Some polls regarding Richard Armitage and Berlin Station

So, we’ve now seen six of ten episodes and the time when we could say “let’s wait and see what happens” is quickly passing. Here are some general questions that I’m interested in your reactions to.

~ by Servetus on November 21, 2016.

74 Responses to “Some polls regarding Richard Armitage and Berlin Station”

  1. LOL !!! I really like your polls !!! 🙂

  2. Thanks for giving a chance to vote! I’m interested in all these questions too. Would like to see the polls’s results.

  3. If RA does not come back, I’ll stop watching…
    Sorry, Epix..

    • There are much greater chances that he will return for season 2.

      • I’m kind of hoping he doesn’t come back because a) I don’t get epix and it is a hassle trying to see it and b) it feels like I am watching out of a sense of duty just for the opportunity to see in RA in ANYTHING at this point (no other newer work is readily available so far except Brain on Fire which I don’t have a whole lot of interest in). Also, I think his talents are a little wasted in this. I am hoping he will do something he can really sink his teeth into and show us what he’s got. If I were to give this show a report card he would get the dreaded ‘not working up to her potential’ that I often got. lol.

        • I so hear you. I feel the difficulties for much of the fandom in watching this are out of all proportion to the reward for doing so, and I also agree with the diagnosis about the “I just want to see him anything” problem. I was kind of hoping that this was going to be a banner year with a lot of different options for fans, but it doesn’t feel that way.

          I wonder how he feels about this show, himself. Maybe he has some revealing scenes coming up. But when he was doing Spooks, there would be a minimum of three scenes in each episode that were worth a closer look and that’s just not the case here.

          • That is so nail on the head – ‘effort vs reward’. I think BS appealed to him on a lot of levels going in …. the themes of the show and career/connection wise. But I don’t think the show has lived up to the advertising hype and I feel he’s pretty under utilized so far and there just isn’t a lot for him to do acting wise in the role so far (although that was definitely some Emmy calibre ‘back acting’ in Episode 5). I feel like there is never really much time spent between any of the actors for us to see any genuine emotional attachments or conflicts to one another – other than office politics type conflicts (and I can see those any day all day at work really) – he seems to me to be pretty much just spinning his wheels so far in BS — the clock is ticking Mr. A. I hesitate to say it, but he really needs a Yael Farber to kick him in the butt and give him a role with a lot more depth to it as The Crucible was for him. That was phenomenal. (And I’ll say it again, Lawyer Royall would have been a great role for him – irregardless of any potential Mr. Creepy stuff – that role had a lot of despair and some potentially good RA acting moments in it). I think he is probably satisfied with BS on a career stepping stone level but I wonder too if he is satisfied with it as an expression of his artistry.

            • LOL about office politics, and I don’t even find this show’s office politics all that realistic. (or if they are, the US is in severe trouble).

              • Believe it or not, there are a few Robert Kirsch’s where I work – male and female versions. These people are insane.

                • Yeah, I know people like that, too. I just question that a station where the five most senior people are all ridiculously dysfunctional would ever get anything done. Particularly with a chief like that. There are always insane people in every setting — but not everyone can be a prima donna. Someone has to do the work.

            • “And I’ll say it again, Lawyer Royall would have been a great role for him – irregardless of any potential Mr. Creepy stuff – that role had a lot of despair and some potentially good RA acting moments in it”

              I so agree with this.

  4. Interesting polls, particularly the question about how people are watching.

    • Obviously I thought that was interesting, too 🙂 Gets to question of whether the show might be getting more exposure if it were easier to watch and or had a prospect of wide international distribution. If you have to go through a lot of hoops to watch it OTOH then you must really want to see it …

      • Yup – and that’s some interesting figures to share with TPTB.

        • I doubt they are watching me, but even if they are, this poll is small, random and unscientific 🙂 Just for my own curiosity.

          • The hoops I go through to watch 🙂 The pulocker run is very unstable; sometimes it takes me straight to the episode, and sometimes I’m forced to connect to various new pages with links of dubious Russian (sorry, Russians) nature. I wouldn’t do this on my computer for the risk of exposing myself to vira, but with the Iphone I feel more safe, IDK.

            I haven’t seen episode 6 yet, but I don’t mind spoilers, because your account actually helps me get a grasp of this “unstable” plot.

