** "Offbeat hilarious!" ** "RA tingles & laughs" ** "True to the characters! " ** "The fiction is great. Keep it up!" **

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a healthy, peaceful, loving, creative and inspiring 2011!
Thanks for amazing and entertaining me with wonderful talents!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

To all of my readers, Merry Christmas! I challenged myself to make a Christmas card for you!
It´s John Porter, away on a mission, thinking he maybe not be home in time for Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Harry/Lucas: A X-mas Back Story

The Tazbeks dropped a little Christmas present.
A CCTV footaged file, larded with Wikileaks print-outs, free for interpretation.

On a lunch break:
Ruth: What´s that with you and Lucas?
Harry: Nothing.
Ruth: Mmm...
Harry: Now really, Ruth, I wish you would  keep out of my affairs.
Ruth: Affairs?
Harry: Work-related.
Ruth: Don´t boss me around, because you say you love me.
Harry: Do you want your life back or not?

At Harry´s office:
Harry: I went through your stuff and found this.

Harry: I had to dissect it to get it out of that file cabinet.

Harry: It was reported he was your main confidante.

Filed under TAZBIG004-LN

Harry: While I thought I was your little friend!
Lucas: That was before your time.

At home:
Harry: Maybe I shouldn´t be this harsh on Lucas.

Next morning:
Lucas: You said you will make up for it, Harry.
Harry: Don´t push it.

At the Home Secretary´s office:
Ros: Harry, you know Lucas is in a bit of a state, don´t rub the knob so hard.
Harry: Nothing I can´t handle, Ros, but thanks for your concern.

In the field:
Lucas: I am not sure about this alley...
Harry: Get on, move it! Yes Ruth, you were saying...

Lucas: You´ll get compromised, you made me go!
Harry: Leafs on the railroads, what´s new?

Harry: Look, Darshavin is past tense, forget about him!
Lucas: You know I can´t, I keep a diary.

Harry: The situation has changed, this is for the better.
Lucas: The Russians are not the only ones!

Flashback on Sugarhorse:
Harry: They can come and get their X-mas present!

Sorry people, I didn´t say it was quality information.

Screencaps: allegedly www.peterfirth.co.uk, top-classified

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Taking Directions From Sir Guy

"You do NOT speak to me!"

We need something funny after Spooks.
What´s the difference between Spooks and English grammar?
Coming clean on English grammar is far more deadly dangerous.

We trace, we are not toying.

Actors take directions from the text and the way the grammar is used.

We think we say it right, but then it comes out wrong.

This foreigner thought the phrase ´objective´ was about English grammar.
When an actor uses this phrase, it becomes actors´ bullshit.
Actors´ bullshit cannot be found in the English Dictionary.
Hence actors want to use it.

We cry or burst into a song.

Take the phrase ´actions´, it would be about movements, right?
When an actor uses this phrase, it´s reason to act upon it. 
Actions are real mouth openers or door shutters.

We connect or disengage from.

Or take the phrase ´subtext´.
Beneath the text it´s a dark place.
Actors split the ongoing underlining in action, reaction and decision.

When joking turns out wrong.

The article of 8 October, 2010 gave me That Mitchell And Webb Look.

Which reminded me of a particular grammatical friendly rub in Vicar of Dibley.


 Could tell you all about Dutch grammar in Dutch.
English grammar, mind me stammering?

It´s annoying.


Taking directions...

Added (in fear being misinterpreted if not explained):
It looks not very good, Gisborne not wanting to hear the explanation.
But in fact, if you know the series, he distracted Vasey to save the wrong do-er´s life.


The phrases ´objective´, ´subtext´ and ´actions´ refer to Stanislavsky´s system about rehearsal processes. The phrase ´actors´ bullshit´ is used by professions In The Business, who don´t get that kind of talk.

You could read:
The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit by Bella Merlin 
Actions, The Actors´ Thesaurus by Marina Caldarone.

RAcentral - Sir Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood ep. 2.11 Treasure of the nation

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spooks Review 9.8: A Horse Is A Horse

The liar has been lied to... am I talking Lucas or Harry?

In which Lucas prays, Maya stays in a hotel, Lucas drives a delivery van, Tariq should relax, Maya has doubts, old colleague Alec gets a temporary second chance, Beth has to shoot, Harry contradicts himself, but saves Ruth and Lucas goes over the edge.

Learning from last episode 9.7, one can conclude that Sir Harry hates to use the words "You´re fired!". Instead he strokes his heart and gives Lucas his weapon back to find his blackmailer. That´s the upbeat for what´s to come. It only can get crazier, so I decided to buckle up for this rollercoaster.

Personally, sorry seems to be the hardest word, as *cough* I still had to write this review after seeing the series finale.
One thing let to one other... My notes were written, but then I had to fight a terrible cold off my chest...

This story of the week is about Lucas going rogue and the Spooks team now see him as their enemy who was their Section Chief just a week ago. They have their hands full of bringing him in.

To quote Harry: "Our former Chief Officer has to be regarded as a rogue officer who is in possession of information which, if it would fall into the wrong hands, would pose an unpresedented threat to the national security. I don´t need to remind you that he´s a skilled, resourceful and dangerous operative. Our main priority is to find him and bring him in, whatever the cost."

It´s all about Lucas´s motives. Harry: "The man who we know as Lucas North, what does he think? What does he feel? What´s driving him? We must find something that will tell us what´s going on inside his head, before it´s too late. Personal belongings, case histories. Where does he spend his time? Where are his weak points? He´s on the edge. We have to discover what´s taken him there. He´s highly trained, fragile and desperate. We cannot allow him to find the Albany file. By seeking it, he has made himself a traitor. This man was our colleague and friend. But have no illusions, he´s now our enemy." Harry, what have you done?

Beth and Dimitri then sweep Lucas´ flat and find nothing personal, except a well-read book of William Blake. Harry tells the team what the Albany file is and does.

Lucas meets the Chinese man who usually deals with Vaughn. Lucas negiotiates a deal for the swap of the Albany file, not knowing or wanting to know what it does.

