Friday, July 25, 2008

MI-5: Rest in Peace

How much do I hate BBC America? A lot right now. Apparently, they've decided not to show the rest of season 4 of MI-5. Why, because of ratings. Hello? Do you know how many people actually have BBC America? Not that many. And some of us actually want to watch shows other than Top Gear, or How Clean is My House? This channel is looking a lot like every other channel, with more reality series than fiction. Wasn't the whole point of the channel to bring America the best of British TV? So seriously, you're telling me that Cash in the Attic is the best of British TV? Or Not Going Out?

Why not give us Holby City? Or some of the other crime dramas that they show in the UK? Heck, the BBC has something like 4 channels now, plus they also were showing stuff made by other channels on BBC America like Footballers Wives (god that show was a hoot!). Why not show us Mistresses? Or more Bad Girls? The BBC did a whole series of shows about the 18th Century through the Edwardian Era? Why not show some of that, particularly the Marie Lloyd movie since Richard Armitage is in it, and they must have realized that RA has a sizeable American audience because of North & South and Robin Hood.

Now that Richard Armitage is joining Series 7, perhaps BBC America will rethink their decision about showing the rest of Season 4 and then Season 5. I know I plan on doing a great deal of complaining about it. Think about it, they just have Richard Armitage night, where they show MI-5, Robin Hood and then something else he's been in.

Thank god for DVDs! One of the best things about watching MI-5 on DVD is that you are getting the whole episode as it was shown on the BBC. On both BBC America and A&E, they cut 15 minutes out of each episode to shoehorn in the commercials. Each episode runs almost a full 60 minutes. The extras sort of suck on the DVD's, I'm not quite sure the Brits really know what they are doing when it comes to that kind of stuff.

So now I'm waiting for series 6 to come out on DVD in October in the UK (and presumably soon after here in the US). I am willing to admit that not all the episodes are gems. Season 4 was up and down but Season 5 turned out to be really good apart from losing one of my favorite characters, Ruth Evershed, played by Nicola Walker (that's her up on the left). Ruth wasn't out in the field like Adam Carter or the rest of the team. She mainly did the research in the office, and she was surprisingly good at it. What I loved was her enthusiasm for the job, even as it kept her from having a normal life. In fact, I got the feeling that she used it as an excuse not to have a normal life.

There was a rather poignant episode, where Ruth was listening to the voice of someone they were surveilling and she managed to contrive a meeting with him. Later on they met up at some group that got together to sing choral music. They had a great evening talking but nothing came of it. It was just so sad and reminded me a little too much of my social life. Ruth was attractive, but lacked confidence outside of work. I'm sure a great number of us can identify with that.

Anywhoo, Ruth and Harry Pearce (played by the wonderful not related to Colin, Peter Firth) were attracted to each other, although initially it seemed one sided. But they just never did anything about it, apart from one date that was ruined when another staff member teased Ruth about it. She couldn't take the idea of people talking about her private life in the office, so she told Harry it was not on. Ugh! (Now that is a legitimate conflict though), I wanted to throw things at the TV set.

Finally, when it was too late of course, Harry wanted to admit his feelings to her, but she stopped him, although they did share some lovely kisses.

Sigh! The reason I love this show (besides the moral ambiguity which I blogged about before) is that the stories seemed real, like they could actually happen. Unlike Alias. Seriously, did any Alias viewer out there ever understand the plot lines from one episode to the next? And don't get me started on the whole Rambaldi story line that dragged on from one season to the next and made no sense.

So while I'm waiting for Series 6, I can console myself with the MI-5 Book I ordered from


Anonymous said...

Just received Disc 4 from Season 5. Can't believe it's almost over. Can't believe Ruth is gone. Why can't it be Adam? Die, Adam, die!

dmw said...

I LOVE MI-5 and have complained several times already to BBCA - i have received different replies but they all basically say "tough darts". RA in MI-5 is a really good thing, IMO and i am all for RA night on BBCA - they wouldn't have to worry about ratings.

It doesn't seem totally dead, so keep complaining - i know i will!

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Thanks dmw, I plan on doing that, and I plan on ordering the Season 6DVD as soon as it is available.

Richard Armitage fans unite to get all his stuff shown on BBC America!