Sorta *ooof*: Say ‘Hi’ if You Read Here, #BerlinStation !

Moving on from the latest f*ck-up on my blog (can the world of telco please work out affordable roaming rates so that I can avoid stupid, enforced internet outages that coincide with maintenance work on my blog?) and the rather hurtful accusation that my blog is a “smutty site” (I am still reeling from that one… but I admit, the word ‘porn’ has popped up on this site on a few occasions. I blame Richard Armitage, though!), I need a new strategy. Less sighing with pleasure, more hard facts. The smut accusation doesn’t sit well with me, so I’ll keep it clean for now.

I was scrolling around among the contents for BS yesterday, particularly on their FB site, and noticed that a new promo image for Daniel Miller was released a couple of days ago. They posted their first DM promo image in August 2016, and this second one is a variation on the theme. I am not going to deep-*ooof* this new image – there is not really enough meat in a separate picture analysis because I have already exhausted all the facts on background, composition and attractiveness of the subject – but I did notice a few notable changes. Lookit, this is the new image:


Promo image for Berlin Station, Epix, Sept 2016

And for comparison’s sake, here is the first such:


Earlier version of promo image for Berlin Station, Epix, Aug 2016

For the moment, try, if you can, to disregard the subject of the image – notice any difference, apart from the new photograph of Daniel Miller that has been photoshopped into the composition? …

Right, indeed, the graphics have been changed. I find that particularly interesting because this is what I wrote in my *ooof* of the earlier picture, a month ago:

On the graphics used in this design – ok, the fangirl in me is not happy. Of course not – anything that obscures any part of my favourite actor is to be rejected. Aesthetics are a tricky subject. Whether they appeal or not, is often based on personal associations and preferences. My spontaneous verdict is that I am not mad about the graphic design. There is something about the italic bold font used for “Daniel Miller” that screams “Grand Theft Auto” to me. Not that the font looks anything like GTA, but this italic looks as if it is missing a few exhaust fumes behind the “R”. Moreover, I notice that this is not the same font as the one used for the main BS poster, and neither is the smaller writing underneath. I can only assume that the decisions were deliberate – although I wonder why the designers did not go for an organic, uniform look in their promo designs.

Have the gods graphic designers heard my niggling? I doubt it, but they have done the right thing and adjusted their design. We still have the same text, but the font has been changed to the lettering that is used in the main promo imagery of BS. The italic is thankfully gone and has been replaced with characteristic Berlin Station font, both in the name and in the short character description. Good move. The image now is organically connected to the main promo material of the show in its details, too, and the silly italic has been obliterated.

As for the new photo of Miller – an interesting move, too, because it alters the perception of the character. I found it noteworthy that in the first promo image, Miller’s body was not entirely turned away from the camera and his face was shot classic dead-pan: His face is in the centre of the image, and the photographer is shooting straight-on. Even Miller’s facial expression could be described as dead-pan: indifferent, empty, no visible emotion, a blank canvas – just as befits a spy. The photograph thus kept interpretations open – there was no particular hint of deception or surreptitiousness in the image.

I am now wondering whether the release of a new, improved promo image is actually deliberately timed to come *after* we have been shown the first two episodes of BS. Because now we have a Daniel Miller who is not staring dead-pan at the camera anymore, but he has turned his shoulder further to the camera and is staring across his right shoulder. This gives us an entirely different interpretation of the character in the image: Looking over your shoulder signifies running away from something/someone or being worried about something/someone catching up with you from behind. With his mouth the tiniest bit open, the torso ever so slightly leaning forward, and Miller intensely staring off-camera to his right, it looks as if he is indeed on the run, looking behind himself to see whether he is being pursued or observed.

Knowing what we know now, the new image feeds into our own inconclusive idea of Daniel: He has taken up station in Berlin, he is already investigating the leaks and pursuing a lead, but we have also seen hints at his own difficult (shady?) past and at the deception and distrust that characterises his CIA colleagues. I think this is pretty genius – *if* the update was deliberate. Introducing us to a blankly innocent Daniel first and thus establishing a false (?) interpretation of Daniel as the unmistakable hero, has thrown us off-track even *before* the show had started. Now following up with a surreptitious, hunted Daniel adds a new layer to our interpretation of him. Who or what is Daniel really? Does he have something to hide or something to run away from? Intriguing!

