Lucas North is one of the characters loved most by Richard Armitage fans. What’s not to love? He was the spy that remained loyal to Queen and Country throughout eight years of imprisonment and torture in a Russian prison. The man who thought of his wife the entire time he was away, only to return home and discover that she had moved on. Lucas immediately returned to the fold of MI-5 and continued on with the work he loved–even at the risk of personal injury and death. I understand the cries of betrayal that emanate from many an RA fan. How could TBTB do that to Lucas??? However, as a fan of not only RA, but a Spooks fan since season 1, I tend to be of the opinion that this was less an error in judgement on the part of the writers and more a classic Spooks story line. Don’t mistake me, there were absolutely flaws and gaps in the storyline. But, the plot–Lucas not really being Lucas at all–fits well into the list of those who betrayed their co-workers, MI-5, and country. So let’s take a look at those who came before John Bateman:
Let’s go all the way back to season 1 with Tessa Phillips. In the first season she was discovered to be running non-existent informants for financial gain. By the second season she was running her own private security fund–which she used to sabotage an MI-5 mission, resulting in the death of an asset.
Then there was Ruth Evershed. That’s right,when Ruth was placed in Section D, in season 2 it was for the purpose of spying for the GCHQ. While she did sort out her loyalties quickly, it doesn’t change the fact that for a brief time Ruth was a double agent.
We can’t forget about Ros Myers who arrived on the scene as part of daddy’s plot to overthrow the government. There was also that whole Yalta debacle..aiding in a plot to bring down the United States of America’s defense satellites is a major problem. It wasn’t until season 7 that Ros really became a loyal member of the Section D team.
Then of course there was Connie James–I really love to hate her. A double agent for the Russians, Connie slit poor Ben’s throat in a bid to escape before being discovered. And betrayal of all betrayals (at least for RA fans)–it was Connie’s actions that landed Lucas in that Russian prison for eight years. At least she went out with a bang (pun intended).
It wasn’t only the spies who had wavering allegiances.
Remember Juliet Shaw? She was a former spy, friend and lover of Harry who was the National Security Coordinator. It turned out that she was the head of Yalta–she even attempted to kill Ros.
Home Secretary Nicholas Blake–who was always a friend to Harry and Section D–met his end thanks to Harry and some poisoned booze, after it was discovered that he was right at the heart of Nightingale.
So now we come to Lucas who isn’t really Lucas North at all, but John Bateman. Bombings, murder, identity theft…he really did turn out to be a bad egg. But boy did Richard Armitage do some fine acting with a less than stellar script. When he returned to Malcolm’s home with his gun drawn, I was on the edge of my seat. Abducting Ruth, aaahhh! If only there had been more time, and better scripts–this really could have been one of the best stories of betrayal in the entirety of the shows run.