The excited-state properties of the transition metal complexes tris(2,2'-bipyridine) ruthenium(II) and tris(4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline) ruthenium(II) are examined using picosecond time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy. For both complexes, direct observation of a short-lived high-energy emission with a lifetime of less than 4 ps is reported. Upon deuteriation of the complexes the lifetime of the high-energy emission shows a marked increase with a biexponential decay (20 and approximately 300 ps components). Examination by time-resolved excited-state resonance Raman shows that for the perprotio complexes features attributable to the 3MLCT excited state are formed within 4 ps, while for the perdeuterio a rise time of approximately 20 ps is observed in the 3MLCT features. The results indicate that the emission in both cases may be 1MLCT in origin and are discussed with respect to heterogeneous electron transfer.