Nice one, Berlin Station graphic design and marketing departments! I like your strategy! If this is deliberate, then you really should be commended on your layered and organic planning of the promo campaign. And next time you read here, why don’t you say ‘hi’? 😉


56 thoughts on “Sorta *ooof*: Say ‘Hi’ if You Read Here, #BerlinStation !

  1. Ich schätze vor allem, dass das neue Bild “Bewegung” andeutet. Das erste Foto wirkt auf mich … *nachdenk* — ziemlich nichtssagend: So viel Persönlichkeit wie ein Bewerbungsfoto, offensichtlich gestellt, professionell.

    In dem neuen steckt eine lebendige Person. Natürlich kann ich mir an den Fingern abzählen, dass es genauso gestellt ist, aber die Pose wirkt einfach nicht so. Spricht mich jedenfalls wesentlich mehr an. 🙂

    PS: Jemand hat deinen Blog als “smutty site” bezeichnet? Tststs, wer würde dich denn mit solchen Scherzchen aufziehen wollen …?! 😀


    • So isses – das Bild hat mehr Dynamik. Aber auch mehr Zweideutigkeit als die freundlich-milde Ausdruckslosigkeit von Bild 1. Kann man alles deuten, wenn man will. Die Pose finde ich auch irgendwie gelungener, obwohl ich natürlich auch immer sehr ansprechend finde, wenn mich Herr Armitage durch die Kamera direkt anguckt.
      PS: Das mit dem Schund und Schmutz sitzt jetzt tief. Dummerweise kann man seine URL ja nicht so leicht ändern. Das “Guylty” muss bleiben, aber vielleicht fällt das “Pleasure” weg 😉


  2. Sorry to hear you had problems… I did wonder why I couldn’t access your last post!

    Both of these images are gorgeous and I like your ugh I reckon the first one was just to hook any poor soul that hadn’t yet succumbed to those blue eyes head on 😉


  3. Hi!

    Interesting to read your comments, although I don’t think I would have gone as deeply into the message as you do. I definitely prefer the second image, it has more sense of action. I’m not entirely sure I go with the hunted idea (though no doubt there are skeletons in his cupboard) more a keeping an eye on events happening in all directions. But all interpretations are I imagine equally valid – and possibly all equally true.

    Glad to see you back, and more of the pretty 😉


    • In fairness – these images are not made for *anyone* to go deeply into them. They are just for a quick impression of what the character stands for, so don’t worry if you don’t delve as deeply as I do. (I only do that for the fun of it – and because it is something I have a solid, educated opinion on.)
      As for hunted – I agree, I don’t think Daniel is *quite* “hunted” yet. I was simply missing a proper word for what I wanted to express, namely that he has reason to be careful.


      • I wasn’t intending to criticise your analysis at all – I could see you using your own expertise. I’m probably hypersensitive at the moment, having been with a group of people who unconsciously portray themselves as ‘deep, thinking’ people. I genuinely meant I was interested in what you said, because I wouldn’t see it in that much details.

        Given what Daniel has already uncovered, he has every reason to be careful. I suppose what I’m trying to say is the picture to me conveys an idea of things going on all around him.

        And thank you for blogging and giving me the chance to think about such things – as well as ogling the pictures.


        • 🙂 Classic case of communication going wrong – I didn’t mean for my reply to come across as annoyed, or defensive, small hobbit. I didn’t take your comment as a criticism, my “in fairness” was directed at acknowledging your point about not delving deep into an analysis. All good from my side. And I totally understand what you mean when you describe yourself as hypersensitive – I am going through a bit of that myself, at the moment, what with not sharing the enthusiastic response to BS and feeling a bit dumb because everyone else seems to recognise greatness where I cannot 😦


  4. Er hat sicherlich gute Gründe, vorsichtig zu sein und lieber einmal zu oft hinter sich zu schauen. Schließlich liegt er im Verlauf der Geschichte ja doch in seinem Blut mitten in Berlin… Pass gut das neue Bild und bestätigt die Eindrücke nach den ersten beiden Folgen. Je länger ich über Daniel nachdenke desto suspekter wird er mir. Ich hoffe aber sehr, dass seine liebevolle Familienseite echt ist und nicht nur der Tarnung dient.