Lucas/John has chosen his pension plan

The Home Secretary lets Harry know that he is appalled that The Service has been fooled by an imposter (L/J) all these years. The Home Secretary wants to know: "Should we be concerned?" knowing that the man in question was blackmailed by Vaughn, whose strings were pulled by the Chinese. Harry confirms that L/J is not quite ´on the level´: capable, but confused, desperate and thus more dangerous. "We don´t really know what we´re dealing with, so I´ve decided to call in a specialist."

After some massaging, Harry picks up a former employee of Internal Affairs, who was one of the best in his field, but difficult to work with.

Lucas/John and Maya are in a hotelroom. Maya can´t stop thinking about Michael. Lucas says his name was Vaughn, so she calls John ´Lucas´ as to proof he manipulated her. Maya wants to leave. Lucas/John has one thing to do first. He´s off driving a delivery van.

Harry returns to the Grid with Alec for a meeting with the team. Beth reports that Lucas had been busy with booking flights, cloning cards and bouncing fake phonecalls all over the world. Alec tells all not to call Lucas Lucas or John anymore as it´s a chase for someone who doesn´t exist. Harry introduces Alec as someone who brings rogue officers in. A phrase that causes a bit of a shock to Beth. Tariq checked Lucas´ latest calls, one from Vaughn. Dimitri, Beth and Alec go and find Vaughn dead, due to a knifewound by John, according to Alec. "Question is, if he isn´t being blackmailed anymore, we must assume he isn´t, what the hell is he doing?"

Lucas stops his van and goes into some building, sets up a laptop and lays a transport blanket on  a stack of pallets.

Back on the Grid Dimitri, Beth and Alec reason why L/J hasn´t fled. Because he created the smokescreen, they think he´s still in London and gone into business for himself. Harry gets a distressing call from Lucas, that he never meant it, and he wants to come in today. Harry agrees to pick him up at the given location. While Dimitri and Beth and some snipers are on the spot, Harry and Alec are still on the Grid. Alec: "He lied to you. When he was telling you about Vaughn´s killing, the real Lucas North, the bombings, that was bullshit. You see, I know liars, Harry. Good ones can construct entire lies on the spot. He mixes in enough truth, details that reflect badly on himself, but the narrative was too perfect. The thing is.. you know liars too. There were times during that interrogation where you could have pushed him. You should have pushed him. No-one likes to believe these things, about the people who are close to them. Lucas or Albany, Harry? You might not be able to save them both."

Tariq and Ruth sit in the van and are ready for the operation. Ruth gets called by Lucas. He says he is in some cafe, wants to come in, then he says he can´t do it. Beth and Dimitri see someone running. They follow him and shoot him, but it´s not Lucas. The van is unattended and gives Lucas the opportunity to forcefully take Ruth out of the van.

Harry receives a call from Lucas: "A straight swap, Albany for Ruth. Today or you never find the body." Harry: "Don´t you hurt her". Dimitri notifies that Lucas swapped his van for something else. Beth mentions the Albany file. Harry: " Lucas has identified one of the people who know where the file is: me." Dimitri and Beth don´t think it´s wise of Harry to give the file to Lucas, as he is holding Ruth as a hostage. Harry: "You´re suggesting I would consider making that deal?! Well, come with me."

Lucas thinks it´s time to set the record straight about his balance sheet

Ruth tries to talk into Lucas´ moral values and believes. Ruth doesn´t recognize him because of his reactions, tries to quote Russian proverbs at him. Ruth tells him Harry would not give him the Albany file. She tests his reaction if he would really kill her. His answer scares her. She then asks if he would know what the Albany file is and does. She tells him anyway.

Alec tells Harry he found in Michael/Vaughn´s wallet a picture of doctor Maya Lahan. Alec had a hunch and checked her. He thinks she´s at the centre of it all. Tells Tariq has to relax, while he just crashed an entire French mobile network to track Maya in a UK hotel.

Harry, Dimitri and Beth walk into a church with a suitcase. Inside the church another suitcase with the Albany file is hidden, with tracker, according to Harry. They switch it, but Harry has to hurry outside. Beth and Dimitri smell something suspicious and don´t make it to the exit. Harry takes the suitcase.

Ruth tells Lucas Harry has asked her to marry her. Lucas is surprised. Ruth shares her doubts. Lucas does not get why she refused, she should go for it.

Outside, Alec waits at the car. Harry brings the suitcase and asks if Alec and Tariq have found the woman. Alec names reasons why he steps slightly out of line. He says that he should not interfere with Harry´s upcoming actions. However does he realise there is no way back? Harry responds by saying that Alec should wait and then get Dimitri and Beth out of the vault. Then they should go to the hotel and prepare to take Lucas, but do not spook her. Harry says Alec´s reasons were wrong. He hired Alec, because he had nothing to lose.

Meanwhile Lucas mums Ruth, then calls Harry and gives a location to drop off the suitcase. In front of a digital video camera, Harry not only has to show he brought the case, but also is bug-less, by changing his phone and clothes.

Alec gets Beth and Dimitri out of the vault and tells them that Harry didn´t want them to be implicated.

Lucas tells Harry on the phone that a car, pre-programmed with destination, is ready. When he finishes the call, Ruth repeats her plea that she doesn´t recognize Lucas as the man she knows. Lucas takes his seat next to her and reveals, larded with flashbacks, where the real Lucas North currently is. Ruth repeats also that Harry will never give the Albany file, on which Lucas takes her in an armlock and gives her an injection, muttering that she always has underestimated herself.

Lucas and Harry meet at the river. Harry first has to drop the case in a bin. At a safe distance Lucas opens the case and inserts the usb-stick. "This is it! Harry Pearce giving up a state secret?! Committing treason for just one life?" Lucas doesn´t trust this, for if it´s real, Harry gets it back, eventually. Thinks they have found Maya and wants to fetch her under a free exit granting. Harry: "Alternatively, I throw Maya in a cell, issue a kill order on you, and find Ruth myself." Lucas tells Harry that Ruth is sedated with an anaestatic drip which will make her overdose in 3 hours. "I really don´t want to hurt her, Harry". Lucas really needs the free exit. "Once Maya and I are in the air, I´ll tell you where she is". Lucas drives off.

