Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spooks ...

Although it is Halloween today, I'm not going to talk about ghosts and ghouls and the three tonnes of chocolate and candy my children will collate later today.

No - I'm writing an ode to "Spooks" - my favourite BBC drama TV series. My hat is well and truly doffed to the production team and especially the writers.

If you are not familiar with the series, do try and acquaint yourself. You will not be disappointed, I promise. For the uninitiated, it is a drama-spy-thriller story set inside the British intelligence services - specifically MI-5. And North American viewers may already know it by that name on US tv channels as the name was changed to "MI-5" over there. The word spooks, by the way, is another word for spies.

And the reason I am prompted to write this today is that because most of my household has been somewhat incapacitated through a variety of illnesses over the past two weeks, we have become a little stir-crazy in the house and resorted to sleeping, reading and watching TV in a monotonous cycle. Sorry, no wildlife, garden or sunset photos this week!

We purchased the latest series of Spooks that is available to us online, and my husband and I have sat and watched every hour-long episode of Series 7 this week.

Oh I am mentally and physically exhausted. Outstanding story lines and characters, and the tension has been wonderful!

The programme is a glossy production which always seems to be able to photograph London (or any city the spies penetrate) in a beautiful way. My husband gets all misty-eyed as he watches. "See that bridge?" he says, "I used to walk over that every morning, sob, ...."

Apparently it never really took off in the US because the programme is a full 60 minutes long with no advert breaks. US channels could not provide an hour long slot to show the programme properly and therefore edited out so much of the story that it began to make no sense whatsoever and was nigh-on impossible to follow!

I think that is also the reason we were so exhausted watching it actually - we are now untrained in the art of concentration - a full 60 minutes without ads and pee breaks and the need to fast-forward through our recording thingie in unheard of!

So three gold stars, a BAFTA, an Emmy, a whatever-gong-you-can-think-of goes to Spooks.

And one word of warning - do not get too attached to any of the lead characters. Never has one show killed off, blown up, tortured and murdered so many people. The second episode all those years ago should have served as a warning when the lead girlie was boiled in oil!

I bet the actors have mixed feeling to win a part in this show. "Oh yipee, a wonderful series in which to show-case my talents, but oh bugger, I bet they kill me off after 5 episodes!"

And to any Brit readers of my blog - I am jealous because I think Series 8 kicks off for you next week. I will be acquiring it as soon as possible.


  1. That episode with the woman boiled in oil still gives me nightmares.

    Oh, and I never thought they would get rid of Ruth!!!

    There are a couple of channels (I think the KSPS one?) that does re-runs of the old series' later on in the evenings if you need the odd fix now and again, but I agree its an awesome series and I can't wait for series 8 to get here. Spooks is the reason why we pay for BBC Canada!!!

  2. It's an excellent series and I am looking forward to series 8. One of the positives of having moved back here I guess,!


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