    • Hehe, habe ich nun lange genug rumgemosert und die Fakten verbogen, damit ich nicht mehr alleine bin mit meinem Misstrauen, was Daniel angeht? Suspekt ist richtig! So ganz koscher ist der nicht. Aber gut, ich hab in der Zwischenzeit dann doch noch mal genauer in der Anbagger- und Familienszene hingeguckt. Ist ja schon sehr überzeugend… #SoLangsamSchlägtDerArmitageEffektDannDochZu


      • Ist halt auch ein sehr mächtiger Effekt, der “ArmitageEffek” 😉
        Könnten wir ihm widerstehen, wären wir nicht hier.
        Ich bin etwas verwirrt. Hast du deinen Blog für Außenstehende geschlossen oder kam das von WordPress (wegen der nicht jugendfreien Inhalte “ironischhust”)?


        • War ein unglückliches Zusammentreffen mehrerer widriger Umstände. Kurz gesagt: Es gab Beschwerden, ich musste was ändern, habe mich dabei verklickt und dann lief mein Internetzugang in London aus.


  5. I like the second pic better. In the first one, the angle seems to change the whole shape of his face.
    One of the things I most like about your site is your healthy appreciation for RA’s animal attractions. It’s always fun, and I have never found your content to be crude or offensive. What a shame that this person felt the need to diss you instead of simply going elsewhere. I say: be true to yourself, and away with judgmental prudes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I may not be #BerlinStation, but I’ll say ‘Hi’ anyway. Love your posts, and I’ll try to stay away from the p…

    For some reason I hate the background in both images. Why? I’m not sure myself. However, who’s looking at the background?


    • 🙂 Thank you mermaid – I’ll take a ‘hi’ from anyone! Hehe, I don’t take responsibility for the p… posted by readers in the comments, so feel free to fire away 😉
      And yes – agree with you about the background. Did you read what I wrote in my previous *ooof*? The background almost looks like the roof area where Daniel makes his phone calls from. Not sure whether it really is, though.


      • I prefer the first picture in this ooof. In this new promo-picture, the spy is alluding movement rather than the lettering (Too 1990s, I think). Daniel Miller, the spy, has to watch his back – and may allude to a more two-dimensional spy-catcher story. Daniel Miller may not be what we expect him to be. Perhaps?

        The brick wall: I now know what bugs me about the background. The movement in the picture and the imagery of that movement.

        DM is positioned so as to allude he is moving towards the right (while looking behind himself). The brick wall goes from smooth to rugged in the same direction as DM’s movement. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so – This is to signal that the movement/progression of the spy (and series?) goes from smooth and unbroken to rugged and scarred, thus giving the illusion that everything is alright, above-board and under control, while the story probably progresses towards ruin and perhaps a cover-up of proportions. The imagery is consistent with ruins/rubble, WWII, the cold war and the Berlin wall. The spy-game is still on. This is why I find the wall unsettling, disturbing even, because it’s meant to be.

        I don’t mean to over-analyze, but the background was ‘wrong’ IMHO, and I’m convinced this is precisely its purpose.


        • Yes to all of that, Mermaid! The new image is much more dynamic and gives us more to think about – or to question.
          Interesting observation about the background turning from smooth to rugged from left to right. That had not occurred to me, and your interpretation makes sense and supports the expected plot progression. Nice one! Also like your explanation of the brick association with WWII, rubble, cold war etc. – although in reality I do not find brick walls particularly descriptive of Berlin *today*. To me, the brick wall is actually another stereotype and thus another case in point why I am not really impressed with the way BS has depicted Berlin so far. The cold war is over, and the show is not really a cold war spy thriller imo. The spy game is on, yes, but has moved on from the cold war one-upmanship. Only my own opinion, of course.
          So you are arguing, the wall is deliberately ‘wrong’ in order to create another false track for us? That is an interesting idea…


          • I’m not one to advocate stereotyping by any means. I had a very history interested German teacher, who talked about the influence of the war(wars) on the German self-perception (mind you, this was before the fall of the Berlin wall), and she talked about Trümmerfrauen, and found biographical accounts for us to read. I agree, the rubble could relate not only to Berlin but to all big German cities obliterated during the last months of WWII, but this account of the ‘Trümmerfrauen’ really stuck with me.

