The Downfall of Lucas North
There are two interesting bonus features in DVD 3 "The cost of being a spy " and "The Downfall of Lucas North". In the first one, they analyse the theme of being a spy according to BBC Spooks. In this feature the cost of such a task is reflected on, remembering Tom Quinn, (series 1, episode 2 and 6 with Matthew Mac Fadyen!) Adam Carter and Ros Meyers, as well as welcoming the new ones, Beth and Dimitri, or asking the still active senior agents Harry, Ruth and Lucas about it.
In the second one, of course, the analysis is focused on Lucas North and his journey through the latest three series of Spooks. Mainly series 9.
Nicola Walker, Ruth in the series, introduces the not - any- longer surprising twist of series 9:
Step forward the real Lucas North (while on the screen a piercing stare from Richard Armitage's stunning blue eyes darts at you). Yeah, I mean, no one expected that. And this is the first time that you've had the lead Spook actually not be who he appears to be. (...) He's totally torn as well because he adores Harry. He's tried to become the man that he's masquerading as. He's tried to make good. (...) I'm quite impressed watching Richard unravel him as the episodes are going by. Really small things he's doing. Just watch this character who seemed very straight and controlled and contained, just see him breaking down. He's been brilliant at doing that.
I didn't miss a word of the thorough analysis Richard does of his Lucas / John character.
He says: Lucas North is a chimera, he's actually a mingling of what he was and what he tried to become. Here's how Richard describes the John Bateman he has in his mind while acting, and how he explains his decisions and actions. I don't know but, told by Richard, it seems to make more sense, all that absurd story seems more acceptable in his words.
John Bateman was a bit of a lazy dropout, I think, and Maya was the worker, she was the studious one. And their relationship was tight and they really ... you know... they were made for each other. John realised that he wasn't gonna be able to support her financially. He kind of got involved with this guy who was doing a drugs run, and he saw it as an opportunity to pick up some extra money. So he goes to Dakar, and he gets caught, and he gets stranded out there, and needs to pay his way back. So he meets this guy, Vaughan. They start running career jobs for the British government, one of which turns out to be an embassy bomb. Seventeen people die, five British citizens died. Vaughn is the architect but John is the engine driver. He knew what he was doing. And the creation of Lucas North after the event was very much John's doing. I don't think there was any plan, I think he just needed the passport. He had to reinvent himself, he had to hide within the legend of Lucas North.
All these prison tattoos do tie into the John Bateman situation. The NOSCE TE IPSUM, "Know thyself". On his arm we have, "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I say nothing to nobody". And "While I live, I breathe" ( DUM SPIRO SPERO) on the back of his neck. And on his chest is a William Blake painting, which is Urizen, God is the Architect. So, it's all about recreating himself, but at the same time not losing the truth inside.
Interestingly, Lucas' relationships have failed. He's had this wonderful relationship with Elizaveta. ... Sarah Caufield. But the one relationship that he does hang on to, the person that reminds him who John Bateman was, is Maya. Vaughan delivers a suitcase with photographs in it. Maya happens to be one of the photographs, and there's this shock reaction to seeing her again.
Suddenly, it's like an awakening, and he ...it's like John Bateman starts to wake up and say "Hang on, what about me?" He finally realises that he can't really be Lucas North forever. It's already kind of shattering and crumbling, and he's trying to hang on to that because that's his life. At MI5, that's all he has, really, and it's a strong place to be. It makes him feel good. Without that he's, you know, he's a terrorist that would be captured and imprisoned. So he can't be there and he can't be John Bateman, either. So, he's sort of in limbo, but Maya is the only thing that really feels real.
Vaughan has been blackmailing Lucas to bring him a file called Albany, which is the file of all files. (...) Lucas uses Ruth as leverage to get Harry to deliver Albany, so that he can deliver Albany to Vaughan and get Maya back. Poor, beautiful, tragic Ruth. He knows deep down inside, "I will never be able to hurt Ruth", but he has to appear to do it. And likewise, over the phone to Harry, you know, all the threats, Lucas ...Lucas-John sets up a bomb, which turns out to be a fake bomb, because it's all about leverage, it's all about manipulation. It's about what is real, what seems to be real, and what you believe to be real. Harry knows that Albany isn't real. So he knows what he is delivering to Lucas. He can deliver it, because it doesn't exist.
And yet about Maya :
And about his final scene:(...) In a way she (Maya) is a memory, that he thought he could get back there, and that he could become John again and that they'd have a future together. And I actually think, when he lost her, he realises that would never have happened.
(...) Well, it's quite an elegant death. A non - violent death. Which is, sort of, what I asked for.
So, you see, he leaves no hope. Lucas - John died. He died quite an elegant death, according to RA (???)
Then the interviewer asks him: "You are bowing out now from Spooks, what highlights have there been over the years"?
I think being strapped naked to an electric chair, having water thrown over me, and , sort of, wired up to a car battery, covered in tattoos and being electrocuted was a high point.I think the moment where he got on a chair and put his head in a noose was quite interesting, because it was just a stage direction, the director said "I'll leave the camera on, and however you get on that chair is up to you". So that was quite an interesting acting exercise for me.
Richard's best comment is in "The Cost of being a Spy", in my opinion. He states: "I've realised in this series that Lucas is actually a better actor than I am"
Andrew Woodhead, Executive Producer, finally declares: I hope we've made a series where ultimately you'll watch Lucas' journey and think, "Oh! I wish it hadn't been like that"! And "Oh, and him and Maya, maybe they could've been together, and maybe it would've been all right".
He is right. I thought, " Oh I wish it wasn't like that" all the time, while watching. And now I think, "Oh I wish it hadn't been like that". I'm so sorry Richard's Lucas couldn't leave the show in a different way. Can someone just tell me why?