Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The spies who confused me
SPIES! Spooks, BBC1, 9.00pm
It's not often that we stick with a show when we don't know what's going on. We gave up on Lost before the episode numbers hit double digits because we knew they weren't going to explain any of the mysteries in a hurry and frankly we couldn't be bothered to sit around watching a bunch of bores brooding about them. Spooks on the other hand, almost makes a virtue of the fact that we never have a clue what's going on. We're not sure it ever expects us to keep up; instead, the characters all spout incomprehensible expository dialogue at each other with such conviction that we just take their word for it and enjoy the building tension and all the pretty faces.
That was the pattern for us last series, more or less. We watched religiously, and no matter how hard we concentrated, by the 50 minute mark we were always utterly lost. There was always something about inter-governmental politics and backstabbing and rogue agents and whathaveyou, but we were inevitably rather vague on the specifics of what was going on. It didn't really matter too much, because we were enjoying ourselves. And we always gave the show credit for having balls, doing things like killing off Colin last series, or our previous favourite character Ruth having to leave because she'd been framed and couldn't prove her own innocence. Though we imagine none of the actors on this show have ever become too complacent over their job security since Lisa Faulkner got deep-fried in the first series.
Anyway, Spooks is back and we're sure it'll be as blisteringly hard to follow as ever. The opening episode focuses on the potential release of a deadly biological weapon and the operatives' attempts to make sure that doesn't happen. It'll go awry, of course, but that's half the fun, isn't it?