddenly and only for a short moment shows in Spooks 9.4.
Here the emotionally minimal and restricted is suddenly outspoken and openly shouts through a populated clinic corridor. For me that was absolutely unbelievable.
Even the acting of RA did not convince me in this situation, though normally he can make every situation believable for me.
What went wrong with this scene?
Lucas / John shouts as if he is angry or sends an urgent warning. Richard Armitage who does audio books where even the slightest nuance is right astonished me here. Why does he send such a strange message here?
Was it originally planned for another context? – I always thought relieve was a quiet feeling, not a shouting outburst.

Was Lucas really killing the American Computer Specialist? (9.6)
The whole scene of Spooks 9.6 is supporting that Lucas is actually speeding the death of the computer specialist.
I still did doubt this, as in the first aid courses I did, we learned, that the arteries at the throat were the only place, where pressure would not work. This explanation might be wrong or misleading - I am in no way a specialist.
But still it made me doubt that Lucas would have been able to save her anyway.
His movements give the impression that he wants to comfort her in her last moments and I cannot decide, if Lucas actually does something to kill her or he becomes aware or already knows that her wound is hopeless anyway and wants to give her comfort and not pain by his pressure in her last moments of life.
Good or bad always is so close together for Lucas / John.
All in all it is a brilliantly executed sequence in Spooks 9.6, which once again shows that minimal movements by Richard Armitage can show a multitude of emotions, different possible interpretations and an enormous character depth.

Music and Film Intentions (series 9)
Were the composers of the soundtrack not informed about the intended storyline of Spooks 9?
This I wondered throughout series 9, when the previously used ‘Russian’ elements kept turning up around Lucas North.
By re-watching this not quite fitting element even disturbed me more. I usually need a few times of watching a film, till I really pay attention to the soundtrack. But this element here was so disturbing, that by first watching Spooks 9 I definitely thought, a Russian connection would turn up for Lucas / John in the film.
But nothing, so even the music was a misleading hint concerning Lucas.

Storylines of Sequences work
After re-watching now all parts of Spooks 9 from episode 1 to 6 I finally came to the conclusion, what I feel does not add up in series 9 solely is related to the Lucas / John character. All the hints about him contradict themselves as his character does.
That makes it very hard to get a clear idea what Lucas and John were meant to be, because the hints go in all directions.
The positive result of re-watching the whole of Spooks 9 was that it made me realize how much I adore the storyline of each episode. There I could not detect the slightest flaw. They are dramatic, in themselves consistent and just wonderfully executed.
The only dissent I have with Spooks 9 really is centered on the character development and the hints surrounding Lucas North and his transformation into John Bateman and then into a Nobody.
Each single episode for me works perfectly in itself.
By re-watching I found out, that the logic of each episode made complete sense for me and here in the storyline I found no breaking points disturbing the whole picture or flux of the events.
The hints about Lucas / John in some way play with the expectations about his character.
Beth expects him to be a certain person, Harry does the same and presses him into a role during the interrogation, Ruth while talking to him expects him to act in a certain way. All these expectations Lucas / John clearly tries to destroy, though he still acts in a very caring way. He cares for Maya, even after her obvious betrayal, he cares for Ruth and easily can be convinced to give Harry the details earlier than intended, he even cares for Beth and Dimitri, when he shoots into the wheels of their car, he never aims his weapon at them.

I finally must reveal, I love the Lucas / John of Spooks 9.8. Only such an excellent actor as Richard Armitage could make this script work here. The scriptwriters here very much relied on his talent. (This gives me hope that they really did appreciate what they had with Richard Armitage.)

Symbolic Importance of William Blake’s Urizen for Lucas North

Finally my first book about Blake and his theories arrived.

What I learned in the book is that Blake with the symbol of Urizen is not only mistrusting systems, but also the rational thinking of the individual. This is his distancing himself from the enlightenment which cultivated and worshipped the Reason of man. Blake mistrusts the separation of one authoritative element (=1 person) from the ‘human brotherhood’.