            As for the plot – it is both a blessing and a curse 😉
            It keeps me intrigued and on my toes, but it is also very confusing, all over the place, and I wonder if the last episode will tie any of the (many) loose ends.

            • I was wondering that last night — is the rest of this season just going to be about the resolution of Claire’s kidnapping now? It seems like they will need all that space just for that. But it raises questions about the other stuff, not least how Shaw gets unmasked, Steven’s issues with his wife, Robert’s relationship to the Mossad, Daniel’s past in Germany … I don’t know how they can explain all of that meaningfully in just four more hours.

              • Well, now they’ve got a 2nd season to develop even more loose ends 😉

              • I think they would have had to have a resolution in case there was no season 2. One of my issues with the series is how many plots and relationships they’re juggling, and sometimes the too quick cutaways. For a short while there, I was afraid that it was going to turn out that Daniel’s mother had her affair with Esther’s father. Now I wonder whether he was responsible for Mrs. Miller’s death.
                Also, and this is unrelated to your poll, but I thought someone here might have an answer – can you explain why you think that Mina Tander, who is German, speaks English with an American accent – and a very good one, at that? i think her American accent is often better than RIchard Armitage’s.

                • I had the same thought — are they siblings? LOL.

                  Tander is an interesting person (her father was Afghani, which was not all that common in Germany in the 1970s and still isn’t) and she had an excellent education. She was on the educational track for university (attended a Gymnasium) so she would have begun learning English by fifth grade at the very latest, and then had English daily in school for up to another seven years. She could have had English as a “Leistungskurs,” i.e., one of the subjects she was examined on for university entrance. But if she had Afghan relatives she might have had earlier exposure to English as well. Or she could have done an exchange year in the U.S.; that was very common by the time she would have been ready. I guess what I’m saying is that she probably speaks English as well as I do so it would only have been a matter of learning the accent (if she had British accent training in school, as is common). And maybe this is something she’s good at naturally.

                  In any case, one of the things about the German school system that is IMO unparalleled in the West is the quality of second / third language instruction, at least in the Gymnasium setting. If I were set on my kid being able to speak, read and write at least two languages with native facility I would send them to a German gymnasium.

                  • These days some start with English in Kindergarten. A friend of mine sent her kids to such a place. Germany is again in a phase regarding education/school where you have many different streams competing for parents to chose – state schools, private (boarding) school, Waldorf, Montessori, Waldkindergarten/-schule,…. And I think the curriculum changed significantly when they reduced the time for Abitur (degree that allows you to go to uni) from 13 to 12 years.

                    • Tander was born in ’78, so I’m guessing she started later — but general agreement on the other points.

                      I found the German system so impressive b/c we didn’t have foreign language at my high school (“too expensive”), but things are changing here, too. My college bestie’s son is learning Chinese in seventh grade!

                  • Yeah, about Berlin Station, I was starting to obsess about being “JohnBatemanned” or something similar, worried that Esther’s father killed Daniel’s mother, slept with Daniel’s mother – and I’ve not totally let go of the notion that his mother is alive.
                    Re: German foreign language education – all I can say is that the German people I’ve met or know through blogging, who are speaking ( and writing) English to me and in their every day life are off the charts by their command of English. This is so in the blogging world, but also, the case with German nationals or formal nationals I know. It’s one of this issues that pisses me off about the American school system. I took three foreign languages and suck at all of them ( partly my fault). Language is always a requirement – but unlike English, Science, Math some sort of history/social studies/civi studies – it’s like a B level requirement. Classes were not daily ( don’t think) – they were twice or three times a week.

                    • Such a handicap, i found, when advising students who wanted to have international careers but were not native speakers of other languages — a fundamental tool in their arsenal was missing.

                    • It doesn’t make sense in this world not to stress foreign languages. And I’m guessing, though you mentioned exceptions with Chinese, that the languages mostly offered in U.S. schools are French, Spanish, Latin and Italian. Proficiency in the right foreign languages opens up loads of career opportunities, especially ones that rely on the language, like verbal and written translators, writers, teachers.

                  • I never had english lessons on a daily base at school, only three hours per week. At my gymnasium you’ve only got more when you picked english as ‘Leistungskurs’, then you’ve got five hours per week.
                    But that varies from school form to school form and federal state to federal state I guess.

                    • It must vary … I think ex-SO had five days a week of English and he didn’t have it as a Leistungsfach. That was Niedersachsen in the 80s. Or it might even have been the school? Not sure.