Harry asks Tariq to patch him through to notify the rest of the team to stand down. Beth and Dimitri protest. Harry: "You have your orders, you will follow them! If you do not, I will decommission you. Do you understand?" Harry asks Tariq to patch him through to Alec: "I need you to do something."

Lucas stops at the hotel, walks into the hotel room where Maya stares outside. He asks her to come with him. She seems not that happy. They remain silent in the lift ride downwards. In the hall the team stands down. Alec notifies Maya as she walks by with Lucas, what Lucas has done to his colleague. Outside, Lucas legitimates that he had to take her, as it was their only way out. Maya asks him to let her go. Lucas urges her to get in the car and he will tell Harry where Ruth is, once they´re safe.

The Home Secretary asks Harry if the Albany file is safe. Harry states that Lucas has it and that he has given it to him.

Lucas and Maya change cars. Lucas onloads their bags. Maya thinks Lucas can make that call now as he can´t let Ruth die. Lucas calls Harry. "It´s not me you will have to thank." Harry calls for the paramedics. Maya tells Lucas she´s been contacted by Alec, a guy who works for Harry Pearce, who told her everything. Lucas gets flashbacks and hears himself: "Where I live, I have hope". Maya confronts Lucas with his lying and being a killer. "For the first time you made sense." Even the fact that he continues to state he loves her, is proof that he still believes in this lie.

You are a liar and how do I know this? I watched the series `Lie to me´!

A car approaches. Lucas: "They gave you a tracker!" Beth, Dimitri and Alec shoot at Lucas and Maya who hide behind their car. Lucas and Maya get in the second car and drive off. Alec finds their tracker in the parked car. Lucas thinks they had a lucky escape, however Maya is awfully quiet. He checks her, she bleeds heavily. He continues to drive, while she has to stop the bleeding, but she has no strength anymore. He stops the car. He strokes her, but it´s too late. It´s an emotional moment for Lucas, in which he sees more flashbacks and hears the voices of Vaughn: "Too many lies, John" and Maya´s: "You´re a liar, John."

Harry finds Ruth, she´s alive. Dimitri, Beth and Alec find Maya lying dead on the side of the road.

The Chinese man is at the rendez-vous where a helicopter is ready for take-off. Lucas hands over the suitcase. A second Chinese man opens the Albany file with an usb-stick. The first man asks: "Mr. North, where is your friend?" Lucas: "She´s not coming."

Ruth thanks Harry and hopes he didn´t pay too high a price. Harry sighs.

The second Chinese man nodds. The helicopter takes off.

Tariq notifies the team that airtraffic reported an unidentified heli. Ruth doesn´t recognize Harry as the man she knows. She can´t believe she was worth it. All the others sacrified their lives, it should have been her turn. Dimitri reports to receive a live video stream of Lucas. Lucas calls in and tells he has put an explosive in a subway station. They have to find it, it needs every 3 minutes to reset. Lucas needs Harry to come and meet, otherwise the explosive will detonate. Harry asks for the Albany file, which is now with the Chinese. Ruth doesn´t want Harry to go. Dimitri suggest to go for a second option, to shadow him. Harry has 20 minutes.

While Harry drives his car, he speaks a voicemail message to his daughter and her brother.

Harry meets Lucas on top of a high building. Lucas holds a gun to Harry´s head. Harry: "Why here?" Lucas: "Someone I used to know lived here. Besides I want to be alone for this." Harry: "This, being my death?" Lucas blames Harry for giving a kill order to kill Maya.  Harry would have done it again. Lucas claims he loved her and did this all for her. Harry says that some of the worst things are done in the name of love. Lucas slaps him with the gun. Harry mentions the explosive. Lucas says it´s a fake and it´s brought Harry here on the roof. By handing over the Albany file to the Chinese, it will make Harry a traitor too. Harry reveals that that receipt didn´t work. That saddens Lucas, thinking Maya died for nothing. Harry informs after the Dakar bombing. "If you knew what you were doing, how could you do it?" Lucas: Vaughn gave me the chance to be someone. To do something!" Harry: "Wish you met me first." Lucas: "So do I." Harry offers to help Lucas, the Service still owes him. Lucas fears the prison, sketching Harry to sip whiskey and feeling sorry for himself. "This job at the Service is a machine: good people go in and get shoot up and get spat out. That´s how you make sense of it. The Service didn´t do that to me. I was.. bad before I went in." Lucas asks Harry to turn around and not to call him Lucas. Harry: "What should I call you? Are you John the murderer or Lucas the man that gave so many years, saved so many people, saved so many lives. Who are you?" Lucas: "I´m nothing." Harry calls his bluff to shoot him, but hears nothing. He hears a scream of a woman, turns around, looks over the edge of the roof, hears a car alarm in the street...

The remaining Spooks look sad: in the subway, on the Grid...

48 Hours later asks Harry if the Home Secretary has spoken to the Chinese. The Home Secretary has done such a thing, but it took them some hours to find out the file was worthless. However he proposed a partnership. What Harry´s fate concerns, there will be a full enquiry into Harry and not just to this sorry affair, but his whole career. "You´re the spy they want to kick back out fo the cold, I´m afraid. I´ll be there batting for you, but I don´t see this ending well. I start preparing for life after MI5. I´m truly sorry, goodnight."

Lucas/John: "I´ve killed people and I´ve saved people, I´m still in credit"

Question of the week:
Is this the end of Lucas North (refrase: John Bateman - as well)?

