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3.1 DVD Commentary
20-04-2010, 11:26 PM
Post: #1
3.1 DVD Commentary
Info from the 3.1 DVD commentary:
-Location for Mace's club -- RSC Club in Pall Mall. Gives an idea of the very different worlds of MI5 and MI6.
-Ep is Tim McInerny's (Mace) intro to series. Unnerving to see someone who's usually a comic actor in this kind of role -- adds menace to the character. [Much like Hugh Laurie's Jools Siviter.]
-Howard Brenton the writer of the ep -- created the Oliver Mace character. "This is going to be something of a bloodbath" -- great line which defines Mace.
-Title shots for s3 -- included RPJ before he'd even been seen in the series.
-Great ep to show independence of MI5 from gov't and politics, and the battle about that.
-Ruth in scene with nurse and getting note to Harry -- turning on the everyday spook skill of being able to quickly lie convincingly.
-"Doghouse" location -- exterior version of grid. High tech, modern, chrome, lots of lines, shadows and shapes. Location made it feel like a perfect place for them to meet.
-Adam's arrival -- went through about 20 different guises before they settled on the tramp personna. Was just intriguing enough to make you wonder, "who's that?"
-Location for Christine Dale's flat chosen, in part, because of proximity to Westminister and ability to see gov't buildings through window.
-At Adam's first entrance onto grid, Zoe's look basically says, "Who the hell are you?"
-Zoe and Danny go on the journey with Tom throughout the ep -- Is he guilty or innocent?
-Grid set darker in s3 -- shows more realistic skin tones, gives more texture to scenes and allows more possibilities for lighting.
-"Let things just crinkle out" -- line immediately shows how Adam's character was totally different than Tom's.
-Natural History Museum location -- expensive! Shoot was like a military operation -- moved in and started set up at 5:30am, had to be out by 10am. Had only 3 hours of actual shooting time. Wanted this location because it was a la LeCarre -- a real spy kind of meeting place. Symbolism of skeleton -- Harry and Hugo two old dinosaurs.
-Initially, prior to the reveal that Tom was still alive (phone call to Harry), there was a scene showing Tom nicking a mobile from a group of cleaners -- was deleted.
-Ep has a lot of texture of dark v. light, both in locations and characters.
-Showdown between Tom and Herman Joyce -- gave scene an edginess to set it in a church.
-Symbolism of a vanquished Joyce, downed on top of ancient stones in the church, but the guy who has the gun pointing at him is really the one in charge. He uncovers Tom's weaknesses and vulnerabilities; heard not only in the dialogue, but also seen in Tom's face and eyes.
-In s3, moved to new Kodak film stock (from Fuji) -- first time it had been used on TV series. Slightly different look -- grittier, more realistic.
-Scene with Tom throwing Joyce's mobile to Zoe -- had to reshoot 3-4 times before Keeley caught it.
-Brenton a master of writing funny moments into serious stories: Harry's "madcap, illegal scheme, etc;" Ruth's spook taxis; Colin eating chips while monitoring Adam and Carmen Joyce; Harry's joke about meeting Jason Belling, at end.
-"Spy, tramp, traitor, hero" -- Tom is all four.
-Tom's instinct tells him Christine Dale is wearing a wire at their meeting but decides, because of their relationship, to trust her. She's Judas -- betrays the man she loves.
-Adam is a man of action -- takes charge of the situation in the hotel lobby with Carmen Joyce and works on instinct with no real plan. Rash but effective.
-Adam and Carmen in the safehouse -- 2-hander for 12 scenes (7 minutes) -- very long in TV time. Wallpaper behind her head -- he's the modern protagonist and she's back in a 60s spy drama.
-Carmen Joyce's costume -- Prada. Cost a fortune.
-In spooks, there are always people spying on other people -- gives another layer to what's going on, there's always somewhere else to cut to.
-Carmen -- completely erratic, on edge -- don't quite know what might happen next.
-Scene with Adam and Carmen -- reverse of what happened in the church with Tom and Herman Joyce. She's got the gun, but he's in charge.
-Adam giving Carmen the choice to kill herself -- the opportunity he'd want for himself in the same situation. By the end, there's a real connection between them -- holding hands.
-Tom meeting Christine in the underground car park -- homage to Deep Throat. Iconic 2 shot.
-Epilogue scene with Belling, Mace and Harry in Mace's club -- back into the seat of power. Mace and Harry getting rid of Belling -- like bullies in a playground; they have to co-exist with each other.

"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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21-04-2010, 06:51 AM
Post: #2
RE: 3.1 DVD Commentary
Thanks for this lwhite53.

We move on from this
It's the realisation that I make a negligible difference
Sometimes you have to give a man a chance
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21-04-2010, 07:46 AM
Post: #3
RE: 3.1 DVD Commentary
Thanks for this. I was interested to read about the Natural History Museum. I do wonder though what "expensive" means. Do they charge £5000 or £50,000. I really have no idea. You would have thought though that they wouldnt charge that much, with the free publicity they are getting, but what do I know.

I agree about the Brenton funny moments in this episode. Brilliant writing.


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21-04-2010, 11:18 AM
Post: #4
RE: 3.1 DVD Commentary
Yes I agree the Museum should have considered it an honour, loved the dinosaur analogy and symbolism!
Fantastic music backing for Tom's phone call to Harry you almost felt Harry's heart surge when he heard a "dead man" speaking!
I thought it really funny the way they all reacted when told by Adam "the tramp" that they had a hidden tracking device on them, it was almost as if he had given them some festering disease!!!
I have to say that I love these commentary's as it adds so much to the viewing pleasure, but then I would have loved to work on a series like this, if I had my time again I would certainly have gone into TV work.

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
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