Overrated Abbey

Matt CartoonNo surprise that Downton Abbey knocked spots of Spooks in the great Sunday night tv ratings battle — the media had been full of nothing else but the former for a fortnight, especially the Daily Mail.

The Abbey took over their Weekend magazine for the last two weeks to the exclusion of pretty much everything else.

Some say it’s because their readers enjoy a good costume drama, but it’s more likely the editor thinking it represents contemporary social commentary.

I’m surprised that the Mail didn’t give equal promotional billing to Spooks though, what with them thwarting Muslim terrorists at every turn and generally putting one over on Johnny Foreigner.

I guess it’s because they regard the secret service as yet another arm of the ‘bloated public services’, but at least the Spooks have the decency to get shot, blown up or tortured to death before they can claim their gold-plated pensions.

But I digressed from my main point before I even started — the tv ratings. Downton Abbey had an audience of 9.3 million, more than twice as many as the 4.6 million who watched Spooks.

It made me wonder, how can they be so precise? Are all our sets connected to some central database that monitors our viewing habits in much the same way that Rupert Murdoch eavesdrops on our mobile phone messages?

Sadly the answer is no, but the correct one is equally spooky, if you’ll pardon the pun. Apparently there are thousands of families across the country who are bugged by peoplemeters (sic) that clicks on every time they sit down to watch Antiques Roadshow and clicks off again when they go to make a cup of tea.

You can read all about it here if you’re interested, another example of how we have become a ‘surrveilled’ society.

Anyway, I for one will be sticking with Spooks in its final series and might even shed a tear when it vanishes from our screens forever.

I might well be forced to apply for a job with the security services to fill the void. The pay is rubbish and you risk an almost certain violent death, not to mention having to work in London, but what is that compared to having the great Sir Harry Pearce as you boss?

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

1 comment… Add yours
  • john gray 20th September 2011

    I was sorry to see downton cut to ribbons by bad editing
    It lost most of its dramatic punch…. though there was a few nice scenes along the way!


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