Heart frosted spy, just as cold as freezing winterstorms

Tease: determined Lucas, drives a delivery van (a Transporter, probably), his organisation skills
Nice: Lucas´ compassion with Ruth about plans of marrying Harry, Ruth into more action again
Remarkable: Lucas eighth´s room gets visited by Ruth and Maya
Edge of seat: Lucas/John´s demise
Good: Lucas ´just´ sedated Ruth
Bad: Tariq and Harry get a fist, a doppleganger of L/N gets deadly shot
Sad: when the situation became hopeless, Lucas/John is still determined in his belief to love Maya
Almost missed: Maya´s ego when they changed cars, as in: "What about me, for a change?"-nag, lacking this only adds to her self-affacing, caring nature, but that´s what got her killed
Interesting: on earlier occasions, didn´t Harry also gave fake files away, but this time he´s up for suspension?
Pension plan: Sir Harry Pearce needs a file scrub in series 10
Hope: don´t tell me it´s the end of Lucas North as we know him. I want a full report on this with no tracker. I´m afraid, because of the Dutch mail strikes, I won´t receive an answer until series 10, or worse, series 11. I will have to wait for what the Tazbeks have in store for me
Verdict: over the edge

Screencaps: RACentral, TFB last one is my own artwork which makes me sad although I loved the going rogue waterfall

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves

Just learned that it´s Dwarfleader Thorin and the 12 Dwarves. Found this little piece of information on a site, link here. This illustration by Allan Lee is remarkable, considering picturing a certain someone in that part. I think there must be a matching Gisborne picture somewhere, will have to check. :)


Thorin Oakenshield was the son of Thrain, who’s father Thror was King Under the Mountain. He had a sky blue hood, with a silver tassel to show authority. Thorin was the leader of the Company. Gandalf hired Bilbo to accompany them as a burglar. Thorin brought 12 dwarves, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Balin, Dwalin, Ori, Nori, Dori, Oin, Gloin, Fili, and Kili. They traveled to The Trollshaws, where they encountered three trolls, Bill, Burt, and Tom. Thorin jabbed a branch into Bert’s eye, but despite their efforts, they were taken prisoner. Gandalf appeared, and forced the trolls to argue until dawn, and they turned to stone. They found a cave, and inside was the trolls’ treasures. Thorin took up Orcrist, Goblin-cleaver as his sword. Later, when the party reached Rivendell, Elrond discovered was made by the elves of Gondolin.

From there they went to the Misty Mountains, were captured by goblins, when they escaped. They were again confronted by the goblins and their wargs, but were saved by the eagles.

Thorin and his company went to Beorn’s house, and then to Mirkwood. Gandalf left them, and the dwarves were captured by spiders. Thorin was captured by the elves. He was put in prison because he wouldn’t tell the king why the dwarves were in Mirkwood. Later, the other dwarves were captured by the elves, after becoming prisoners of the Spiders of Mirkwood. The only company member not captured was Bilbo, who came up with an idea to pack the dwarves in wine barrels and float them down the Forest River.

They arrived in Laketown, and Thorin pronounced himself King Under the Mountain. The Master gave them a house to stay in, and boats to aid them on their journey.

They came to the Lonely Mountain where they were trapped inside. Bilbo talked to the dragon, and used the Arkenstone in attempts to compromise with the Elven King and Bard, who killed Smaug.

A battle broke out, in which Fili and Kili were slain. Thorin was wounded, and later died with Bilbo by his side.


Had a red hood. After the adventure, he became Lord of Moria, but was killed by orcs. His tomb was found later by the Fellowship of the Ring.


Grey hood. Went with Thorin on the quest. Went to Moria with Balin, and was also killed by orcs.


Brown hood. Accompanied Thorin, and later went to Moria with Balin and Ori, also killed by orcs.


Went on quest with Thorin, date of death unknown


Yellow hood, see above


Pale green hood. In the quest, he fell asleep in Mirkwood, and when he awakened, he told of a dream with elves that were feasting. That got them captured by spiders. Remained at the Lonely Mountain. Gloin told in Rivendell that he became so fat, that he was unable to walk, and had to be lifted to the table by six dwarves.


Had a purple hood. Survived the Battle of Five Armies and remained at the mountain. Date of death unknown.


Described as having a blue beard, golden belt, and bright eyes with a dark green hood. Went with company to Lonely Mountain and joined Balin on an expedition to Moria.


Described as having a yellow beard, long nose, and a blue hood. Died at the Battle of Five Armies.


Blue hood. Died at Battle of Five Armies.


White hood. Father of Gimli, who went on the quest to destroy Sauron’s Ring of Power. Gloin survived battle, and met Frodo in Rivendell. Also attended the Council of Elrond.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Spooks Review 9.7: Spooned, Knifed And Forked

Harry lets Lucas meet old school Vaughn: usually good, but he recommends an extremely long spoon

In which Harry introduces Vaughn to Lucas, Ruth meets an unreliable source, Vaughn gets pressured, Lucas checks Malcolm´s mum medical history, Maya gets in Vaughn´s car, Vaughn gives Lucas/John some pictures, Lucas tells Harry his real name, Ruth is brave, Dimitri picks up a Frenchman, Maya can´t save Michael, Malcolm follows Harry´s protocols and Harry still believes in Lucas.

The story of the week is about a bombing on a British Ambassy in Dakar in 1995, 15 years ago. Harry and Lucas are in a car at the docklands where they meet someone for a rendezvous. The bombing was blamed on a nascent AQ-cell, but there was never any claim. Lucas shares that he was there a year before he signed up, to find himself, being a rally addict. At the rendezvous they meet Vaughn who has some intel about that bombing, for a price. Vaughn tells them it was done by British people. Harry tells Lucas he will have to go to the Home Secretary to beg for money. Lucas offers to dig for those files, but Harry wants him not to be involved and will task Beth.

Ruth talks to a, what Dimitri calls a, ´walk-in´ on the Grid, a council snooper who investigates illegal dog ownerships and has a interest in spying. When he followed a woman, she made a ´dead-drop´, which she left a little note in a newspaper, on it: two clues. Ruth has to send the man away. Dimitri finds out that the man applied for Spooks in three consecutive years, but was traumatised by his wife´s death, which labels him as ´an unreliable source´.

Vaughn gets inside his house and two Chinese men are there to threaten him to harm Maya, if he doesn´t give them the Albany file today.

Harry received a letter for Ruth in which the Greek family of her late husband George asks her permission to sell the house. Harry understands Ruth´s feelings for not wanting to marry him, because she might blame him for George, for not protecting the boy.

Ruth makes a call from a public cellphone in a park to a Greek woman.

Beth checks out the files what Lucas North was doing in Dakar 15 years ago, while Lucas checks Malcolm´s mum medical history.

Michael/Vaughn picks up reluctant Maya outside the hospital. Maya says she´s now with John. Once she is in the car, he aims a weapon at her.

Ruth is in the park and the council snooper encounters her. She has to be cross to get rid of him, which she feels bad about and tells Dimitri.

