I think the flat has a barely lived-in feel, rather like a hotel. Which
isn't surprising, since he spends so little time there. We see some minor
statuary - an African looking carved piece by his chair, oriental hanging
on the wall. Pieces he picked up in international travel, presumably? The
kitchen struck me as just right, the first time we see it, when he goes to
make coffee for Laura. Not filthy, a little disordered, cups needing to
be rinsed, not washed. Unlike later, when the sink is a mess, the table a
mess. No desktop computers here, they are still in awe of greenline
printouts from Octopus...(I think I bought my first 'computer' in 1979, a
4K Trash80.) Neil's habit of not relaxing when he gets home is striking -
the tie seldom comes off, the vest might have a couple of buttons undone,
sometimes the topcoat stays on too, which might mean that the flat is cold
(not unlikely). I don't see him as particularly fastidious. I think the
anal retentivness is partly due to how he defines his job/self, and that
this has developed over time. Willie refers to the 'half a bottle of
brandy and forty fags a day' when he's teasing about Neil's quitting smoking.
Major question: can someone verify that Royal Marines are part of the
Royal Navy? Also, is it likely that Neil has a university degree? Is
there a ROTC-like group he might have belonged to?
I think his attitude kept him from promotion, while he was a Sandbagger.
Seven years is a long time (an aside, this means he was married to
Belinda before becoming a SB), for an ambitious man. Did he sit in
D-OPS office, consulting and advising as SB One, much as Willie does?
Somehow, I can imagine him really running the SBs, and advising D-OPS
about what they were doing, rather than taking orders. SIS became his
life, but what was his life before then? Military intelligence? Perhaps
that's where he met Wellingham?
Odd disjointed thoughts, ready to delve into Episode 8 yet again. The
really powerful gut-wrenchers get harder to watch each time. Guess I'll
have to watch 'Blake' to cheer myself up.
Blessed are those of us who can laugh at ourselves, for we shall never
cease to be amused.