What I so far overlooked in my analysis of the symbolic meaning of Urizen for Lucas North is, that Blake’s critique does not only reach the systems of religion and political government of mankind, but also the reasoning and thought system of each individual.
Lucas might as easily mistrust himself and his own judgment as he does mistrust systems.

The reasoning of mankind in Blake’s theory follows special traditions.
He especially mistrusts the age of enlightenment, as it creates an individual entity of reason with absolute power of judgment. The individual has no limitation by the surrounding society and limiting necessities of social connections.

My conclusion is therefore, that Urzien for Lucas North is a kind of sign, that he does mistrust himself and his own judgment as well as the judgment of systems like governments and especially the MI-5.

This might also be cause for his rather passive role as member of the grid and especially as leader of section D.
It irritated me greatly, that in Series 9 Lucas never makes a conclusion or has a leading idea himself. He always acts on conclusions of others and follows through with delegating the necessary workloads, but he never sets the route. The ideas always come from somebody else, e.g. in episode 9.5 from Ruth, in other situations from Beth, Dimitri or Harry.
This is what really made me doubt that Lucas still is the brilliant spy as described.
Before series 9, I thought the reason for this lack of active participation might be, that Ross was leader of the section, but in series 9 the lack of his active participation became very obvious, when he became section chief and still did not lead in a more active way. This lead me to wonder, why this was even so before Vaughan threatened him.

What is the reason of the scriptwriters showing Lucas like that? At the same time Spooks 9 is the first time, that Lucas gets small tokens of appreciation for his work by Harry, when in my opinion he does not deserve it or at least not any longer.
Episode 9.6 further confirms this, as all the clever planning and finding of the attackers of the security system is done with Lucas off the grid. While Lucas is only following through with Vaughan’s blackmailing threat, not scheming himself and even in his trying to find a way out for himself and Maya only follows the route Vaughan set for him.

The Urizen symbol might also have had a connection to Lucas’ past as John. John in his youth might have been a kind of idealist with ideals of either a perfect democracy (which only gives a social entity power and not an individual) or some kind of communism (who would also set the society ahead of the needs of an individual).
This would not explain all his time he held out in the Russian prison, though. Except that the tattoos might have been an adept sign to ease his time in the Russian prison and support his ‘friendship’ with Oleg Darsharvin.

In the end the symbol might even not be so much of a description of his character, but a sign for what Lucas is prepared to do and to endure to safe and ease his life.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Vaughan and the Mobile Phone

One aspect that was irritating me from the beginning, was, that Vaughan was able to reach Lucas / John on his business mobile phone. This number would be secret and only known by other members of the secret service with special data access or Lucas own department.

Who was the leak or why did Vaughan have better data access than Lucas himself?

Lucas / John can’t reach Vaughan’s data, but Vaughan can reach his, though he is not officially working for or inside MI-5.
How strange! Why was Vaughan so important for the MI-5 that they secured his files with such a high access level (A)?
His further way did not show a hint of his importance. Harry Pearce did not really set his trust in his value as informer. The information Vaughan gave at the meeting with Harry Pearce in episode 9.7 was not really valuable, as this must have been the information Harry already knew before the meeting.

Is the security level for Vaughan’s files just an element to make him a more fearful opponent for Lucas / John?
Is his ability to reach Lucas / John at any moment he chooses serving the same purpose?

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Lucas the Strong to John the Weak

I must confess - I continued my re-watching madness.

Lucas / John at the beginning of 9.2 gives the impression, that he might be able to put Vaughan under pressure. When he speaks to Vaughan on his mobile phone, he clearly denies his suggestion to help him and even throws the blackmailing attempt back at him.

In a situation as Lucas / John I would now go and try to find out as much as possible about Vaughan to try to figure out, what my opponent might do and to forestall and pre-empt his next action. [And I must add I am not a spy and never attempted to be one.]

Lucas / John does nothing of this kind but sits and waits and goes on a sightseeing tour to find Maya. – Hard as it sounds, that is exactly what he does in reaction to the manipulative way of Vaughan, who most definitely and quite obviously tries to lead him on with the luggage content.