Vaughn calls Lucas/John at the Grid. Vaughn passes the cellphone to Maya who asks him to confirm that John is a spy. L/J doesn´t want her to get hurt. Vaughn says that if L/J hadn´t done what he was supposed to do, then he wouldn´t be in danger. Vaughn says he doesn´t want to hurt her, that it´s the Chinese he works for. Beth has a print-out of an old file of Lucas North, whose picture doesn´t resemble that of Lucas´s face. Beth follows Lucas outside who takes a cab.

Vaughn gets knifed by Lucas/John for lacking passion about their common past and Maya

Lucas/John finds Vaughn on a bench at a kindergarten playground. Vaughn says he´s been tracked and listened at by the Chinese. Vaughn shows L/J passionate pictures of Maya and John, while saying he still can´t get used to see these. L/J thinks Vaughn is good at manipulating people, but not at passion, and stabs Vaughn with a knife in the leg. Beth warns Harry through comms and gets in a face-to-face with L/J waving the weapons. Says that Harry wants to help Lucas like Harry helped her, that he saved others and that they believe in him. L/J wants Beth out of the way.

Ruth arrives at the home of the council snooper and finds a key behind the letterbox.

Maya is stuck with handcuffs at the floor in some industrial site as she sees Michael/Vaughn falling of the stairs, with a knife still in his leg. She, being a doctor, wants to help him, but he doesn´t trust her offer, as she may take advantage of the situation to escape.

Ruth finds no-one at the house, yet she gets sedated.

Beth and Lucas are in another safe house. Harry asks Beth to leave them alone. Harry confronts L/J that there were two Lucas North´s in Dakar, in 1995, and hands him a large picture of Lucas North. Harry mentions the bombing happened on his watch. L/J says his name isn´t Lucas North, but John Bateman. Harry thinks he thought he had his share of betrayal, but this does it all. Lucas tells about his morally fluid past and that he had to run well paid errands for Vaughn, who was a mercenary. So there was a package for the British Ambassy. Vaughn was being set up. Harry thinks it suited L/J to believe Vaughn. And there was Lucas North, wanting to get in the Service and had passed the first checks. L/J only needed to borrow his passport, but he refused. So Vaughn had to kill him. Harry gives Lucas his weapon back saying: betrayal is a cancer, let it eat your soul, not mine.

Dimitri picks up a French assassin, and calls Harry that he thinks Ruth is in danger, as she crashed the party. Ruth´s phone rings and that alerts the Frenchman in the room. She fights and manages to get his weapon. The council snooper shoots first, Ruth second. Harry and CO19 take over.

Lucas frees Maya and tells her to wait outside. She is concerned about Michael/Vaughn´s health. Vaughn is onto L/J. Telling them it was Vaughn who killed Lucas, while it was John all along, knowing full well the implications! (see quote)

Ruth and council snooper are at the hospital. Ruth is released, but the man feels very emotional about killing someone. Ruth has some ethical words for Harry.

Malcolm visits Harry and said he had a visit by Lucas about a file, which Harry knows as the Albany file.

Harry gets a call from Lucas, pretends it´s all normal, but Lucas doesn´t trust Harry. Maya sits in the car. Harry insists that Lucas is foolish, but invaluable to him. Lucas states that Lucas North is dead!

You're a killer who fell asleep. Dreamed he was a hero.
Now it's time to wake up and discover the truth.
The dream is over. And the killer is awake.

Question of the week:
How long are you allowed to mourn about a dead person?
Michael just died. It´s got to be forever with John who just got forked not to be Lucas anymore...

Tease: Vaughn breaks out in a sweat, erm, no, finally, it´s the kitchentable teaser
Anti-climax: picture of kitchentable teaser
Remarkable: Vaughn shakes hands with John and with Lucas: twice in total
Crush/crasher: Vaughn is an ambiguous opportunist; IG in zombie slasher: pass!
Nice: Ruth has more screentime this episode
Flashbacks: croupier work, meeting Vaughn, the real Lucas North, a bomb, a bad memory
Interesting: the baddier L/J became, the more I buckled up for this rollercoaster! Lucas the hero was adoring, but now there is a bad past, yes! I expect this to be nicely reprised by his next role as an ´convincingly evil spy´ in the Captain America movie
Good: Lucas comes clean
Bad: John is bad, bad, bad!
Replay: long scene with Harry and Lucas/John, who´s explanations got me reminding Patrick Stewart´s passionate monologues in Star Trek: The Next Generation. As in: good!
Prop: pictures
Hope: Maya can forgive John
Verdict: no heroics

Screencaps: RAcentral

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Spooks Review 9.6: Now We´re Acquainted

Vaughn: Will you stop torturing yourself? There isn´t a real choice here. Stop pretending that there is.

In which Ruth distracts Harry, Lucas picks up a package or two, Malcolm lives with his mum, Tariq gets a fit, John gets overheard, Dimitri puzzles a bomb, Harry has a crick in the neck, Vaughn gets a fake file and John gets a glimpse of Maya. 

This week the Spooks are tapped by phone, e-mail etc. and locked inside the Grid. That´s because there was a simple discrepancy between the different battlefield networks for a military operation. The Americans are concerned, because the British portal was out of date. They now want to install a cybershell terminal for which their cryptographer will bring the access codes. If possible, they want to be on the Grid as well. Beecher warns Harry that the more allies we include, the more avenues for attack there are. Harry has to allow some men installing it.

Tariq throws a laptop on the ground. Ruth follows him into the toilets. Tariq claims the Grid has been compromised, bugged. Someone is watching the Spooks. Tariq thinks they´re after the archives. There´s no way to freely communicate through phones, security cameras, webcams, security coms or e-mail. Of course they´re being watched.

Harry sits with the Home Secretary and Beecher. Harry needs his core Grid team. Ruth enters the meeting room with news. Ruth has to talk to Harry about ´private matters´ and holds his hand.

Lucas calls Harry that he´s stuck in traffic. Meanwhile he has to chat with Vaughn about Maya and his past for which he loads a weapon. The Albany file turns out to be a painting which leads to a location of the actual file. Vaughn´s employers need that file by two today.

