Tube Watch: Bitten by the BBC bug – Sherlock & Spooks

Happy Friday all! 

I’m afraid it’s going to be a short post today as I’m getting ready to post this month’s Five for the Fifth for tomorrow.

I’ve clearly been bitten by the BBC TV bug as I’m so addicted to both these shows! Those who’ve seen at least one episode of either one of these would surely understand. I’m sooo anticipating the arrival of season 2 of Sherlock coming to PBS Mystery this Sunday, yay! Check out the trailer below, as the super detective says… “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”


As for Spooks (or MI-5 as it’s called in the US), I’ve mentioned last Tuesday that I’m only going to catch up with Season 7 – 10, or you could say, since Richard Armitage joined the cast, natch! I’ve always loved a good espionage thriller and Spooks definitely delivered. Just like Sherlock, it’s impeccably-written, superbly acted and beautifully-shot. I love that it portrayed London in such a fascinating way, and not just the glamorous side of the city. This is the trailer that got me to finally watch this show, now of course it’d be nice if Rupert Penry-Jones had been around longer to work with Richard, but maybe that’ll be eye-candy overload, ahah.


There are a quite a few connections between the two shows, well other than airing on the same network. Benedict Cumberbatch apparently had an uncredited cameo in an earlier episode of Spooks back in 2003 (when Matthew Macfadyen was still the lead actor).

As if I need an excuse to post a photo of Richard in all that leather… [yowza!]
And recently, the actress playing Sherlock‘s love interest Irene Adler, Lara Pulver, was actually Richard Armitage’s co-star in BBC’s Robin Hood as Guy of Gisbourne’s sister Isabella. She also has a role in the last season of Spooks as the new Chief of Section D. Wow, she’s one busy girl… and very, very lucky! From what I’ve seen in her clips with Sherlock, she’s certainly poised to juice up the already stimulating show 😉

I think it’s awesome that the main cast of BOTH shows, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage are ALL going to be in The Hobbit! Man, I’d give anything to work for FREE for just a day on that set!

Anyway, I guess the good thing of being so far behind on TV watching is that I have a wealth of episodes to catch up on. These two shows definitely satisfy my penchant for easy-on-the-eyes British guys and the oh-so-witty writing! 😀


Are you a fan of either of these? And tell me, what show(s) are you completely hooked on lately?

47 thoughts on “Tube Watch: Bitten by the BBC bug – Sherlock & Spooks

  1. Haven’t seen either of these, but i have been watching Being Human on bbc with my dad. Also i keep meaning to finish Skins but since my dad is now working i haven’t found time to finish it with him.

    1. Oh I actually saw the US version of Being Human and really like it. I haven’t seen the BBC version but now the star of that show, Aidan Turner, is playing one of the dwarfs w/ Richard Armitage on The Hobbit, ahah.

  2. Sherlock is one of my favourite programmes. Absolutely love it. You’re going to enjoy this series–I’m looking forward to the next one!

    I’ve been hooked on Channel 4 comedy of late–Peep Show and Black Books primarily, but Spaced and Father Ted are next on my ‘to watch’ list. Also enjoying CBBC’s Horrible Histories–a children’s programme, but funny, entertaining, educational, and plays really well for adults.

    1. Hi Beth, glad you enjoyed Sherlock, too! Such a great show. What’s Father Ted about? Is that like Vicars of Dibley?? I love Dawn French, she’s just hilarious!

      1. Father Ted is about these three Irish priests who live on a small island and their many misadventures. 🙂
        I’ve only watched a couple of episodes of the Vicar of Dibley, but it is hilarious!

        1. Oh what a fun premise, must be a hoot! I need to check out some of the episodes on YouTube.

          Dibley is fun as well, I especially enjoyed the Christmas Special episodes, if you can’t watch the whole thing, I highly recommend watching the Christmas episodes.

          1. Father Ted is a little quirkier than Vicar of Dibley IMO; one of my friends from the UK loved it but did not like Dibley. Not sure if that is a constant correlation. Here is a sampling:

  3. Why am I even commenting? You know I have Ruth. I am finished with Spooks having seen all series. And I have one more epi of Sherlock to go for Series 2.

      1. I think the original three Zoe Tom and Danny were ace.

        I liked Lucas until series nine.

        Then there’s Malcolm and Ros.

        Adam was okay but I grew tired of how big everything was with him.

        1. I have to admit that even though Richard was the main draw for me, I grew to love ALL of the characters on the show, Harry, Ros, Malcolm, they’re all awesome. Oh and Connie! Can’t believe she’s the same actress who played Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson’s mother in Ang Lee’s S&S.

          I’ve only seen one episode w/ Adam, the beginning of Season 7 so I can’t comment on what you said about him.