But in my opinion this contradicts his character as brilliant MI-5 spy and it also does contradict his clever and cunning time as John in Dakar.
So this early on in series 9 my suspicions were up that the obvious storyline we see could not be the right one, but only was a disguise to keep us off the real track. [Unfortunately it was the right one, unbelievable as it is.] But my mind kept creating alternative explanations for Lucas / John’s behavior which only could go awry, as the scriptwriters did not hide the real intentions of Lucas / John, but gave us an unbelievable character development and showed us every stupidity he did in meticulous detail.

Monday 27 December 2010

Good Intentions - But No Years End Sweep

I was a bit masochistic and watched Spooks 9.1 today.
I had the indistinct and unfortunately wrong idea, that watching "Spooks 9" with some distance and all my blog posts in between could help me finish my grumbling together with the year ;o)

The main result of watching episode 9.1 was, that I had new questions. (As if the one’s I still have were not enough already.)
Why did Vaughan in his first meeting with Lucas / John imply, that they had wanted world domination back there in Dakar?
All the rest of information revealed about the Dakar bombing, either by Lucas / John, Harry Pierce or Vaughan, does not support this quest for world power.
Also a bombing of an embassy seems a rather ‘unimportant’ target for gaining world domination.

A suspicion grew in my mind, that the beginning and the end of "Spooks 9" do not fit together. Was there a change in intentions or a change of the responsible scriptwriters?
The final result is that the beginning and the end of Spooks 9 do not fit together, though the first meeting between Vaughan and Lucas / John was enacted in a very dramatic way and by repeated viewing impressed me as much as the first time.

Further questions were for example:
  • Why did John have to conceal his identity after the Dakar bombing, but not Vaughan, though he was the main contact to the invisible instigators?

  • Why did John and Vaughan have to leave the country so fast after the bombing, when even 15 years later the MI-5 could still not find out a direct connection between them and the bombing?

  • Why did Vaughan and John fear the secret principals, when they did exactly what they were hired to do and even were successful with it?

  • Were there even secret principals ordering the bombing or did Vaughan plan the whole plot or even John?

  • Why did the secret principals not use the bombing in any way to get some results?

  • Why did Vaughan not continue in his quest to gain ‘world domination’ but became an informant for MI-5?

  • Why did Lucas / John not find out during his time with MI-5 that Vaughan was working for them? Vaughan had no difficulty gaining full access to Lucas’ files in comparison, though he only was an informant and not inside the inner circle of MI-5?
  • Sunday 26 December 2010

    Major Inconsistencies of Spooks 9

    The main aspects which made all the rest for me hard to believe were:

    Lucas / John was established as well trained spy with the right instincts and a brilliant brain.
    All of this suddenly did not matter any longer as soon as Lucas / John gave in to Vaughan. He did not even react to the threat, he just did obey.

    I would understand this behaviour, if John had a history e.g. as soldier and Vaughan had been his long time (and perhaps even trusted) leader. But on the contrary, John is depicted as individually thinking and scheming character, murdering Lucas North on his own.
    As a spy I would expect Lucas / John to have been trained how to cope with psychological pressure and especially how best to 'react' to blackmailing.
    It certainly is not the best way or any way at all to go along with it and do nothing.
    I was very much disappointed, that Lucas / John did not even try to find out the real background behind the blackmailing scenario around Vaughan.
    At first I thought Lucas / John did know the scenario as it was related to the embassy bombing in Dakar. But as the topic of interest for the Chinese was of younger age than the embassy bombing, this could no longer be the case.

    What surprised me was, that Lucas / John was suddenly back in an almighty position in episode 9.7 where he could detect Vaughan, even when Vaughan did not want to be detected. In all other situations Lucas / John was reacting and had no potential possibility to free himself.
    Was this scene an excuse to shorten the otherwise tedious search for Maya?
    Because the easiness with which Lucas / John finds Vaughan casts a bad light
    - on the ability and worthiness of Vaughan as an enemy and opponent
    - the full use of ability by Lucas / John in his work for MI-5
    - the power of MI-5
    - the power of the Chinese
    - and again at the spy abilities of Lucas / John, when he is such an easy target for the Chinese to spy upon him in his home, when now he can outmanoeuvre them so easily.

