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4.10 DVD Commentary
09-08-2010, 02:07 AM
Post: #1
4.10 DVD Commentary
Info from 4.10 DVD commentary [Nicola Walker, Miranda Raison, Julian Simpson - director]:

-Strange recap -- jumps around different eps.

-Actor playing Peter -- came in for one day's shooting and just cried, very difficult to do. His scene was shot in all one take. His audition consisted of crying on cue.

-NW: noise blood makes when Peter shoots himself is quite disturbing.

-Howard Brenton script -- opening scene stayed the same through all the drafts. Don't see Angela's face in opening scene.

-Ruth's piece of paper in door -- added to scene at last minute.

-Ruth entering her house -- shot in daylight and film processed so it looks like night.

-Ruth walking down her hallway with mace -- meant to be like a horror movie, waiting for someone to jump out at her.

-Uses of tradecraft -- even Ruth does something when she leaves home (piece of paper) for security. Same with her carrying mace.

-Using mace, even at a distance, will bring down everyone in a room -- don't need to be right on top of someone for it to be effective.

-Lindsay Duncan extraordinary as Angela Wells. Ruth and Angela vie with each other throughout ep. Nice darkness to their relationship that is instantly apparent when they're onscreen together.

-Everyone at the top of their game in this ep.

-How did Ruth manage to get MD reader off the grid? Great image that Ruth "borrows" equipment to take home -- touch of kleptomania!

-Ruth and Angela both totally unfazed by microdot hidden in false tooth.

-Don't often see long scenes with two strong women.

-Structure of this ep unusual for spooks -- mostly very theatrical, long scenes, not the more typical quick, short scenes; most likely because HB is primarily a playwright.

-HB pitched the idea for a Princess Diana ep.

-MR didn't want to say "lozzie" line but director wanted to keep it in.

-Given how often The George is mentioned, MR thinks the odd scene should be shot there. NW thinks it would be interesting to see the whole crew use legends together.

-Angela's handbag a copy of one that MR owns.

-Angela's entry onto grid -- difficult to shoot because there were so many people involved and difficult for actors because they needed to hit their marks and say lines in a crowd.

-MR: loves Malcolm when he's being effusive. HB loves writing for Malcolm.

-"Get her out of here" -- Angela framed centrally in her shots because she's taking control of the grid.

-NW: Lindsay got through "false bottom" line with no trouble. If any of the regulars had had to say it, they would have needed to do a number of takes because everyone would have been laughing hysterically.

-Ep 10 shot before ep 9 -- Lindsay and Julian were the "new kids" together.

-Harry doesn't get shouted at too often but Angela doesn't hesitate.

-Angela taking charge is somewhat terrifying for team -- even when they're not necessarily in control of a situation, they're always in control of the grid.

-Huge lighting change when grid goes into lockdown -- great sound effect, then totally different look. Grid turns into a totally different place via lighting.

-Trojan Horse -- Angela gets onto grid because everyone's keen to meet and flatter her. Juliet smuggles her in and then gets huffy when she discovers Angela's lifted a classified document. Interesting that Juliet's breach of protocol has no repercussions.

-Over past several eps, Juliet's gone to lots of meetings -- needed to find various ways to get her off the grid.

-MR: Lindsay very "unactressy" except with respect to the remote control device -- didn't want anyone else messing with her button.

-Zaf running at Angela to disarm her -- very tricky to work out and shoot; so many different points of view to take into account. Very hard to maneuver with so many people on the grid.

-From when Juliet and Angela enter grid to when Angela and Jo go into conference room -- one long 10-page scene.

-Experienced Angela vs. newbie Jo -- nice juxtaposition. Angela chilling in scenes with Jo -- has the ability to absolutely destroy her; goes halfway toward doing so and then pulls back. Julian winding MR up -- wanted to plant a puddle of piss under Jo's chair in conf room.

-HB threw some comic relief into script with Colin digging through wall.

-NW: enjoyed watch Rory rehearsing how to say "Mice" -- he came up with about 12 different ways to deliver line and, ultimately, he does sell it.

-Julian: the first thing you do as a director when someone like Lindsay Duncan walks onto your set is to quake in terror.

-Julian: loves to set scenes in the Forgery Suite and the corridor -- you really have no idea where you are in the geography of the grid. NW: Hard to have private conversations on the grid, works much better in the corridor.

-Zaf explaining how MI5 and MI6 killed Princess Diana -- best scene in ep; completely sucks you in. Very long speech by Raza and not much time to learn it -- his delivery is absolutely brilliant and he uses the props fantastically (board and marker).

-Intercutting of recreated Princess Diana scenes while Zaf describes the action -- the uncovering of the conspiracy; we're seeing the whole episode unfold as he narrates it.

-Cut from Ruth's face to Harry with Ruth's psych evaluation -- makes Harry seem very sinister.

-NW: Ruth slightly losing her mind at the thought that Harry helped kill Princess Diana and she might have to have him arrested. Fighting back her personal feelings.

-NW: Ruth goes through the whole ep being brave and thinking she's doing the right thing and the terrible revelation is that she's being played, being taken for an absolute ride. Julian: But as a character, she's still being absolutely courageous and strong -- what she's being asked to do is a real test for her.

-All the other actors stayed on the set to watch the final scene between Ruth and Angela -- a staggering scene -- NW and LD were bouncing off each other so well. Ruth was breaking Angela down, watching her crack. Ruth couldn't afford to react emotionally -- had to break through the tears and twist the knife. Ruth obviously upset, too, but wasn't giving in to it. Difficult for Ruth to talk about sex, but to talk about having sex with her step-brother and to do so at Harry's command was very tricky. Harry saw something in Ruth's file which led him to believe she could confront Angela about Peter.

-Strength of LD's performance -- when Angela pressed the button, NW really flinched even though she knew it wasn't real.

-NW: ending of this ep is her favorite of all the series.

-Original ending of ep had Angela blowing herself up up in the middle of Whitehall. Alternate ending had to be shot in one day.

-Final 10 mins of ep a totally different story than first 40 mins.

-Pegasus underground location -- corridor underneath Thames Barrier.

-When RPJ cuts wires, he nipped his finger -- kept him licking his finger in because it looked cool.

-"Bravery is something I dread" -- great Malcolm line.

-NW: to imply that both Adam and Harry are killed at end of ep is genius.

[This is a great commentary -- make time to listen if you have it.]

"What is the truth?"
"Betrayal is a cancer. Let it eat your soul, not mine."
"Please tell me this isn't going where I think it's going."
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09-08-2010, 08:28 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2010 08:29 AM by JHyde.)
Post: #2
RE: 4.10 DVD Commentary
almh was good enough to post this commentary on youtube some months ago, which is the only reason I have seen it. The link can be found in the pics/videos subforum.

It really is terrific, definitely the best commentary for the show I have watched. It's nice that one of the best episodes also has a terrific commentary.

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09-08-2010, 02:41 PM
Post: #3
RE: 4.10 DVD Commentary
Thanks lwhite. I plan to watch this commentary when I am back home with my DVD's. It sounds like a corker.

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09-08-2010, 04:10 PM
Post: #4
RE: 4.10 DVD Commentary
I meant to tell you on the 4.9 commentary thread, but forgot. I think you did incredibly well to extract the informative bits from these two commentaries. When I listen to it, I tend to get distracted by all the in-jokes and funny comments, and forget to note the real information. So great job! Thanks for making the effort.

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