                    • So then, Herba, how did you learn to read an write it so well?

  5. As some other peeps have said, I will be happy if he comes back & equally fine if he doesn’t – as I assume in that case he’s doing something bigger and better for him.
    Also re: the Daniel Miller character – he’s really only shown his distinctiveness in the last episode or two. He may be one of my favorites by the end but that remains to be seen. I think the slow buildup of this show almost demanded Epix to extend another season. The mood, setting, cinematography, is a definite plus but I think clearly slowed the action initially. I know last night’s ep 6 had some implausible aspects, but hubs voluntarily watched again at 11:10 😉 (We were huge 24 fans lol)
    Great polls, Serv!

    • Since I try to remain agnostic about future work, I only think about this question in relationship to my own desires (hence the phrasing of the question). In general I assume he always chooses based on the factors that affect his decisions (whatever they are).

      I have been torn as to whether this show sees women in its audience or not.

      • There’s an attempt at strong women characters, and also, I’m guessing that if you choose to star Richard Armitage, and for those with that particular taste, Rhys Ifans, you’re looking for women in your audience. OTOH, the more interesting relationships are between and among men, IMO. My gut us that it’s a done deal that RIchard Armitage will be in season 2 because I have the feeling, aside from professional reasons, that he really enjoyed the filming/Berlin experience. But, i hope it doesn’t prevent him from takng other work that I might like better.

        • yeah, I guess — if it’s all about the looking.

          I totally agree re: the stronger relationships being scripted for men. E.g., there’s some interesting but undisclosed bond between Robert and Steven; similarly with Hector and Julian.

          I agree that he seems to have enjoyed Berlin. That would be a serious motivator for me, anyway. You could spend ten years exploring that city and still not have uncovered everything interesting about it.

          • Oh it’s Steven with a V. OK; he’s seems like a PH to me. The bond between Steven and Robert could be just that based on years of the No.1, No.2 executive role they have in the station and the stress level of managing their ops – plus the shared criminal history. I don’t think there’s a more complicated back story. OTOH, still waiting for more info on Hector and Daniel.

            • I feel like most Stevens with a “v” are Steves 🙂 Maybe? This Steven is definitely not a a Steve.

              good point re: criminal history.

              • That’s why I thought it was a “ph”- no- he’s not a “Steve” for sure. His character is responsible for some of the rare humor in the series, I think. Is he as feckless, whining, emotional as he seems to appear, or is he diabolical? His focus – himself, the station ( same, really), the CIA, human lives, and the good of the country, in that order, are increasingly beginning to make me chuckle – how is Stephen going to turn it on himself again? But he manipulated perfectly that situation with the Saudi ?? Minister of Natural Resources??? (Did I get his nationality or title even close?) I find his behavior spot on – very like many low exec or high middle management types I’ve encountered working for government. I’m leaning towards Valerie and Robert as my favorite characters so far. There are instances where I don’t find Daniel Miller convincing – but I’m blaming the script (not Richard Armitage, everybody)

  6. I watched the first 3 episodes on a free trial EPIX account, but will purchase SlingTV for a month to watch the rest. I worry that other people won’t be sufficiently motivated or informed to do that. I only know about SlingTV from Perry — the only suggestion from EPIX customer service was to convince DirecTV to carry EPIX, which was pretty much useless.

    • Hmm — well Armitage did an ad for SlingTV that I am pretty sure I posted here somewhere. (I thought it was obnoxious — Forbes said essentially that she doesn’t know how email works, which I think was a frivolous thing to say if you’re asking people to make a technological step — but there was an ad).

    • I’m not satisfied with Sling. Two weeks in a row I had trouble watching the episode live at 9 PM Eastern. Admittedly, I’m GEO blocking, but the issue this week wasn’t even losing the geo block or buffering – the screen just went black and I got a ” try later” message. OTOH, the next morning I watched it with no problem.

      • wow. AGGRAVATING.

        • Yes, and I’ve resorted to other sources where I can see BS uninterrupted minutes after it airs. I feel OK, because I’m paying for EPIX, though not enjoying it. I suffered through part of Episode 6 until I caved in and acknowledged that the experience was being ruined. I chose the Sling package that gives me some network stations as well as CNN ( more $) and added the Hollywood Extras for EPIX (more $). My take is that it works pretty well for later streaming, but all in all, the “live TV” experience is mediocre or worse. I do get, on Sling, the after talk with the director and writer – but last week, I think they only shared four sentences. It was hardly a recap. Also, I don’t need them to explain what I just saw. It’s not a deep analysis. Fan podcasts might be more fun. I got hooked on GOT podcasts and watch a few other recap/podcasts by fans – they can be very good. It might be a new outlet for Richard Armitage fans, if someone wants to play catch-up.