    Lucas / John in "Spooks 9" switches into a bad spy, not only as he betrays MI-5 and his ideals, but because he forgets all his training. It is as if he forgot all his years of Lucas and only relies on his former abilities as John, the backstreet criminal.
    But this would rather fit to a schizophrenic person having two completely separate identities which normally do not mingle. Lucas / John at least remembers his time as Lucas, with exception of all his training.
    And that is absolutely unbelievable for me. I would accept a bad Lucas, when he sets his mind to it and has some reasons. But a bad John, forgetting his ideals and all his brilliant abilities he could muster as Lucas, is quite a strange thing for me.

    I cannot even say I do not believe it, because in truth the scriptwriters gave us nothing to believe. Therefore, they would have had to give us some kind of explanation or reason for all the unfolding scenario in front of our eyes.
    Lucas / John gives no explanation or hint to his reasons, but acts in such a 'stupid' way, that I thought, there must be some underlying reasoning, some intrigue, some scheme going on beyond the obvious surface.
    In the end, when nothing turned up, you might understand my utter disappointment with this Lucas / John / Nothing.

    Friday 24 December 2010

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

    Christmas time always affects me most. It makes me thoughtful, introspect, sometimes a bit of a recluse, as far as Birthday, Christmas and New Years preparations allow such a thing.
    In this gloomy mood, a video by bccmee really brightened up my day. So I chose this to accompany my Christmas and New Years greetings to you!

    I wish you all a peaceful, joyful and Merry Christmas time and lots of success, health and joy for the New Year 2011!

    Wednesday 22 December 2010

    Peace on Earth

    If I would have to chose one YouTube video, one which I even remember in dreams, I do not have to think long. It is one made by bccmee. Here the choice of intense music and the ideal combination of song text to video events just grips me every time I watch it.

    As the message of this video, though military in its contents, is a very gripping request for peace, I think it is a very fitting choice for Christmas time.
    I want to embed the video here and want to make it a reminder, that peace on earth is only possible with our active participation.

    I wish you all a peaceful and fulfilling Christmas time!

    Monday 20 December 2010

    Harry & Ruth and Lucas’ Feelings

    Why does Harry not give Ruth the post of section chief after Ross?

    I mentioned in a previous post her very individual approach to research. Her way of research is brilliant, but hardly can be called systematic. This associative and emotional way of approach can go well, but can go wrong as easily. Does Harry see this and see her emotional way of working as a flaw?

    Does he choose Lucas / John because he does not show any emotions like Ross?
    Even Tom Quinn and Adam Carter showed some emotions.

    So I dug a bit deeper to find out, that Lucas, at least in the previous series, showed a wide variety of emotions as well. Just to name a few:

    Gratefulness (towards Russian informant and former connection of Harry in Moscow – Spooks 7.7)

    Friendship and respect (towards Ross, especially in series 8)

    Revenge (by trying to get even with his Russian tormentor Katchimov and later with his interrogator Dasharvin)

    Compassion (with the young boys, Dean in 7.6 and Ashoc in 8.7)

    Love (for Elizaveta Starkova, Sarah Caulfield)

    Compared to this deep feeling character of series 7 and 8 Lucas / John grows flatter every moment in series 9. His only focus is his passion for Maya Lahan.

    I explicitly do not want to call it love as it is not in any way shown as a caring and sensitive feeling. It is depicted as manic obsession. Why Maya cooperates is unclear to me. Her motives remain completely obscure as is most of her background or life. Her only moment she is shown with colleagues in 9.7 she shows more life and joy than in her whole time with Lucas / John. That is a very strange aspect of their relationship for me, as she is prepared to give up her known life to follow Lucas / John.

    Saturday 18 December 2010

    Lucas & Harry - Talking With Each Other

    At one very rare occasion Lucas / John and Harry must have spoken to each other, because at the end on the roof Lucas / John refers to Harry mentioning the service renders people bad.

