Yes yes yes, I know he got blown up last series.
But really, if you got home and this was waiting on your doorstep...
Are you listening, Santa?
I am hopeless at watching telly. Part of the reason is that I'm bone idle and the effort involved (go to drawing room, argue the toss with whichever incumbent has staked a claim to either sports or Disney, find two TV controls, remember which is which, remove dog from sofa, remember number of channel, name of programme, reason for being on this earth etc) is far too much. The other reason is that I am too easily distracted, and lose focus. One of the Colonel's terribly amusing set pieces whenever we have guests is an impression of me reading, drinking, staring into space while all around me Rome burns. Or at least, supper does. Bots remain unbathed, Important Things are forgotten, including stuff I am supposed to be watching on TV. It's annoying but true.
Anyway. I have discovered Box Sets. Fanbloodytastic. No pesky TV schedules, no waiting until next week for the next episode, portable and perfect. I have smuggled DVDs into conferences and under bedclothes.
The only downside is that such a concentrated surfeit of another world has an effect on my reality, such as it is. Life on Mars had me longing for Phil Glenister to throw me roughly on his sheepskin coat and chuck me a tube of Spangles after. The West Wing? Once Sam was gone, Josh Lyman filled my thoughts and made me daydream constantly about interning for him and influencing US Foreign Policy from the inside. My current crush, Mad Men, reminds me of my bullshit-filled past life as a copywriter and the long-gone days of casually sparking up a fag in the office. In a lift. In the Ladies.
But it was Spooks that really captured me. Based on the work of M15, it is a thrilling rollercoaster of intelligent writing, credible characters and stunning location shots. Of course, the Colonel keeps up a running bark on the authenticity of the storyline, but I can tune that out. Especially if the scene involves Rupert Penry-Jones. Especially without a shirt.
However, this series I have to watch to the BBC's schedule - starting this Wednesday at 9pm, picking up where we left off with Harry-Head-of-M15 tied up in the back of a Russian car. If you're in the UK, make sure you clear all children, supper, PTO activity from your schedule and park yourself down to watch. If not, order the full series from here and live out your latent spy fantasies. You know they're in there somewhere.