            So what I see here is a rugged surface as if the wall is being torn down brick by brick – but, of course, I could be completely off the mark – and this has nothing to do with the deconstruction of a ‘period of peace’ in society. This sign of disturbance of the equilibrium bugs me, because I’m essentially a hobbit :-).


  7. So you’re a purveyor of slutty content now? Oh, please! Clearly, they don’t know you and they haven’t been around this fandom long enough to see real naughty stuff. I tried to comment on your previous post and was not allowed to by WordPress. (What the heck?) It told me I was not authorized! LOL.

    Back to this post. Go ahead and take the credit for the change. The people in charge of marketing for Berlin Station are doing a thorough job of promoting the show and monitoring people’s reactions online. I’m 100% certain that the ‘power’ of the ‘Armitage Army’ does not go unnoticed on Social Media – especially on Twitter. They know we do half their job for them because we’ve always supported Richard’s career, whether we love his choices or not. Case in point, I loathed reading LLLPlay so much, I literally through it in the trash once I was done – and I ‘worship’ books. Still, I promote it in order to help the artists involved.

    Anyway, you’re awesome, S, and everyone who’s had the privilege to become your online friend knows it. So says B! 😉

    P.S: Maybe in the new promo shot he’s spotted us watching him and is trying to get away!


    • Aw, you are really sweet, Violet, raising my spirits like this. I may be overreacting here. The whole smut adage doesn’t really sit that well with me (although I confess to making naughty comments all the time. In fact, I made a couple of naughty screenshot edits this afternoon – and I will defy my own image and post them tomorrow, just because I might as well 😉 )
      Re. the WP f*ck-up: that was a series of unfortunate events when I inadvertently took the whole blog offline in reaction to complaints, rather than just my Sunday post. The post is back up and should be ok now.
      As for the mighty reach of the RArmy – you may be right. (Although that makes me slightly nervous.)
      Re. your reaction to LLL – pity you threw away that book; I have just come to the decision that it may be a good idea to read the play… From what I have heard, the plot may be difficult to swallow. And as for promoting RA even against our own personal conviction – I guess that works even when we are critical. Any mention is a mention, after all. It all adds up to the buzz. And if I am totally honest, I usually come to some sort of benign view of Richard’s work, anyway… I quite like adding my (occasionally critical) voice to that, though – and as long as Richard doesn’t *pay* me to be his claqueur, I reserve the right to be critical (or silent) :-).
      LOL – yes, the new promo picture is probably a very realistic representation of RA keeping abreast of his pursuing fans. No wonder he plays the pursued spy so convincingly 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I should have asked if anyone wanted the play. I was just so angry, you know…I was expecting something magnificent but none of the characters are likable. I don’t get the appeal. Richard says it’s a play about love. Yeah, right. I know what true love entails, and LLL is full of selfish, unlikable people. I give it an F-.


        • Ouch, that’s a damning review. I am keeping an open mind here. And to be quite honest with you – I am sort of curious to see how RA will deal with playing a character that may have no redeeming qualities. He managed to make me empathise with Dolarhyde – which is quite a feat. Let’s see what he will do with this egotistical baby-boomer.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, he did achieve that feat with Francis and I was upset that I was feeling sorry for a serial killer! Oh, Richard. He’s something else…

            I’m sure he and the other actors will give the characters their all and Richard will once again make people feel empathy for a not so likable man. It’s one of his gifts.

            Liked by 1 person

    • I saw LLL at the Royal Court a few years ago. Had it been a different play I think I’d have been very envious of the RA fans who get to see him in it, but as it is, I’m not disappointed it’s an ocean away.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That is a very interesting comment, and matches what I have heard from a few other people. I’m not *quite* put off yet, especially because I really enjoyed Bartlett’s “Wild”. I’m prepared to face RA playing a character whom I won’t like, and will find it worth-while, if LLL manages to make me think like “Wild” did.


