Just a little over six weeks ago, my better half and I were looking forward to the final series of Spooks.
Before we watched the first episode we lamented the end of an excellent series. Okay, so it was telly-land, not real life, but it had action, suspense and intrigue. It was a high-quality production.
We imagined Spooks fans writing in over the next several weeks to Radio Times campaigning for another series, just as they are doing for the retention of BBC4. Initially, that happened. Then the letters dwindled away.
This is probably because the final series was a soporific. Whether by accident or design, it was storyboarded, written or directed in such a way that watching each of the six episodes was akin to swallowing cod liver oil. Tiresome and unenjoyable but, somehow, necessary.
I dozed off during three different episodes, my better half once or twice. I can’t say for sure — I might have been sleeping at the time.
‘This is straight out of the Cyril Frankel playbook,’ one of us would say.
However, the last series of Spooks had a few other issues. One was the drawn-out human interest factor. Harry and Ruth. Harry and Elena. Combine that with the Cyril Frankel pace of the thing and, frankly, who cared anymore?
‘Ruth looks like a lefty,’ one of us would say to break the boredom.
‘Typical Grauniad reader,’ the other would nod.
Then there were the omnipresent Apple Macs. Really? In a Government agency? I don’t think so. Read IT industry articles about the public sector; they use Microsoft.
Finally, we saw the disappearance of the middle aged — despite the final shot of Harry at the end — in favour of the three young pups: the brunette, Dimitri and the wisecracking blond chappie. I hope that’s a piece of fiction, too, because if our intelligence services depend on these types running operations, I do wonder about the future of our country.