Harry calls everybody on the Grid for a Blue One Emergency. If hackers get in the system by stealing codes of the Americans and English before the cybershell is installed, they will be in there too by testing access codes. Harry doesn´t want the cryptographer or those codes on the Grid. Dimitri and Beth take care of a decoy in some safe house and Dimitri takes pictures of the men who follow them.

Lucas has to pick up that cybergrapher who tells him he breathes funny. Lucas/John receives a text message by Vaughn. Says they are followed by a blue van and switches cars. Lucas calls Harry that he has to find a new route home. Cryptographer girl thinks he should have hobbies, but she outsells him by her tattoos i.e. her reason why she went to prison. Genius Girl made a lucrative deal and did reduced time. You only get a second chance once.

Out of sight of the hackers, Beth checks the names on a mugshot player which Tariq had uploaded before. Sees that Russian and Chinese hackers are working together. The system is shut down, so the Spooks gain two minutes time. But Lucas has to be contacted.

Lucas has to check something at a safe house and leaves the worried cryptographer in the car. She sneaks out and overhears the talk between Malcolm and Lucas/John. L/J thinks Harry was involved in a 1979 East German operation. Malcolm asks who was framing Harry, but L/J won´t answer that question. What can I do to help?, asks Malcolm. He digs a box out of the garden and gives it´s content to  L/J. Back to the car, L/J finds the cryptographer gone, but through her necklace he finds her not far away and brings her to the car. L/J is called by Harry that he can´t go back to the Grid. Genius Girl gets scared and doesn´t want to be brought to the new rendezvous. L/J calls Harry who gives a kill order, but L/J doesn´t quite trust this and asks for more codes, however he throws Genius Girl in the boot of the car. L/J drives to a desolate construction site where they´re shot at and she is still in the boot! L/J calls Harry again to test him. L/J drags her out while she has a neckwound! Let´s say she didn´t make it to hospital alive.

The Spooks find a way to get out of the Grid and fetch the hackers.

L/J returns to Maya´s home and gets a call from Vaughn that the Albany file is a fake. Vaughn threats John to tell Maya who John really is.

Ruth has put a bug on Lucas´s keyboard and tells Harry she thinks Lucas cannot be trusted.

At night, L/J gets back to Malcolm´s house and kicks the door in. All furniture has been removed!

CIA Beecher: You have an officer stand-by to escort it?
Harry: My best.

American security guy: Your British Security Grid escort is here!
Daniella Ortiz: Hey James Bond!

Question of the week.
What´s your favorite opera?

Genius Girl can joke about his enigmatic looks, but her swansong opens Bluebeard´s eighth chamber.

There IS an opera by Béla Bartók, called Bluebeard's Castle.

Too bad L/J goes off music, he just stopped hearing it.

Tease: desperate Lucas/John
Nice: Genius Girl is funny by her appearance and upfront language; good to see Malcolm again!
Good: Lucas/John didn´t want to follow a kill order from ´Harry´
Bad: Lucas/John is lacking to take care of the cryptographer
Scary: Lucas/John is a bit too violent for my taste
Replay: who´s James Bond, Malcolm? John!
Remarkable: ´Hobbit country´ as in ´Dickens country´ in 8.4
Don´t get: all of Vaughn´s logic, Tariq´s geek speak
Lesson: don´t call him Lucas or don´t mention the Albany file or he treats you badly
Health: don´t get tossed around if you have a neckwound
Location: desolate building site reminds me of Greek tragedy with all these columns, and the facades of those building are held up by frail frames just as the last virtues of Lucas´s mask are done as such
Prop: cellphones
Gadget: trickery of voice responses
Hope: Lucas/John is too good or too paranoid
Verdict: spy paranoia

Screencaps: RAcentral

Friday, November 5, 2010

Spooks Review 9.5: Earning Stripes In The Trenches

Section Chief Lucas/John finds hardworking Tariq too nosy

In which Beth and Dimitri have to babysit, Lucas sweeps a flat, Beth speaks Spanish, Lucas receives red stripes, Tariq gets a jumb down his throat from itchy Lucas, Harry quotes Kierkegaard, Beth gets tight up, Dimitri loses his cheer and Lucas shakes hands with Maya´s friend Michael.
This week no picture of Harry and Lucas/John, as my supervisor didn´t approve that picture. Besides Tariq deserves a picture, as Lucas is a tad harsh on him. In other words, what is the use of this blog if I post the same pics as anyone else?

Yesterday I had 170 pageviews! That is huge, considering the fact I still think I have a humble blog. On normal days it´s about up to 20-50. If someone could tell me what the occasion was? It wasn´t about The Hobbit-post. It must be my best read post this week and all times: ´Lucas North, pretending to be dating´. Do you love it that much?, asks this bad girl with a smirk.
The story of the week is about off-the-record peacetalks between representatives of two Middle East countries and the USA. The President of the USA, ´Lighthouse´, will arrive in 18 hours and is, according tot the Home Secretary, desperate to make these talks happen. Operation Horizon is a go. Two of the representatives are related, as in: father and daughter. Due to a traumatic experience in the past, the Spooks find out she has some issues with her dad.

Lucas has to climb through a window to sweep a flat for a laptop. Outside, he meets a suspect who forces him to kiss the ground. At the Grid, Tariq informs after Lucas´s stripes, which has itchy Lucas jumping down Tariq´s throat. Tariq doesn´t trust the weight of the laptop. Lucas does some mechanical trickery to find out what´s inside.

The peacetalks tend to be interrupted by someone who says he is not the one the Spooks look for. The quest for this other person is not that easy, as Beth finds out. Dimitri proves his knowledge of armor, but can´t prevent events from happening. Lucas has to climb the roof again. Harry aks if Lucas still has a peptalk in him.

Lucas/John meets Maya´s friend, as Lucas/John speaks Maya at the door of her house, unannounced.

Harry: The greatest hazard of all - losing one´s self can occur very quietly in the world.
Almost as if it were nothing at all.
Kierkegaard wrote that in The Sickness Unto Death.
Lucas/John: I´ve never read it.

Question of the week:
Do you want some psychological advice of incredible debth and subtlety?