          1. During the Adam Carter years, Spooks was a co-production with A&E network (when it was still an arts and entertainment channel) so the budgets were bigger. That may have had something to do with it.

            That does not take away from his hotness!

  4. PrairieGirl

    I’ve only seen the first episode of Sherlock, but compared to Zen, it’s a little pedestrian for me. Somehow Cumberbatch and his little Watson side kick is no match for Rufus Sewell in designer suits with Caterina Murino at his side in the stunning backdrop that is Rome. I much prefer Rufus’ understated, amused performance to the brash-talking Sherlock. Fortunately Zen will be airing again on PBS, presumably this summer, under the same monicker as Sherlock: Masterpiece Mystery.
    And as for Spooks, I’m ready for season 7, 8 and 9 to get in my queue, just like you recommened, Flixy ;-D

    1. Oh I’m sure Rufus AND Rome makes for quite a titillating series! His chemistry with Caterina is quite smoldering, too [fan self]

      Spooks is just sooo addictive! I saw episode 4 of season 7 last night and it’s so gripping, as always. Can’t wait to get to season 8 though as Richard has some romance, that poor guy needs some love!

  5. “Sherlock” is an amazing show with two fantastic leads. I love how the writers update classic Holmes stories for the modern era, but it doesn’t feel like a gimmick like other shows in the past. There’s an American modernized update on its way, and I can’t help but think that it’s a way to cash it on the success of the British series.

    1. Hi Jamie! You’re absolutely right. It feels natural somehow and all the subtle ticks and banters just work so well between Sherlock and Watson. Ugh, I hate it that US networks always capitalize and simply copy UK shows. I know there’s a remake of Spooks as well, I’m guessing swapping MI-5 w/ CIA for US audiences. I doubt the quality would be intact though.

  6. Love Love MI-5!!!! Been watching and reviewing for a few years. Although I think Seasons 1-6 are superior TV. I’m due for Year 10 soon myself. 7,8,9, progressively step down, but it is still better than anything on American channels!

    1. Hi Kris, nice to see you stop by! Oh no, I don’t think 7,8,9 is worse than the rest of the series, I mean Lucas North’s storyline alone is intriguing I think. Glad you’re watching Spooks though 🙂

      1. I love Armitage too, but by the end, eh. No spoilers! The roller coaster with Adam got annoying there too for awhile, but as I say, even when they stray from the formula, it is still superior to the basic stateside shows. I already reviewed if you dare! ;0)

  7. I’m glad you’re loving Spooks. Of course Lucas is my favorite character, but I also love Malcolm and Danny and Ruth/Harry and Ros. Always liked in Spooks that you had the main story arc of the series, with the story crisis of the hour show, and yet there was time to develop each character as an interesting individual. I think you would also love the original UK Being Human and George and Mitchell (Aidan). The UK show has much charm and humor amid the vampires and werewolves.

    1. Hi Fabo, yes I do love all the cast of Spooks. Harry and Ros are awesome, so are Connie and Malcolm. But Richard is just soooo good in the role of Lucas, he’s not just all action w/ no substance.

      I did see the American version of Being Human, might check out the UK version at some point. Aidan will be one of the dwarfs along w/ Richard, too! 🙂

  8. My best friend is OBSESSED with Richard Armitage so I’ve seen Robin Hood more times than is reasonably good. The ads for Sherlock Series 2 on PBS are showing and I’m geeking out…I really want to go up and down my street yelling Benedict Cumberbatch!

    1. Oh I think I’ll like your BFF 🙂 Sir Guy is the only reason I’d watch BBC’s Robin Hood, I have no interest in the hero w/ a villain like that, ahah.

      My hubby and I have decided to wait until Netflix has the season 2 of Sherlock before we start watching, but I still can’t resist peeking at some of the clips on youtube 🙂

      1. Robin is a pretty weak hero and Miriam…oh my gosh she is an idiot. I passed along your Bond casting article to my friend and she was giddy to see Armitage on it.

        1. Oh thanks for passing that along to your friend. Hope she voted 🙂 I am so annoyed by the girl playing Marian, I mean not only because she’d rather be with the lame Robin but just her acting. The way Richard is swooning over her I kept saying, ‘Richard, pick me, pick me!’ 😉

  9. I haven’t watched either of these but after your recent praise (not just in today’s post!), I’m definitely going to start on both at some point in the future. I’ve just finished 3 series of Breaking Bad which has left me gagging for series 4! Other than that, I don’t have much I want to watch on TV. Oh I’m still waiting for series 4 of Dexter too. Will put Sherlock and Spooks first sries on my Lovefilm rental list now! Crazy so many of them are popping up in The Hobbit. Wonder if Jackson is a fan of these shows!