        • I saw Bartlett’s “Bull” twice and thought it an excellent play – very thought provoking. And had LLL been in London, even though I don’t like it, I’d still have gone to see RA, because just seeing a good actor in a part can be worthwhile.


          • I second that. I was not a huge fan of The Crucible – until I saw RA tackling the role of Proctor. It’s always worth-while seeing him act; his acting *does* add to the effectiveness of the source material.


  8. Hi, Guylty, the www is always a mystery…Your site and smut…Laughable!

    I prefer your blog as a refreshing alternative to other, more devoted, sites and love your weekly round-ups as a source of precious information, which I would miss otherwise.
    I share your opinion about BS. At first, I’m not really a fan of the spy genre, so I was not surprised to meet a bunch of stereotypic characters (at least in the first two eps, the case files look a bit more promising). RA embodies the spy very well (I had expected no less), but reminds me in every scene of Lucas North. Of course, he has a dark past and something to hide…Of course, he is looking GOOOOD.
    But I hope his tiny bits of private life will develop and we will get to see a more complex character. The bar scene was a good start.
    I also agree with you that Hector is the more interesting role and I was astonished that I buy the skinny, funny Rhys Ifans as a dark, brooding field agent. Btw, his hairstyle in BS is ten times better as in real life…
    And I like the first promo shoot of Daniel, staring directly to us, much better as the new one. He looks perfectly indifferent and unfathomable. But the font of the first picture was awful, good to see that it was replaced. I’m convinced we will obtain a few more pics in this manner, in the course of the series.

    Dear Guylty, keep on posting in your own special way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, and thanks for the support :-). I think I may have overreacted a bit to the smut accusation… I’ll come back in my “own special way” 😉 tomorrow with some naughty stuff. You’ve been warned! 😀
      Yes to your whole summary of BS. I confess that my own opinion is someone clouded/distracted/overlaid by the obvious comparison with Spooks/Lucas North. That is not to take away from RA’s portrayal of Daniel Miller. Miller is different. But Lucas inspired more trust, despite the doubts over his Russian interlude. So far, I do not trust Daniel *at all* – and that really irritates me. I *want* to trust and like him, I *want* him as the hero of the piece. Even if he turns out to be deeper innvolved with Shaw than we are currently shown, I do want him to be the flawed but human identification figure of the piece. It’s just that I personally have not found much about his personal moral code (something the show keeps droning on about in their PR efforts) or the underlying motivations of his activities. The tragic story of his mother’s death might provide further insights. I particularly resent that Daniel has not really reacted particularly strongly to Claudia’s death, acknowledging that he has been responsible for killing the poor woman. Yes, he has made contact with Ingrid Hollander, but that whole conversation did not really convince me as him warning her. I found him far too aggressive for that. (Although they probably got off on the wrong foot because she forced a detour meeting on him.) But in the spirit of giving the show the benefit of the doubt, I am willing to say that I may have just stepped into a trap that has been laid out for us – keeping me deliberately confused about the scenario and the characters. In the end, it effectively creates intrigue and suspense. My curiosity has been sparked.
      I am really surprised by Ifans, too. Like many other viewers, I only ever think of him as the Welsh slacker in baggy underpants in ‘Notting Hill’. I have not consciously observed him in other roles, so his turn as a sleek American agent really astonishes me. He is completely convincing (and yes, looks surprisingly attractive, too…)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh dear … *sigh*

    @ all: I was the one who called Guylty’s blog a “smutty site”.

    What I said was
    “War eine schöne Überraschung, letzte Nacht hierher zu klicken und die Schmuddelseite 😀 über deine sündigen Geheimnisse wieder frei zugänglich zu finden.”
    which I would translate to:
    “It was a nice surprise to click on your blog last night and to find the smutty site 😀 about your sinful secrets back online for everyone to read.”

    Sorry, I have a weird sense of humour.

