Saturday, 26 May 2012

All Spooked Out

A few years ago Mr. Click and I got it into our heads that we wanted to watch Spooks. Understanding it was one of those TV series that would probably be best having seen it from the very beginning. We got the first three series quite quickly and started watching...
And then kind of ran out of steam. At the time we had Sky TV as well as a routine where we'd watch one TV series on DVD one evening, another one another evening and so on. This was a good idea in practice, it was the kind of thing we did when we were going out, but it wasn't particularly practical later on when we had drama group things on almost every evening.

But having watched all of Downton Abbey on DVD and Waking The Dead, we decided that it was time to give Spooks another go. And this time we managed it, albeit with a couple of sizeable gaps in our viewing schedule; at Christmas we took a break for our Christmas film marathon, and then we had a little break waiting until we had a chance to get series 10 on DVD.

It's weird to think that we've watched the whole series now, the bonus of it having completely finished shortly after we decided to watch it all from the beginning was that we knew there wouldn't be any new episodes coming out; we wouldn't constantly be playing catch-up. The downside is that it was very, very easy to get spoiled for upcoming storylines. The number of times I looked up a series online to check which episode we were up to and saw some comment about something that was still to come, or spoke to someone at work who accidentally let slip that someone was going to die later in that series!

For the most part, I enjoyed the earlier series most of all. It was something sort of new and original and I liked the three original characters, I was a little worried when I realised that they were all being replaced that the dynamic of the show would change. But it didn't really and I came to like the new characters as they were introduced, we learned more about them, and then I felt annoyed when they were inevitably killed off.

I suppose that's one way in which Spooks was pretty unique, they really didn't care about killing off their characters. I'm used to series like E.R. where people get on trains and then come back six series later, or Silent Witness where someone is horribly murdered only to find out later that it wasn't who you thought it was. I'm not used to getting attached to characters and then having them disappear completely; at least when someone just leaves a series you can speculate on what might happen if they come back, rather than having to completely rewrite the universe to bring them back because they've been killed off!

I kind of held off purchasing series 10 on DVD, mainly because it was SO expensive. At the time when I realised we were getting close I was considering buying both nine and ten at the same time (as I had done with a couple of earlier series) but having just finished on BBC it was coming in at somewhere around the £25 mark. When you compare that to Game of Thrones which had just come out at the same time, on blu-ray, a ten episode series with numerous commentaries and special features you were only looking at £10 more. The final series of Spooks is six episodes long and only has the bare minimum of special features.

I finally caved in and bought it when around £10 had been shaved off the price because I realised that if I didn't buy it then, we'd move on to watching something else and it would be all too easy to forget to pick it back up again later. By the time we got to watch it, I'd lost track of how many episodes there were in total and so I was very surprised when I realised we were on to the last episode.

We don't normally watch TV series at the weekend... we did with Downton Abbey because we got really into it and marathoned it because we couldn't wait until the next day to watch the next episode. But generally TV series are an evening thing, while we're having our tea. Knowing we only had one more episode to watch though, we decided to go for it and watch it. I won't spoil it for anyone who, like us is a little behind the times, but you might want to have a hanky to hand.
So what're we on to next?

Well about a year ago we got some belated wedding gift money which we put towards Beauty and the Beast on blu-ray (as you do) and Tales of the Unexpected on DVD. I'd read the book as part of a Short Story Book Tree and then spotted the series in HMV. Mr. Click remembered the series and as the book appealled to me, we decided to get the series as well.

We've watched a few episodes a while back, but again, other things (like life) got in the way but now we're ready to begin again. I'm thinking it shouldn't take too long to get through them all. It's a nice convenient half hour long programme so we might be able to squeeze two in (or if we're short on time, just the one). Then there's All Creatures Great And Small, a DVD series Mr. Click got for me for Christmas a couple of years ago and which, once again, we'd gotten about halfway through before having to grind to a halt.

Looking forward we've also got Band of Brothers on blu-ray, which we bought when we got married with some Amazon vouchers and I'm determined to get the rest of E.R. on DVD so we can watch all of that as well (we've started watching it together at least twice).

When we moved in we said that we'd maybe get Sky at some point in the future (Freeview doesn't work particularly well where we live), but that we'd get caught up on some of the series we had on DVD first... perhaps see about getting Sky in once we've been here a year... Well, it's almost been a year and now we're saying, perhaps see about getting Sky next year, maybe once we've finished getting caught up on these TV series we have on DVD...

Of course, I'm planning on ordering Game of Thrones on blu-ray at some point...


  1. Aww I loved Spooks....BUT only S1 and 2 really. Once Tom left, swiftly followed by Zoe (Keeley Hawes, love love love) and then Danny I really lost interest-not helped by my complete aversion to Rupert Penry Jones and a lot of dull characters taking over.
    I do love a good DVD marathon. Me and my Dad have avidly watching The Wire since the start of winter and we're on the last season now :( Going to miss it when we finish. Genuinely brilliant TV.
    Game Of Thrones is good!

  2. I think it was at its best during the original series. I wasn't overly enthusiastic about the move towards an over-arching storyline running through the whole series because I preferred the formulaic single case episodes, not having them all tie into something bigger.

    The Wire is one I've never watched. I saw it advertised on (I think) FX, but never actually got around to watching it.

    Love Game of Thrones. I've seen every episode bar the last one of the first series. John's promised me the books as a reward for finishing my course so I'm wanting to have read at least the first two before getting the blu-rays. :-)


Let me know what you think. :-)