          • Interesting suggestion — it doesn’t seem like this is where the fandom seems to be at the moment, though. I remember the fights over Spooks between the Armitage fans and the Spooks fans — it was the Spooks fans who seemed to have more inclination toward the kind of analysis in a podcast.

            • Yes – you recommended Skully’s blog. I loved it. Berlin Station podcast or analysis might be more tempting if more fans were able to watch it. I find the current situation, where fans are tweeting and posting their theories on line without SPOILER warnings, irritating, even though the episode aired. I keep off social media until I’ve seen it. OTOH, it’s fun to bat around the theories.

  7. I don’t think we’ll learn this season who or what Thomas Shaw is or if Steven’s wife and Daniel’s cousin are players who are hiding in the shadows. If we are lucky there will be more insightful hints about Daniel’s past and they will (try to) rescue Clare.
    I just noticed that my expectations seems to have dwindled after watching the last episode sigh

    • See, I forgot all about Patricia and Max … and I hope Clare gets rescued because she’s really my favorite at the moment.

      Sighing with you.

      • I only remember her because I like the actress who plays her 😉 Well, cliché-wise they have to rescue her (american male heros to the rescue and all that 😉 ), so there is hope I think

        • and then the whole developing affair with Hector … there is just too much in this show.

          • I guess they needed this to justify his solo in the shopping mall but still haven’t figured out if the relationship is believable for me or not.
            I also wasn’t able to figure out if Esther only plays Daniel or Daniel plays Esther too…
            There is really to much in this show like you said!

    • This is also a reply to the same convo with Servetus below. I think Stephen’s wife has been out of the spy loop, so it would be hard for her to have a spy agenda of her own – but I think she manipulates him to help steer his career. I agree, the Hector and cousin plot is at least one plot too many, and not following up this week made it forgettable.

      • yeah, Kellie is not appearing in a good light. I accept that there are manipulative wives in the world, particularly in that generation. I also think that the right partner is an essential asset in any job that requires a lot of politics. At the same time, I wonder if it’s really unreasonable as such for her to want to live in the U.S. close to her kid or retire in Provence? Somehow that’s an allowable motivation for Robert but if Kellie wants it she’s manipulative. If she had her own spy agenda, at least she might be seen as more sympathetic.

        • The way I look at it, how could she want both equally – to live close to her daughter and/or to retire to Provence? Robert’s motivation is to get home, it seems, but Kellie just seems to want out of Berlin.

          • Which — I admit — I do not especially understand. I have two former students who are in the foreign service (not CIA — they are cultural attachés but for real, no spying as far as I know, although I guess they wouldn’t tell me either way) and they have been all over what seems to me like the back of beyond — Addis Ababa, Tashkent were two postings. The one is getting a three year assignment in Frankfurt next year and she is beyond thrilled.

            I know from my own experiences and contacts in Germany that the place you are is not necessarily the primary determiner of happiness and other things play into it and can be decisive (I met a lot of disappointed Fulbrighters over the years). However, if you’re in that job, it seems to me like there are many worse places to be than Berlin.

            • Frost is senior, so I would expect better posting opportunities than Addis Ababa ( I had to look it up).

              • lol, ikr? When Ian said he was going there, I said, “I remember learning where that is from a sixth grade geography quiz, but I haven’t had occasion to use the information since then.” Actually, I guess they really liked it and were sad to leave in the end. He’s in the US doing a language school now and I think their next posting is supposed to be Dakar. (ex-professorial naches!)

  8. I think it’s like that scene in SB where Danni tells Porter that everyone has a job to do and some are more pleasant than others. I think he’s simultaneously manipulative and attracted.

  9. I hope that some of what was said about the characters having been so well developed with lots of depths that can be used at some point means that this will actually come about and there is just a really slow build up to this. They said that there are plans for five seasons.
    Connected to that it was mentioned that these characters are people trying to keep secrets and protect their private lives, especially since they know that everyone else is ‘reading’ them and maybe even spying on them. So they wouldn’t show what’s going on inside of themselves easily.