  10. Spook looks great…I am going to try finding it.
    I need to get back to movie world soon….hahaha my heart and mind were still at Senayan 😉
    Trying to catch up now

    1. Totally understandable Nov. I’m so hooked on Spooks now and that’s all I want to write about 🙂 I’m glad to hear the concert lived up to your already-high expectations!

  11. Summer

    I love both shows too, Ruth. I couldn’t agree more with your comments. Enjoy these superb British series, they’re quite a treat!

  12. I’ve watched some episodes of Spooks, back when MacFadyen was still in it. And indeed, the show is addictive. But not quite as addictive as Sherlock! I am completely obsessed with the show! In fact, I haven’t watched the last episode of Season 2 because I’m just not ready to part with it just yet! 2012 has been pretty bleak for me, so I need something to hold on to for some time 🙂

    1. Hi Wulan, I actually like Spooks more between the two of these, I think because Spooks has more characters in it and the storyline are so intriguing as it pertains to current events.

      What do you mean 2012 has been bleak for you? Hope you’re doing ok!

  13. I haven’t checked out either of the two shows but I’ve been hearing great things of Sherlock. Maybe someday, I will give it a try but yea, that’s kind of a pipe dream right since I have almost no free time lol 😉

    1. Ahah, yeah I don’t know how you can catch up to these w/ your 60-hr a week schedule! I do hope you give ’em a chance when you can find a bit of a breather, Castor.

      P.S. Glad seeing you on Sat! And thanks so much for the free drink 😉

  14. The second series of Sherlock is amazing. Actually I saw this series first! For whatever reason the first series had passed me by, but the twitterverse was so full of praise for the second that I thought I have to have a look. After all Steven Moffat has done such amazing work on Dr Who, that Sherlock couldn’t be bad.

    Actually I blame Sherlock for not really enjoying Game of Shadows at the cinema very much, Guy Ritchie just can’t compete!

    1. Hi Russell, welcome to FC! Ah that’s interesting that you saw the second season first, but the episode does stand alone well so I guess it shouldn’t be a problem.

      Yeah, I lost interest in the Sherlock Holmes sequel after seeing the series, Guy Ritchie’s version has too much action but the writing isn’t as witty IMO.

  15. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    Well, PBS does something right every once in a very long while to reward me for my grudgingly tax funded support!

    I caught the season 2 opener TWICE last night. And was blown away how well a stoic story from A.C. Doyle had been updated so intriguingly. Holmes and Watson in fine and humorous form with some long awaited attention paid to brother, Mycroft and what he does when Sherlock isn’t paying attention.

    Offset by a stunningly sultry and disarming Irene Adler. A wonderful meal from a superbly stocked buffet!

    My enjoyment was reminiscent of what was experienced when viewing the old standbys of ‘The Sandbaggers’ and the decades old Alec Guinness ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’.

    1. Hi Jack! Well we decided to wait until Sherlock 2 is on Netflix streaming as we don’t like having to wait a week to see the next episode 🙂 I have seen some clips w/ Irene and it looks wonderful! Wow, glad to hear it lives up to Tinker Tailor, I know how much you liked that one.

  16. I still havent watched any of these shows. The last series on BBC that I got hooked on and finished completely through was Monarch of the Glen.

    I’m currently hooked on TOUCH, The Big C, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time. ha!

    1. Oh I’ve been meaning to check out Once Upon a Time, that looks like a show I might enjoy. Did you know the lead actor there is the same guy who played Fandral in Thor?

  17. ray brayne

    Wow! What a pleasant surprise to see Tube Watch! I’m cruising through from FMR and very pleased indeed! I am a total BBC fanatic and Spooks in particular. there is nothing like it in the U.S. and may have in fact been banned here. It received very peculiar treatment from A&E one season and was never seen again on U.S. TV(although BBC America had it). I suspect politics at work to prevent the CIA from being shown in a bad light. By starting at season 7 you do yourself a disfavor. The show carries over show to show, season to season. You miss great twists and character surprises that way. I’ve seen all the other shows mentioned(Sherlock, Being Human, Skins) right up to date. I’ve tried forever to interest Fogs but to no avail. Doesn’t stop him from poking fun at my addition though! Well enjoy! P.S. Love your site

    1. Hello again Ray! Thanks again for stopping by and reading my blog. Glad to hear you’re a Spooks fan. Yeah I’m not surprised it won’t be popular here in the US, or Russia too for that matter, ahah. I guess you might be right that I probably should’ve started at Season 1 but ah well, there’s still a lot of catching up to do even with just 4 seasons. Ahah, well who knows maybe Fogs might be interested in seeing one of these shows at some point, I mean as long as it’s on Netflix streaming there’s no such thing as being ‘late’ to the bandwagon 😀

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