(Series 9, Ep.1) Just in case we were holding out a slim hope that Ros Myers might not be dead after all, the series opened at her funeral. Even so, I half expected Ros to pop up from behind a pew, brush a stray hair off her black leather jacket and tell everyone that rumours of her death had been greatly exaggerated.
Sadly, it didn’t happen, and the small congregation of Harry, Ruth, Lucas, Tariq and a couple of non-speaking extras were left to shuffle outside gloomily. Life goes on, though, and there’s no time to wallow in grief when there are baddies to fight. This week’s baddies were Al Qaeda, or, as we must now call them, “AQ.” I think this abbreviation should be adopted right across the media because it would stop that problem about whether reporters should pronounce it “Al Kyder” or “Al Ky-eeder.”
Anyway, AQ had a nasty man on board a ship containing a lot of explosives heading for Britain (as in heading for blowing up the part of Britain known as Portsmouth). But never fear, on board the ship was also Lucas North (my lord, that man moves quickly), an agent called Dmitri who sounds Russian but is in fact “one of ours,” and a maverick private security expert called Beth Bailey. Lucas isn’t terribly fond of maverick private security types on his patch, but it was lucky that Beth was around because it was she who sorted out the fact that the nasty AQ man was only pretending to be driving a ship full of explosives towards Portsmouth at high speed. What he was actually doing was setting off a couple of radar-proof mini-submarines which could sneak past the Thames Barrier (huh – calls itself a barrier) and detonate in the murky waters beneath the Houses of Parliament.
Luckily there’s apparently a room in the basement of the aforementioned seat of government which contains an electro-magnetic pulse bomb for just such an eventuality. It’s a weapon of last resort, though, as it plays havoc with mobile phones, pacemakers, iPods and just about anything else electrical. Still, Harry is employed to take these tough decisions, and take it he did. Luckily the back-up generators at St Thomas’s Hospital (which is directly opposite the H of P) kicked in just in time and only nine people died.
Even so, death hangs heavy in Harry’s heart, what with it being so soon after losing Ros and whatnot. He’d also had to kill the former Home Secretary (the Robert Glenister one) early in the episode when it turned out that he’d been One Of Theirs all along. All this death was getting to him. He was even planning to retire, and asked Ruth to marry him so they could live in a rose-covered cottage in the country. Sensibly, Ruth turned him down. Retirement couldn’t compare to the thrills they get in their current job, and besides, Britain needs him. Britain also needs Beth Bailey, and Harry offered her a job.
Right at the end of the episode, Lucas was on his way out for a kebab or something, and met a Sinister Figure who seemed to know about Lucas’s secret past (the past that’s so secret even we don’t know about it yet). “What’s it been like, being Lucas North?” he said. Well, I imagine for one thing it’s utter joy every time you look in the mirror, but that’s just me.
Posted by PLA (more Spooks here)