After ten years of entertaining us the British television program Spooks, known here as MI-5, will be ending its run, producer, Kudos, announced today. According to the website guardian.co.uk the show is being pulled by its producers - not by the BBC - while it is still very much on a high note in popularity and excitement. Its 10th and now last season will air in England this fall. Heaven knows how long I'll have to wait for that last season to come to me in America, but, I will be waiting . . . with bated breath, because Spooks is just that kind of a show.
Spooks is a program that infects the mind and the spirit and does not leave the viewer be. I will miss the breathless tension and intensity when it is all over, but am at least thankful to know I will have endless hours of continuing amusement available to me by re-watching the episodes already aired.
It is the right decision. Almost all of the best characters that have come into focus have now left the series (think: Lucas, Ros, Jo, Adam, Tom) and what is left, and what has been simmering on the back burner for several seasons now, is Harry and Ruth. Their sweet and tentative relationship, so beautifully portrayed by Peter Firth and Nicola Walker, is reaching a peak and has nowhere else to go other than to resolve itself. I therefore read the conclusion of the series as absolute proof that, one way or another, Harry and Ruth will be moving forward -- whether that is together, or apart, or dead. Executive producer Jane Featherstone has suggested as much in her interview with the Guardian -- giving the definite impression that she feels that their storyline requires an ending now.
I'm glad she thinks so, because I've noticed a problem with long running TV shows...the inability to reach the kind of dramatic climax and resolution for ongoing characters (of the type that movie characters enjoy). While each episode of a TV show may bring plot resolution in the length of an hour, ongoing characters are often forced to live in a limbo state. Especially when ratings gold is hit with "will they, won't they" romances. It is wonderful that Kudos is attuned enough to attend to that situation.
Harry and Ruth should move on and they should be together. They should just do it and then get off screen quick. I hope with fervent hope that the writers give me (and the million or so other people that really care about Harry and Ruth) that resolution before they conclude this excellent program forever.
The end to a show like Spooks that has held our collective hearts in its hands for a very long time is a sad thing, but good thing. Kind of like raising a child. You know that if you've done your job right, they grow up well adjusted and then leave you. It IS sad, but is the right thing for them to do.
A few of my other recent posts on Spooks:
What Does Spooks Have in Common with Pride and Prejudice?
Lucas North, The Character that Pamela Ewing Dreamed
Harry and Ruth: One of the Best Couples of All Time
Lets Get Real: Ros Myers is Amazing