Lucas/John, for all your break-ins and break-ups

Tease: grumpy Lucas/John
Scary: throat-gripping moment in the trenches
Nice: panorama of London, Vaughn´s smile
Replay: checking if no actors were hurt during belt-acrobatics
Prop: cupboard
Gadget: something Dimitri can explain
Hope: Michael doesn´t take it too hard on Maya
Verdict: a skin-full of red stripes

Screencaps: RACentral

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spooks Review 9.4: No Batteries Included

Ruth is sitting closer to Harry than Lucas, or am I seeing ghosts erm, spooks?

In which Lucas receives a photo, Beth calls herself Clare and has to follow her instincts, Lucas get frustrated after a call and needs an identity, a triple spy wants to go back to his country, Lucas spends a night in a cell, Vaughn gets a file, Harry gets a trade, Dimitri has to diffuse a bomb and some Chinese want Lucas/John toasted.
Uploading pictures on this blog is an extremely frustrating task at the moment. Besides that, there is a delay and I better post the reviews and add pictures later.

This week the story is about technical spionage by the Chinese. Harry notifies everyone at the Grid of a code red Border Agency report. A mouthfull of saying that three Chinese, belonging to an underground agressive unit, entered the UK. Their cover identities are due in 3 days, so whatever they want, they want it fast. Now there is this man at the Chinese Ambassy who the Spooks could use to mingle with. A task Beth takes on her, using her female charm again. The Home Secretary urges Harry to be cautious, the relationship with the Chinese remains delicate.

While the team, Beth, Dimitri and Lucas are trying to get some information from the asset, Lucas receives a frustrating call from Vaughn who asks for the Albany file. Lucas has to ask for an identity code and aims for drastic actions. Eventually he meets Vaughn who awaits him at some pub to receive an usb-stick.

At some point all that massaging of the asset doesn´t really help. Lucas and Dimitri opt for the burglar act and break in the Chinese Ambassy. Lucas has himself caught by the police to spend a night in a cell, so that Dimitri can escape. The asset has a flaw which is used and that and a rescue of Amphitrite causes some friction for Harry with the Chinese Section Chief. That was worth it for Harry, who had to battle with the Home Secretary about a trade between energy and protecting knowledgeworkers who turned British. The asset turns surprisingly, which causes confusion for Beth.

Meanwhile, some minor trust issues between Maya and John emerge.

As Lucas´s cellphone is traced by the Grid, Ruth suspects something, but disgards it for now as a glitch.

Harry: So we should simply roll over for the bigger dog?
Home Secretary: If you roll over, you sometimes get your tummy tickled.
Question of the week:
Will you please drop the innocent act now?
The validation date of his MI5-pass maybe at stake

Tease: something muscular with tats
Scary: Lucas turning bad; a bomb, a shoot
Nice: Vaughn is still fragile, good or bad, hard to tell
Replay: something about ´a little friend´ (there´s the Gisborne quote , scroll to People of Locksley or that fanfiction on my blog)
Prop: white mug! LOL! (again see my fanfiction)
Surprise: some Chinese are in the country for Lucas/John
Hope: Maya puts her steady relationship on hold
Verdict: don´t write the prospects

Screencaps: RichardArmitageCentral

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Hobbit: Exciting And Dynamic Casting

One of many exciting and dynamic moments of RA as Sir Guy of Gisborne
in the tv-series Robin Hood (2006)

Geez, I turn my back on internet for a couple of days to go to Narnia and there is news about some tall, dark "hot tottie" (excuse my language) joining the cast of The Hobbit as a Dwarf fighting a dragon! Hopefully he does the full works: with braids in beard :).

Strangely I was thinking about dragons last week. Some months back I watched the movie Eragon (not Aragorn) on tv. It was about a gentle dragon. By chance I managed to get a copy of this booklet The Making Of Eragon by Mark Cotta Vaz. It has a great read how to act opposite an imaginative dragon.
Another example is the mini-series The Color of Magic, which has David Jason and a dragon and is at times hilariously funny! Maybe I write a separate post on dragons in movies/tv-series someday.

But no matter who would be appearing in The Hobbit, I would still buy my ticket for the cinema, as I have seen the three movies of Lord Of The Rings on the big screen and later on borrowed DVD´s. Went with someone who was proud to have read these books, while I had to learn the story as it was presented, with all these visually stunning scenes.

To my surprise, I was really moved by Smeagol/Gollum !! After seeing the DVD extra´s, I learned that Andy Serkis was initially on board just to mimic Gollum´s moves for computer graphics and was later on recognized and properly acknowledged for his acting talent. I assume that was done by it´s director, Peter Jackson.

Now recently Peter Jackson said on casting RA for The Hobbit: “Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle-earth is in such good hands.” (1) If you need proof, take a look at RA´s showreel for example.

“Thorin Oakenshield is a tough, heroic character, and he certainly should give Leggie and Aragorn a run for their money in the heartthrob stakes — despite being four feet tall,” says Jackson, who also announced seven lesser-known English, Irish, and Kiwi actors in the roles of other dwarves. “In Middle-earth, dwarves are a noble race and have a culture and physical appearance which sets them apart from humans. It’s fun to develop these different cultures for the movie, and we are doing much more with dwarves this time around than we did with Gimli in Lord of the Rings. Our company of thirteen dwarves in The Hobbit lets us explore many different personalities — and costume and make-up designs will support the type of character each actor plays. Richard is a powerful actor with a wide range, and we’re very excited to be handing Thorn over to him. In this partnership, we need Richard to give us his depth, range, and emotion as an actor — and we’ll make him look like a dwarf!” (2) A heartthrob Dwarf, noted, so no beard?

“We’re auditioning for every role,” Jackson said in an interview, adding he is a big believer in casting a wide net to better match actors with the roles. “What we’ve done over the years is discover a lot of interesting actors, like Orlando Bloom (in ‘Rings’), Kate Winslet (in ‘Heavenly Creatures’), Saoirse Ronan (in ‘The Lovely Bones’). So if you start looking and auditioning seriously, it’s amazing what incredible talent you’ll find out there.” (1) See link of clip in which he said that TH or LOTR are not star-driven films, Tolkien is the star: finding the right people who can do a Hobbit or a Dwarf.