    The last discussion between Harry and Lucas in the end dialogue made me realise, what I felt was wrong with the grid members of series 9. They do not really talk to each other for the whole of the series.

    The episode 9.6, where the grid security system is compromised and the Russians and Chinese are listening in is not really necessary, as all the members do not really talk to each other anyway.

    This is one further aspect which really sets the whole Lucas / John development apart and makes it so unbelievable. We see no reaction to it except of short views of disbelieve on Beth’s face. We see no real coping with this new situation but normal, undisturbed grid-routine.

    (This routine is really going very badly. Should this show us, that Lucas is missed and Dimitri and Beth are not yet ready to do the job alone? They blow up their first job alone by loosing Ruth, wrongly identifying an innocent and preventing the special unit from reaching the suspect in time to prevent having to kill him. They even did not secure the surrounding sufficiently. A complete blunder!)

    Thursday 16 December 2010

    Lucas / John a Nobody / Nothing on the Grid

    The reaction of the members of the grid at the end of Spooks 9.8 seems very ambiguous to me. Harry still is shown to be on the roof and the knowledge the other grid members have, is not absolutely clear.
    I not for a moment had the impression they were mourning Lucas / John.
    Ruth is crying because Harry is safe again. The others are content, that everything is over and they are still alive. For them Lucas really was nothing. To Ross at least he had a friendly connection as colleague and a common understanding of work ethics. With the others he shared nothing at all.

    Harry Pearce did not trust Lucas and he in return did not trust him.

    Dimitri Levendis was not in the group long enough for Lucas to establish a connection with him.

    Beth could have been interesting, but it did not work out that way.

    Ruth he clearly mistrusted as she did him. But why? Was it only because he feared detection by her?
    They also had a completely different approach to work. Ruth with all her brilliance has a very intuitive and unorthodox way of research whereas Lucas very much associated with the systematic approach with which Ross had been leading section D.

    Tuesday 14 December 2010

    Dimitri Actively Helping Lucas / John

    When Dimitri Levendis followed the potential ‘Lucas’ into the back alley in Spooks 9.8, he prevented the van with the CO19 unit to pursue ‘Lucas’ faster. He prevented them from catching up with ‘Lucas’, surrounding him and potentially catching him alive. In the end they killed an innocent, because he did not correctly identify the running person and prevented the special unit from catching him alive.

    Not very professional.

    But what astonished me more was, that the normally very moral team of the grid did not even mention the killing of this innocent or at least reveal his identity or connection to Lucas/John. He was just a chess figure which lost its importance.
    How very sad and so much unlike Spooks.
    Ruth was clearly missing on the grid. Her influence would have prevented, that a killing would have gone completely unnoticed.

    But in the end this sequence stated some important facts about the grid:
    * The grid only acts human when it is convenient.
    * The working procedure is very intuitive and not based on detailed and consistent research.
    * They do not really want to find out the background about Lucas. (Because they know it already or because of disinterest?)
    * A man’s life is not important to them. (If it is not Harry or Adam.)
    * The blunder they made in work procedure is not important to them. Harry and Ruth do not even mention it.

    Sunday 12 December 2010

    Thoughtful Revelations ...

    Today is the day, the one day, where I close down one year and try to lay the fundament to positively start another one. You would perhaps compare the mood to Thanksgiving or New Year’s resolutions.
    I do it on exactly this day every year and potential visitors will find me a bit moody and thoughtful.
    I normally try to avoid crowds, which on such a day normally is not the easiest thing to achieve. But I always wish for snow, so that I can have a long and solitary walk through quiet and dreamy landscape.
    We had lots of snow this year, but rather wet and rainy. So no walk this year.
    I did so many things the past year, most of them didn't work out (or at least not till now). But one thing I really love to remember is finding the blog of Servetus with her respectful comments and the wonderful group of RA fans meeting there. They gave me the courage to post my own blog with comments and videos.
    I do not know what the future will bring to my blog or me. At one time I will be ready to overcome my disgruntlement with "Spooks 9" and I will have to change my blog topics slightly. But right now the blog helps me to come to terms with some of the storylines of "Spooks 9" which still run wild in my head.
    I think for "Spooks 9" and "Spooks" in general, it is a kind of quality sign, that it can affect me so much and can hold my attention for such a length of time to write such a number of blog posts.
    Though I had not liked the story development, still I have to admit, that the story execution and the acting of all participants was just brilliant.

