05 October 2015

Spooks 3.8: Celebrity - Micro-Review


The Rockstar episode – where the team have to investigate the kidnapping of a baby. They justify this fairly well by saying it’s about politics and an upcoming election, but it’s still nowhere near typical Spooks. The main couple Riff (groan) and B are obnoxious and famous, whilst practically every cliché is used – new albums, modelling career, liposuction, tons of cocaine use and vodka and smoking and stuff, the suicide pact at the end, the bad guy is the band manager... you get the picture. Lovely house though.

Still sort of gripping though. There are a few twists, even though it was obvious that the wife was behind it – though there’s the dropping off the money, the revelation the baby’s dead, etc. Fiona goes undercover and in danger – she’s quite a feministy character, and in this she takes cocaine (for real) and annoys her husband Adam (who sort of contrast with the famous ones). But there’s also some humour, mostly dark, but also silly running gags with Malcolm using proper call signs, and nobody knowing before entering Harry’s office.

There’s also some ministerial business, with a sex scandal involving an MP and a dead body in a park. But instead of telling all, Oliver Mace (yay, he’s in this one) gets him to ‘bury the bad news’ and only announces it on the news about their suicide pact – and telling the press it’s to spend more time with his family!

It’s this trashy, backstabbing politicalness that this episode is full of – with the press outside and media bosses having links with Downing Street... MI5 aren’t in control very much for this – and have no influence on the final (shocking) outcome either. It’s quite a downbeat ending. And the tone of the episode is dated – only the next year would Doctor Who come onto the scene, and this feels more in that world of Slitheen and Autons and Rose Tyler, with all its veiled celebrity references.

Standout Moment: Hard this one – possibly the ending with lots of suicidey stunts. Nice ploy with tracking devices being disabled by magnets earlier too.
Guest Star Watch: Gollum and character actor Andy Serkis plays the rock star. Adrian Lukis, who I’m sure has been in something else recently (or the name has), plays John Sylvester the MP. Arabella Weir played the trashy magazine editor (ha, of course it was!), who’s recently been in Doctor Who. Rebecca Palmet played B and was briefly but memorably in MI High, but still.
Hellos and Goodbyes: Oliver Mace pops up again, apparently as his last appearance before a cameo in Series 5.
Death Count: Two at the end in the ‘suicide pact’ (one stabbed but alive), plus a dead body in the park, so two and a half? Baby Alfie isn’t seen.

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