What goes on in the darkest corners of democracy? Find out in this brilliant political satire sure to delight fans of State of Play and The State Within. This spellbinding dissection of naked ambition, greed and rampant hypocrisy stars Sir Ian Richardson (Bleak House), Susannah Harker (Pride and Prejudice) and a who's-who of British stars. A superb political thriller. Extras include commentary from Richardson and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House). 1 hours on 3 Discs. SDH.
Francis Urquhart is the Conservative Party Chief Whip who keeps the party's Members of Parliament in line. The party has selected a new leader, Henry Collingridge, and at the general election the government is returned with a reduced majority. Urquhart expects his proper reward - a senior Cabinet post - but is shocked when the Prime Minister tells him he's to stay where he is. Urquhart decides to exact his revenge. Using an ambitious young journalist, Mattie Storin, he plants rumors of dissension in party.
Francis Urqhart continues his surreptitious campaign to force Prime Minister Henry Collingridge's resignation. After the tabloids spend the summer excoriating the PM's brother Charles, it's time for the fall party conference in Brighton. There, Urqhart ensures that journalist Matty Storin gets the results of an internal party poll showing they have fallen 30 points behind Labour. He also ensures those numbers make it to print. When the PM asks Urqhart's advice on who is out to get him, he lays the blame at the feet of Party chairman Lord Billsborough.
The Prime Minister resigns and the race is to replace him. Environment Minister Michael Samuels and Foreign Minister Patrick Woolton are the apparent front-runners, though the Chronicle newspaper comes out publicly in support of Urquhart. At his wife's encouragement, Urquhart seduces journalist Mattie Storin but doesn't realize she recorded their conversation. She traces Charles Collingridge to the rehab center and begins to doubt that he was the engineer of the scandal.
Francis Urquhart announces his intention to seek the leadership of the Conservative Party and become Prime Minister. It's six days until the first ballot and Urquhart plots against his rivals. One by one, the minor candidates fall by the wayside - the Health Minister who has an accident; an MP who had an encounter on a train with a young man. He finishes second on the first ballot and has another week to deal with his main rivals, Patrick Woolton and Michael Samuels.
Ian Richardson...Francis Urquhart (4 episodes, 1990)
Susannah Harker...Mattie Storin (4 episodes, 1990)
Miles Anderson...Roger O'Neill (4 episodes, 1990)
Alphonsia Emmanuel...Penny Guy (4 episodes, 1990)
Malcolm Tierney...Patrick Woolton (4 episodes, 1990)
Diane Fletcher...Elizabeth Urquhart (4 episodes, 1990)
Colin Jeavons...Tim Stamper (4 episodes, 1990)
Damien Thomas...Michael Samuels (4 episodes, 1990)
William Chubb...John Krajewski (4 episodes, 1990)
Kenneth Gilbert...Harold Earle (4 episodes, 1990)
Christopher Owen...McKenzie (4 episodes, 1990)
David Lyon...Prime Minister Henry Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
Kenny Ireland...Ben Landless (3 episodes, 1990)
James Villiers...Charles Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
Isabelle Amyes...Anne Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
John Hartley...Greville Preston (3 episodes, 1990)
Nicholas Selby...Lord Billsborough (2 episodes, 1990)
Tommy Boyle...Stephen Kendrick (2 episodes, 1990)
John Arnatt...Sir Jasper Grainger (2 episodes, 1990)
Richard Braine...Kevin Spence (2 episodes, 1990)
Hugh Dickson...Dr. Andrew Christian (2 episodes, 1990)
Angela Rippon...Newsreader (2 episodes, 1990)
|Release Date||14 March 2014|
|Run Time||About 10 Hours|