Notepad on Life

October 26, 2011

Spooks let slip what James Bond never will

Filed under: TV — - @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , ,
Harry Pearce

Image via Wikipedia

Somewhere on the Internet, I’m sure, debate rages long and hard as to how true to the real thing was Spooks, the BBC spy drama that ended for good last weekend.

With no expertise whatsoever in such matters, I wouldn’t dream of joining in any further than to venture that I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if the melancholy that lay behind all the action and high-tech skullduggery was indeed art imitating life.

Peter Firth (left), as section head Harry Pearce, captured it brilliantly, from the first series to the last. Whatever the triumph, whatever 11th hour disaster came to naught, Pearce seemed incapable of any emotion more boisterous than quiet relief.

The cares of the western world permanently on his shoulders, his was cynicism that had mutated into a sorrow that could only ever be briefly swatted away and the more I saw of his pained resignation to that fact, the more I began to suspect that his character might be portraying the toll taken by this line of work to a tee.

For while you can derive huge satisfaction from sparing hundreds of lives as a result of your work for the intelligence services, how much collateral damage must you yourself sustain when your working life revolves around trusting no-one, looking repeatedly over your shoulder and having to deal with a heavily blurred line separating your friends from your enemies?

Even if the shoot-outs and car chases are little thinner on the ground when you work for the real MI5, I can easily imagine some people on its payroll being genuinely damaged emotionally by a career that has a one-word mission statement. Suspicion.

They work on battles that never end, that have no rules and that care nothing for whomever gets trampled in their wake. Day, after day, after day. That must exact a price, surely?

It certainly has in my case. After Firth’s tour de force, I may never watch a James Bond film again.

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12 Comments »

  1. +1

    Comment by frenchie31 — October 30, 2011 @ 12:30 pm | Reply

  2. Eu acompanhei no Brasil até a sexta temporada, em que Tom atira em Harry e foge, infelizmente aqui esse filme é muito inteligente para a maioria do público, mas tenho esperanças que algum dia irão passar esse seriado no Brasil até o fim.
    E referente ao James Bond, ele é um chato de galochas, para mim esse seriado é síntese do trabalho do M.I-5, e está mais para o personagem de John Le Carré George Smiley, com as lutas de interesses e as agruras e pequenas vitórias dos espiões.

    Comment by Edvard lima da silva — December 2, 2011 @ 4:52 am | Reply

  3. The above comment is hopefully correctly translated by Google as follows:

    “I followed it in Brazil until the sixth season, in which Tom shoots Harry and runs away, sadly this film here is very smart for most of the public, but I have hopes that someday this show will run in Brazil until the end.
    And referring to James Bond, he is boring to me. This show is a synthesis of the work of MI5, and is closer to the John Le Carré character of George Smiley, to the conflict of interests, the hardships and small victories of spies.”

    NoL

    Comment by - — December 2, 2011 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  4. We purchase the DVD from Britain .Ten years has gone by fast.
    Overall one of the best series created for TV anywhere. That includes all our CSI series etc.
    The British camera work is as usual excellent.
    May this be the jumping off point for all the actors, who have contributed to this very fine series.
    Harry and Ruth we will miss you !

    Comment by Gray O`Leary — December 23, 2011 @ 12:15 am | Reply

  5. I just saw the final episode of volume 10 on dvd, having followed the series from the very beginning. I had mourned the departure of Michael McFayden years ago, and his reappearance was welcome in the final episode. I write simply to express my thanks for this program – well-written, intelligent, well-produced, certainly well-acted, and critical of the CIA. I will miss it and am grateful to you all.

    Comment by Wyvonna McClelland — March 25, 2012 @ 1:53 am | Reply

  6. can u tell me if the first series of spooks will be shown on any of the channels some time soon.other programmes are repeated but have never seen spooks.

    Comment by diana passmore — April 23, 2012 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  7. With the end of this I guess that it is back to the CRAP that USA tryies to sell as good TV entermaintent.

    Comment by Wind Rider — May 9, 2012 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

    • So true – but I suppose all good things must come to an end. Come on BBC give us some more good stuff to watch!

      Comment by Erika Mouttet — May 16, 2012 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

      • Erika, since Harry took the phone call at his desk in the last scene of MI-5, is there hope for another seasons. We don’t get latest info in USA. What do you hear?

        Comment by Marjorie Ryan — May 18, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  8. Wed. nights in New York will be bleak affairs when MI-5 ends tonight. My only other addiction is to The Closer, I know, I know, not as erudite, etc. but as interesting a “family” of actors as can be. Harry, Harry. Marry Ruth, puleeeeeze. Let the “Home Secretary” find another not so excellent replacement.

    Comment by Marjorie Ryan — May 16, 2012 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

  9. TV has been programmed for the brain dead in the US. What will I look forward to now since MI5 is
    done? The chip fryer got me hooked from the start. Maybe a movie????? Mary in SD.

    Comment by Mary in SD — May 20, 2012 @ 12:36 am | Reply

  10. I have one more comment…. When Harry put on his gloves something was always going to happen!
    I looked forward to those little things. Every look, eyebrow move, or grin meant something …usually shocking!

    Comment by Mary in SD — May 20, 2012 @ 12:46 am | Reply


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