    My introspect day also caused me to think about what my occupation with Richard Armitage means to me.
    It certainly gives me a perspective, a kind of way of approach to myself.
    I am normally quite effective in my approach to things. Either they are right or they are not - quite black and white without any shades of grey in between.
    Richard Armitage clearly is in the white area for me, otherwise I would give up my 'obsession' with him immediately.

    But today I wondered what it is that makes him white for me:

    - Because I do not know him for real?
    (How pompous of me to imply he would have grey scales, if I would know him better.)

    - Because from the distance I can make him an ideal?
    (But I do not or try not to make anything out of him, except what I learn in the news.)

    - Because he is only a raw picture, where I can fill in the blanks?
    (But I try not to make him anything. On the other side I even try to avoid any private information, perhaps not to make him too real for me?)

    - Because he has not to cope with reality to impress me?
    (The people around me I respect for how they cope with reality, the daily necessities, etc. I also respect Richard Armitage for how he acts towards reporters / colleagues / fans / fame / politics / ...)

    But what I really do admire in him is:

    - for fighting hard for his success and his believe in himself and his right way.

    - for maintaining true to himself.

    - for being down to earth.

    - for working hard.

    - for his presence of mind.

    - for giving the impression of pure concentration and being in the situation he is playing with his full mind.

    - for being able to impose a role and absolutely portray a special character.

    - for giving the character he plays so much thought to make him loveable and believable. To give him so much depths only few other actors would have the power of mind to think about with such a lot of character details.

    You will have recognized, that his beauty is not part of why I see my time as his fan worthily spent.
    I do not find him beautiful in a classical sense. In some sequences he very much reminds me of my father (in his outlooks) and my grandfather (in his way of behaving). My father and my grandfather were very different in their appearances!
    Richard Armitage is very changeable in his appearance. His transformation from role to role fascinates me. He just is the character.

    He most of all impresses me in his interviews

    - by showing his sense of humor,

    - his easy way of talking to people and

    - his way to make them feel welcome and comfortable in his presence.
    This is the point where he very much reminds me of my grandfather.

    Richard Armitage has a very fetching way of behaviour. I wish him all the best and that lots of producers will see and want to engage his talent.

    Friday 10 December 2010

    The Chinese and John Bateman

    The Chinese kill squad had Lucas’ photograph. Why?
    They did not actively try to kill him or press information from him except indirectly through Vaughan.

    But would I need a kill squad for that?

    What information did the Chinese have, to know about the hold Vaughan had over Lucas / John, when even MI-5, after vetting him and the close work connection he had with Harry, was without an inkling of what really was going on?

    What still bothers me is, that Lucas had Chinese figurines in his flat in series 8. Why did the scriptwriters not make more of a connection here and give these hints some meaning? As it is they are only random puzzle parts left behind and forgotten on a carpet, where you never will find out how the whole puzzle should have looked like.

    Tuesday 7 December 2010

    The Home Secretary – a Dangerous Position

    To continue my previous post about “Alternative Storylines”, I had set some hope in the new home-secretary back in series 8. For him dropping out of the story with Ross at the end of series 8 was a big loss for me. I had hoped till the beginning of series 9 for him to survive, as I would have used a hotel trolley to get him to safety.

    I liked the new aspects and slightly youthful humour of his character. I still well remember his Twitter comment annoying Harry. What great laugh I had about that ;o)

    Turning my loved and trusted old home secretary bad was the first illogical step for me in the wrong direction of Spooks 9.
    I here do not (!) want to say that this sequence was not played or executed well. I very much enjoyed Harry killing the old home secretary for justice sake. (I think I am not entirely as peaceful as I thought I was when I wrote this post.)

