TV series episode review: Spooks (2010), series 9, episode 3, directed by Michael Caton-Jones
Oh those Russians!
I’m amazed Harry and pals can keep a straight faced saying these made-up country names. Azakhstan. Is nice. Only a K away from Borat.
So, basically, there was a nerve agent created in the 1960s by the Brits and the Russians, who discovered that it was a very bad idea and destroyed all of it. Nearly all of it, of course. One sample was left behind, and some Azakhstani terrorists/freedom fighters want it. The Russians disagree. Much running around London ensues. They even made it onto the Bakerloo line at Charing Cross, and for that I have to salute them. I have some sort of weird fascination for the London Underground, see. I once tried learning all the stations of Central Line and all, and there’s a book about a guy who is trying to visit all the stations in the system in 24 (?) hours which I remember being brilliant. But that’s beside the point.
The terrorist, Azis (Jonathan Aris), was hobbling around a lot. Never explained why, unless it was the actor who had a hobble. Incidentally, time-before-last when we went to London, I was hobbling around much like him, including on platforms of the Bakerloo line. Don’t think it was for the same reasons, though. Mine just was a knee playing up, whereas he probably had an injury doing some of that freedom fighting/terrorising.
Where was I?
Again, Dimitri (Max Brown) was underused. FFS, if you’re going to introduce a new character, utilise him a little! Granted, Tariq (Shazad Latif) isn’t exactly the most fleshed-out character either, but at least he seems more involved. Dimitri is just some random guy at the back who occasionally gets to say something. Normally, you’d call that sort of person an extra, and not include them in the opening credits. So no, still disappointed there. This is what the BBC Spooks site has to say about him:
Dimitri is ex SBS and has been recruited to Section D for his specific skills in the connection between piracy and terrorism. Dimitri’s approach to being a spy is much more relaxed than Lucas’, although he’s consistently brilliant at his job, he just likes to enjoy himself. He’s funny and warm. Dimitri’s laid back approach often rattles Lucas and Harry, but he consistently delivers the goods.
Really? Any of that make any sort of sense with the character we see on screen? Since when do we even get a glimpse that his approach is “much more relaxed” than Lucas’s? How do we know he likes to “enjoy himself”? He obviously “brilliant at his job” and “delivers the goods” because he’s still standing (in the background – snap!) and he keeps running around with the rest of them, but when does he ever rattle Lucas (Richard Armitage) and Harry (Peter Firth)? And the “funny and warm” business? For us to get that impression, you need to actually give the man some proper lines!
If they’re deliberately putting him in the background to play up to the Lucas/Richard Armitage fans, I’m disgusted, quite frankly. Are they putting Dimitri so much on the back burner because they know a lot of us are watching because of Lucas? And they’re only giving Harry space because of the fans who came before series 7 or who are actually watching because it’s a really good show? Well, newsflash, I don’t want a dumbed-down Spooks just to satisfy the fan following of one of the actors – even though I’m very much a part of that very same following! And to not give a new character space because not wanting to ruffle the feathers of the faithful Lucas fans and instead focusing everything not-Harry on Lucas? Not fair. So I really hope that’s not the case, and that we get to see more of Dimitri in the remaining five episodes.
Was the same person doing Beth’s hair as did Kate in Robin Hood? What with the braids and all. Quite liked it, actually. Then again, I quite like Beth (Sophia Myles) as a character so far. At least she’s being put to good use, unlike, y’know, Dimitri.
Lucas and Vaughn: Oh, almost Gisborne territory with that smirk! I wonder what’s going to happen between those two. Who is Vaughn (Iain Glen) anyway? And if Lucas does what he wants, what is there to stop Vaughn from using him again?
Lucas and Maya (Laila Rouass): That bit at the end, wow, that kissing could melt the ice caps. I wonder if the kitchen table scene will be happening on Monday? Kinda looks like it, doesn’t it? Ohh wait and see, wait and see. Only a couple of days to go now. And for 9.4 I really need to watch it a lot earlier than mid-day Saturday … Sometimes life just gets in the way a bit, you know?
I enjoyed this episode a lot. It seemed to fly by and all of a sudden, it was finished. Totally captivating from start to finish. Really liked the edited video they showed the Russians as well. Smart move! That Harry geezer is well devious. Not to mention the Home Secretary looks a lot like (a chubbier version of) my boss. Which is kind of weird in itself. Monday is promising Chineses [sic] instead of Russians. And as I’m starting to get hungry, now all I can think of is Chinese food … well done.