Auditions often involve multiple sessions, readings or interviews and for films of this size the net would likely be cast wide causing the process to be a lengthy one. Likely cast members are called back to read with other actors to test for chemistry and rapport, extending the process for weeks or even months. (1)

(1) Quotes found on TheOneRing.net
(2) Quote found on EW.com

Would it look like this? Too many beards, if you ask me

Meet the demands

[THORIN OAKENSHIELD] Heir to the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, Thorin Oakenshield was forced to lead his people far away from their homelands into exile in the Blue Mountains. Powerfully built and a legendary fighter, Thorin has led a tough and dangerous life and it shows on his face. He is sharp eyed and sharp tongued, proud in his bearing and un-trusting of those he does not know. But Thorin is also capable of intense loyalty, immense courage and surprising gentleness and humour. Thorin will be required to wear a wig and beard and some minor prosthetics make-up, like a nose or forehead, is possible. LEAD. AGE: EARLY 40’S to MID 50’S. ACCENT – STANDARD R.P. OR SLIGHTLY ACCENTED REGIONAL ENGLISH ACCENT.

What they were looking for...read more here.

Meet the cast

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/ The Hobbit: part 1 (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1170358/ The Hobbit: part 2 (2013)
http://www.theonering.net/torwp/the-hobbit/cast/ latest

Meet the lobbyists

http://mulubinba.typepad.com/an_ra_viewers_perspective/2010/10/well-i-may-have-got-the-role-a-bit-wrong-but-.html  OK, one of them

**Find more links on my blog in the sidebar: Hobbit Country**

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spooks Review 9.3: Chemistry When Heated

Harry and Lucas teaming: "We have a plan"

In which Lucas is in an undercover operation, the Home Secretary is not interested in Harry´s old fashioned beliefs, Harry snarls at Ruth, Harry talks about sunblocks with the Russian ambassador, Maya gets a call from Lucas, Ruth is a Russian expert and persuades Harry to have a strategy, Harry quarrels with the Home Secretary, Beth has to open a rucksack, Harry practises selfreflection and Maya decides to be kissed by John.
Sorry about the delay in posting. Had a writersblock caused by too many brainwaves!

Reason one: I blame myself for thinking I could read some Spooks reviews after a couple of episodes. Not! The opinions and theories now cross my mind. Further, eh, I blame Servetus for her thumbs fetish, blame Tw****r @Lucas_North for weekly mentioning the word ´kitchen table´ which is nowhere in sight. Also I am picturing RA in a Hitchcock film after some Captain America walkthroughs. And why do I suddenly have a lot of hits this week for my top post ´Lucas North, pretending to be dating´? Bzzzzzzzz.

Had to clean up my files after seeing this episode. Seeing your life in boxes. So far I thrown out three. (Lives!) OK, on with the show!
Was episode 9.2 packed with the number of screenshots which appear in a total of 8 episodes, it was described by me as a walk in the park. Episode 9.3 was filled with more elderly-proof shots, thus the feel of the show I can only describe as end-of-the-week workdays. However the transition between these two episodes was for this viewer that impressive, that only on second and third viewing the story emerged.

The story of this week resolves around a chemical that when heated vaporises and leaves no scent. We know it´s not lavender perfume then. It causes a contamination. Of course there´s no antidote. Through motives for a country, some gang want to use it. The chemical might serve as a purpose for future cancer treatment. Which is found out after the discovery that not all samples were destroyed in the ´60´s. One gangmember comes to UK soil to find it as there is one sample of it stored known to a doctor at a London university and a former colleague doctor who is part of that gang. 

One FSB officer to one formerly-captured-by-FSB, British officer:
"Let´s team up for dinner at Claridge's"

Basically it then becomes a problem for the British Spooks. That´s all fine, had it not been that the particular gang is monitored by the Russians and Harry and his team have to cooperate with the FSB and allow them on the Grid. Harry is going to protest against it, but the Home Secretary is impatient with his old fashioned beliefs and throws in front of his feet the mention that if Harry is tired of doing his job, he only have to say so. So Harry has to allow one FSB officer on the Grid and send Lucas for an undercover operation to that specific country. The Russian agent doesn´t follow the rules on more than one occation. Who does? Counted at least three distractions/decoys.

"OMG! The FSB guy smokes in the bathroom!" ;)

Adorable baddie/ghost from the past Vaughn catches Lucas/John on the pavement (Friday afternoon?). He wants L/J to retrieve the Albany file from the MI5 archives. Vaughn promises he would disappear and get out, as he was threatened: "They want me dead". As Lucas/John refuses, Vaughn asks him if Harry knows who L/J is. If not, he suggests he wants to speak to Harry. Challenged, Vaughn has no energy to call his own bluff. Which leaves L/J triumphantly.

 "Tell him now.... Uh? No? Thought not!"

Maya teams up after work (Friday afternoon!) with Lucas after he called and texted her his address earlier to meet him at his bachelor´s house ("Risky", as Oleg Darshavin, his former interrogator in ep. 8.4 would have said). The MI5 files give Lucas some information on Maya and in combination of what he maybe knows about her and what WE viewers don´t know, she is welcome to his door. But she has demands: "You lie to me and I swear you will never see me again". (..) "Why did you believe me you were dead?" Talking about an excuse to end a relationship... The reason Lucas/John gives isn´t exactly great to have on one´s CV: "Allright, I went to prison for eight years, is that good enough?".

Maya: "I don´t know you anymore"
L/J: "Yeah, you do".
Maya: "Now I´ve forgotten".
L/J: "Close your eyes".
I guess we have too...

"Close your eyes" (find MP3 files on RANet) (yeah, sorry about that)

Question of the week:
Would you sunblock your vision when an ex asks you to heat your chemistry for him?

Tease: romantic kiss at the end
Scary: the shooting of all members of that group, pictures of nasty symptoms
Lesson: working at university can be very hazardous
Yep: Lucas wears gloves
Nice: long shot/scene with Harry and the Russian ambassador
Replay: Vaughn and Lucas/John status shift
Crush: unless Vaughn proves to be a nasty bastard, I develop a crush for Vaughn
Health: running is good for you
Hopes: Vaughn and Lucas get on? Like this duet of two famous English lads (that´s so tongue in cheek)
Verdict: chemistry when heated

Screencaps: RichardArmitageCentral, TFB