    The continuity of character for the first time really was destroyed to gain an effective plot. This giving up logic in a series is for me as fairly new in the series environment quite hard to understand. To me it very vividly brings back to mind why I normally do not bother to watch series at all.
    But the main gratuitous muddle was Lucas North. Here I really would like to know, what the scriptwriters wanted to achieve with this character.

    Developing the destruction of a character in such a complete way shows, that British film industry still has excellent talent to perform, execute and show such a thing.
    Still, from a viewers perspective, I would like to at least get some hints or explanations, to fill the, for me, illogic development with some sense.

    Sunday 5 December 2010

    Alternative Storyline and High Expectations

    For a long time of Spooks 9 I thought, Ruth and Harry would find Lucas out. That they had no real clue till the bitter end a bit diminished their almighty in my eyes.

    Ruth I gave good chances at least to find an important lead which could be taken up by Dimitri or Beth.
    But Dimitri was a bit colourless, because he mostly was pushed into the background.
    Also Beth, except for Spooks 9.2, had no real chance to get into the light.
    (I must admit, I had hoped for a little side romance or at least office flirt between Beth and Lucas, even when I only had a fake tryst in mind for Lucas to cover his tracks. Unfortunately that chance is gone now.)

    You see, I had a much more complex setting in mind than Spooks 9 turned out to really use.
    Richard Armitage would have been ideal to play the required layers of gaining trust, covering betrayal, friendship, father-son-relationship to Harry, etc., but all these elements remained fairly in the dark. John Bateman’s obsession with Maya covered most of those other emotions.

    So I must admit that part of my disappointment is a result of me in my mind giving the main figures much more interesting character developments and chances to show off their spooks-talents. The lack of development and instead shattering of the section chief’s character without the bonus of the least bit of explanation or background information just left me empty.

    This empty feeling is hardly getting me in any mood to feel enthusiastic about Spooks 10. But that would be necessary to wanting to see the next series. I will watch Spooks 10, if I can, but I get nowhere near the urgency to wanting to see series 7, 8 or 9.

    I will continue, as I watched the whole of Spooks so far and because this is the only TV series I ever watched completely.
    I normally hate series, as effects to get a decent storyline for every episode normally have a bad effect on the overall ark of the story. What I so far had admired, was, that Spooks got the storylines quite well, though I found Tom Quinn’s private life a bit crowded and over-stuffed.
    Later on, they did not want to pack so much private development into it and the storyline of Adam Carter with his wife and child was very gripping for me. Even his connection with Ross was a believable development of both characters desperately seeking some stability in their life.

    Friday 3 December 2010

    Lucas in his Pre-Russian Time

    I would really have loved to see some backdrops to the Lucas John Bateman had been before his Russian imprisonment. His connection to Harry, MI-5 and his colleagues would really have been valuable information for me. All the references concerning Lucas being a real hero back then and the head of Section D at such a young age just wet my appetite.

    [What lovely space for fan fiction: Lucas as a young and brilliant spook stirring up the whole country ?!]

    But that kind of information about Lucas’ background is exactly, what the scriptwriters - in my opinion cruelly - wanted to withhold from us. Ahhh….
    As I have mentioned before in a comment on this blog, sometimes I think I would have to shake the scriptwriters till they give me some answers. Good that I am normally a quite peaceful and even minded person ;o)

    [Not to mention that I do not know the scriptwriters and they are in a safe distance of me. But do you think I should warn them that I intend to visit London next April?]

    Wednesday 1 December 2010

    Fandom Helps to Bear Politics

    I had to attend a political event today.
    Normally I would try to avoid such a thing at all costs, but today, for business sake, I went.

    Fortunately, I had my memories of Mr. Armitage in his role as Sir Guy of Gisborne with me to help me through the evening.
    Now I begin to understand the bored stance RA showed us during the council meetings in "Robin Hood".
    Why should you listen attentively if you cannot change anything anyway?

    I tried very hard to listen attentively, but they made it really hard for me. So Guy of Gisborne was my only rescue not to start snoring. - That would really have been embarrassing ;o)

    But when I had to comment on the speeches, I was hard pressed not to say that Guy of Gisborne had been their only saviour.