Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Spies on a shoestring

With last weekend's update not being massively exciting, I thought I'd post the Spooks deleted scene from a while ago.

Disclaimer one: this was written before every news article in the world began with the phrase 'In the current economic climate', and I'm entirely aware that by now nobody sane can be bothered to read anything more about how, for reasons that can only be explained through eldritch accounting terminology or mind-numbing cliches, money has broken.

Disclaimer two: this was written while the last series of Spooks was still going, so you'll have to imagine it being attractively topical. I also apologise for my hopelessly inaccurate judgment of a certain character, in the light of all the nastiness from the end of the last series.


(MI5 Headquarters, ground floor meeting room. Harry Pierce, head of section, stands at the end of the table, waiting. Ros Myers enters, chewing a lemon.)

Harry: Thank you for coming, Ros. I'm afraid I have some bad news.

Ros: Is it...

H: No. Nobody has been blown up, shot, drowned, burnt to death, strangled, tortured or gone off the rails. It's rather less fatal than that. I've just been to see the Home Secretary, and I'm afraid there are going to have to be some cut-backs. We've talked through a restructuring plan, and everything's going to be fine.

R: Damn it, Harry, the safety of millions of people is at stake!

H: Let me speak, Ros. The Home Secretary and I have talked this through, and I'm afraid we're going to have to let you go.

R: This is ridiculous, Harry. We're overstretched as it is. Last week Lucas had to take on some of Jo's Anguished Flashbacks, and last series Malcolm had to step in as Action Sidekick.

H: It's been decided, Ros. There's nothing I can do.

R: I'm the head of Section, Harry. You need me.

H: Don't make this harder than it has to be, Ros. You've already spent several weeks being dead, and nobody minded then. Lucas is going to take over your work Looking Stern and Killing People Who Deserve It.

R: He's not ready!

H: Not yet, perhaps, but he will be soon. In the meantime, I'm taking on some some Scum Murdering, and we're promoting Ben to probational Having a Six-Pack to give Lucas more time for his other work.

R: But Ben's Token Middle Eastern Guy! That's a full-time position, and you know it.

H: We're not asking much more from him. I'm confident in his abilities.

R: What about Hard-Nosed Bitch? You've got nobody else who can do that.

H: We intend to share that between Jo and Connie.

R: Jo's way too troubled, and you know it. And how are you going to fit that into Connie's remit? She's bland, old and nice through and through.

H: Age has its advantages. The writers are considering a personality-altering stroke.

R: Sheer desperation. It'll never work. Why not cut her entirely? You'll never slot her into Slightly Unconvincing Love Interest.

H: She's Token Old Person, Ros. We need her. She does Non-Sexual Sympathy like nobody else. Besides, what if there's a resurgence of cold war plot lines? She has Russian knowledge, and we might need that soon. Jo has been training for Slightly Unconvincing Love Interest for some time.

R: She's useless, Harry. She's clearly going to move from Worried and Vulnerable into full-scale Losing It, and that's not profitable in the current climate.

H: It's not up to you to say what's profitable, Ros.

R: Damn it, Harry, the safety of millions of people is at stake!

H: Yes, Ros, we're aware of that.

R: [Desperately] Malcolm! Dump the wet, mumbling nerd.

H: Ros, you know that's madness. He's the only one with a personality that doesn't depend on staring into the middle distance. Besides, it's hard to find a Likeable Geek who can deal with British accents.

R: Damn it, Harry, the safety of millions of people is at stake!

H: I know you're upset, Ros, but it’s not just you that’s being affected by this. We’ve relocated Lucas’ safehouse from Hampstead to Stockwell. Malcolm’s been moved over from Mac to PC, and you may have noticed that the projector in this meeting room has in fact been replaced by a blackboard. Also, before you become too distraught, I must say that we have lined something up for you. Have you ever fancied yourself in a different time?

R: [Brightening] Not...

H: Yes, Ros...

R: [Excited] You're transferring me to Doctor Who?

H: Er, no, sorry. What about a classic car, eh? Ever grow a bit bored with our generic black saloons? Fancied something with a bit more colour?

R: [Still quite excited] You can swing me Life on Mars?

H: [Giving up on trying to interest her] It's Heartbeat, Ros. The Oop North (Rustic Division) have called. They need a new bad-tempered feminist detective.

R: Damn it, Harry! I’m not a period-piece feminist, I’m a Hard-Nosed Bitch. I wear trouser suits. You know what? You can’t make me do this. I quit. [Hurls badge on desk.]

H: You’re a natural. I’ll tell them you’ll take the job.

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