Wednesday, February 13, 2013


D.A.C. Strickland:
So what was the point of all this

Stephen Fisher:
This is the intelligence community, Robert.
You start worrying about the point of it all,
you'll end up tying yourself in all sorts of knots.
'New Tricks'

In Great Britain's "Intelligence Community", Oliver Mace stands as one of the higher-ups, still wielding great power even though he was removed as the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. (This was due to his illegal extradition of several prisoners from Great Britain so that they could be tortured for information in Egypt.) Nearly ten years ago, the Trueniverse audiences saw him interact on several occasions with Harry Pearce and other members of the top echelon at MI-5.

Oliver Mace is his real name. There's no way he could have reached his level of success while using an alias, not in that line of work. But he had at least one alias which he employed in dealing with outsiders away from his inner circle. (And he probably has several passports, all with different identities and with detailed backgrounds to match.)

Early on in his career, he created the identity of "Stephen Fischer" for himself. It probably amused him to take on the same name as the traitorous WWII conspirator played by Herbert Marshall in Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent". (That's my favorite Hitchcock movie. Personally, I would have wanted the name "Scott ffolliot" as an alias.)

In that guise Stephen Fischer, Oliver Mace planned to recruit a rising young detective in the Metropolitan police force, hoping to groom him as his contact. What he was looking for would be a detective with ambition; one who wanted to rise to the top of his profession; and one who had the skills necessary to make that happen. Such a liaison would be beneficial in not only collecting information, but in disseminating it as well.

He found his man in Robert Strickland. And his choice paid off since Strickland has risen to the rank of DAC (Deputy Assistant Commissioner), with one of the departments he oversees being UCOS - The Unsolved Crimes and Open Cases Squad.

Strickland knew "Fischer" was in the spy game, but he was led to believe that he worked at Whitehall and was part of MI-5 rather than MI-6. Fischer also fabricated a story about having a wife named Audrey, but if that really was her name, she died of a brain aneurysm in 1989:

I've only just seen this week the first appearance of Stephen Fischer in 'New Tricks' and he's expected to show up for three more episodes, so I'm reserving judgement on anything more to do with his "Stephen Fischer" alias. As for his true identity of Oliver Mace, he has not been seen on 'MI-5' since he was removed as the Chairman six years ago. But his appearances since then on 'New Tricks' prove that he's still in the game.

Oliver Mace and Stephen Fischer must be the same person, and not just because both were played by Tim McInnerney. Sometimes when trying to make the claim that two TV characters are one and the same, certain character traits in one are betrayed by the actions of the other. But in this case, both Mace and Fischer acted the same.

Here's how Oliver Mace is described in the "Spooks" Wiki:
"Mace is generally portrayed as being a classic upper class snob, enjoying fine wine, exclusive clubs and other leisure pursuits of the wealthy."

And didn't he act just like that in "The Gentleman Vanishes" episode of 'New Tricks', with his passion for Beef Wellington and zeal for Baked Alaska... all the while plotting to use DAC Strickland in doing his dirty work for him?

Episodes #3.01, #3.03, #3.08, #5.05

'New Tricks'
"The Gentleman Vanishes"
"A Death In The Family"
"Part Of A Whole"

Kate Bush Video
"This Woman's Work"


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha what a funny post! I love Mace/Fisher character, "New tricks" and "MI5" so much! You've made my day :)