    I fear that this is overly optimistic and they will mostly stay at this relatively superficial level.

    As it is, I feel that Richard Armitage isn’t anywhere near his true potential in this role. I get the impression that he really enjoyed working with his colleagues, but his keeping so quiet about season 2 (as opposed to expressing his hope that they would return to Berlin and film there again earlier this year) could mean that he’s less enchanted now and might accept another role instead. We can only wait and see.

    • I wondered why he was keeping so quiet and was hoping it was because he has already been offered another – and better – role. But then it occurred to me that he can’t say anything about his return – or not – because they have made two endings and he would be giving away whether or not DM survives or dies.

    • Did we have this conversation when I posted the renewal announcement? I had it with someone. In any case, as I said there, I think he’s trying to preserve the cliffhanger at least until the end of the season.

      When I originally read the Steinhauer novels, I thought, these are thrilling and the actors will make up for the fact that Steinhauer is interested in the depths of no one’s emotional life. But now I’m seeing that doesn’t work as a strategy. I, too, fear it will stay superficial because the novels are like that.

  10. I wasn’t thrilled with episode 6 – it was a bit of a let down from episode 5, which was really good. I found the editing a bit off on this one too.
    The one thing I keep wondering is – what was Daniel stashing in the jungle in Panama? Makes me think he’s more on top of things than he’s letting on.

  11. I too wonder what Richard thinks of both the show in its final form and of his character. I just feel like he’s capable of infinitely more than this vehicle allows him to do. I also wonder what some of the other actors think – like Richard Jenkins, who’s so talented but whose character is so poorly drawn. Will be curious if Jenkins returns. There are many things to like about the show, and I’ll keep watching as long as Richard is on it, but without good writing at its core I’ll never love it.

    I lost further confidence in the writers over the Chechnya episode, where I felt they completely mischaracterized the role of al Qaeda in the Chechen insurgency. They implied that al Qaeda was directly involved in individual terrorists acts on the ground there, and that’s just not true – Hector’s excuse that “al Qaeda led them there” would not have been taken seriously by his superiors. Al Qaeda had tons of ties to the conflict, but they were indirect (funding, training Chechens, lots of foreign jihadists in local leadership roles). The nature of their role is actually controversial as many accuse Moscow of overstating it to justify their crackdown to the West. (So much bad behavior on both sides of that conflict.) So when Leland Orser was live-tweeting this episode and praised the writer for his thorough research, I was kind of annoyed.

    • I really hate Steven — but I suppose that is a good basis for ongoing tension with Valerie, for instance.

      Interesting about Chechnya — you obviously know way more about it than I do. I didn’t read Orser’s tweets. But I had a similar reaction when Armitage said, after the meeting where Robert was talking about his experiences stalking Salafis, “these are SMART PEOPLE.” Really? All I do is read the newspaper and a few blogs, and I put one of those data points into a course lecture I gave this spring. I think that’s pretty average for the CIA (or should be, one hopes). I suppose my definition of “good research” and “smart people” are maybe a little skewed, but I think this show has been lazy on a number of counts.

  12. I thought with each show I would become more and more interested, however, it is becoming the opposite. I do not like the way some of the story lines are put together and regarding RA I truly would much rather see him in something else as another character with more bite. I do not believe Daniel is that character. As always, Richard does bring out the best he can- with what he has to work with and adds his own nuance to each character, but frankly I think even Lucas was more interesting. Also, it is a shame so many people cannot bring in Epix. Not a prude but does every other word have to be “F”?

    • I feel the same way. I am no saint when it comes to cursing, I curse and blaspheme regularly and with pleasure. But not in every sentence. It gets kind of tedious. I think it can be conveyed that Robert is the kind of person who would swear worse than a sailor in other ways without it having to be a constant piece of the dialogue (he’s the worst). Maybe that’s it — it’s unsubtle.

  13. […] (n was approximately 260; answers were not correlated to each other; respondents self-selected). The results are interesting, in particular how well respondents think Armitage is doing in the role, and the […]

  14. I have been unable to view this series other than the first two episodes so I am somewhat disappointed that the show appears not to be living up to initial expectations….. Maybe Epix need to ramp up the number of Daniel Miller nude sex scenes to maintain viewer interest?!! 😈

    • There was another one last night. Oddly, though, he had his shirt on for the sex but afterwards he had it off, and his pants on.

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