    @ Guylty: I’m sorry if you really took it as serious. I cannot – repeat: NOT! – remember seeing anything here that I would call “smut”.
    It was meant to be a joke and I never wanted to hurt your feelings. 😦


    • Thanks, Hedghogess. As I have already said elsewhere in the comments – I may have been a bit oversensitive in my reaction to the “smut” joke. But as jokes go – they only cause offense, when the recipient already is in doubt, anyway. It probably hit me too close to the bone. Even 4.5 years in, I still occasionally struggle with the whole idea of writing pithy stuff about a living person whom I don’t even know. My own problem, not yours, so don’t worry. But it’s quite present in my mind, so I reacted badly to something that was only meant as a joke.
      I have to come to terms with my own attitude, myself. I probably need some shock therapy – write some extra-explicit RPF to get the whole thing out of my system 😂. Maybe the hint of the “sex scene” in today’s new trailer will provide some inspiration… I’ll present some smut for you tomorrow.


  10. I’m glad the smutty reference was a joke. I’ve tried to make jokes via typed words before and they’ve fallen (very) flat in the interpretation :o)
    All in all I just think that one man’s smut is another man’s prudishness anyway ;o)

    I quite like the new image, but the change of texture on that wall still annoys me, although I have to say that the line where it changes doesn’t cut into his shoulder this time and balances a bit better to his right. xx


    • Jokes really depend on my form on the day. Something must have been off the day when I heard this one. So anyway, let’s not dwell on it anymore 🙂
      The lines of the brickwork – indeed, works slightly better this time. But like you, I am not mad about the background, either. I wish they had blurred it out more, and created a “shallow depth of field” effect with it.


  11. What they all said, plus:
    He killed Claudia AND stole her cat! We’re supposed to like this guy? (Aside, plot question: Isn’t the journalist friend who has a key to Claudia’s apartment going to notice that the cat is gone?)
    Another plot question: What exactly has Thomas Shaw leaked? Have we been told? Did I miss it? Oh, and forgive me for not actually caring too much. (To be fair, my disinterest is due to my shoulder shrugging at the spy genre. I never felt like London was in jeopardy while watching Spooks, either.)
    This Ifans guy has also caught my interest. Any recommendations on other shows he’s been in? Does he have fan sites? An army? Also, I watched a snippet of him on a chat show on YouTube and have to say, that dude is doing very well with the American accent, coming from native speech (Wales) that’s even more different from American pronunciations than Armitage’s English accent, one could argue (she says while ducking to avoid incoming rotten tomatoes.)
    Smut? You? Have these censors never typed XXX into Tumblr’s search field? Now there’s an education in internet porn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, those are some really interesting questions you have posed there. Indeed, why has Ingrid not yet gone to her friend’s flat and wondered about the flat? Maybe in episode 3…
      The actual Shaw leaks – well, he has uncovered the names of agents in various stations, German agent “colander” one of them.
      I was really impressed with Ifans’ American accent (if I am qualified to remark on it at all), too. I have not really seen him in anything else apart from Notting Hill. It’s great to see him in something where he doesn’t have to play the weirdo slacker but where he is portraying a rather cool guy. This character really intrigues me – the obvious bisexuality, the dichotomy of being CIA but colluding with the whistleblower in some shape or form, and the hints of conscience in him. I am wondering how RA would’ve fared in that role, and I suspect that he would also have portrayed Hector very convincingly (and completely drawn me in from the moment he turns up on the screen…)


  12. Hey Guylty… Glad to hear your blog really hasn’t gone private, as it seemed when you had inadvertently made it so! What would we do without the weekly Roundup?? And nothing wrong with observations of extreme attractiveness! In fact, can I just say that I really like the newer promo picture… something about the slightly open mouth…And the larger, straight-up, more assertive font makes a much stronger impression than the speeding italics IMO.


    • “Observations of extreme attractiveness” – that sounds so much better than *smut* 😂 I think I’ll go for that in the future! In any case, I’ve decided that I am entirely blameless – not my fault if the extreme attractiveness of the target subject renders the filter in my head useless… 😉
      The slightly open mouth – yes! And any font is better than the ubiquitous helvetica bold (or whatever it was)!
      Anyway – yep, back up and running. No point in a private blog, really. I just totally messed it up myself. Note to self: Learn to use WP properly! 😀


  13. Your blog is smutty? Well, i think I have heard everything now! Sheesh! I’m so sorry you had to deal with all that… 😦

    As for the BS RA pics – yeah, like the newer image better as well, there is just more spy-ish movement and suspicion in that.

    Liked by 1 person

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