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The multi-award-winning British political miniseries
"A classic tale of power and corruption" --The Independent (U.K.)
"A triumph" --Daily Telegraph (U.K.)
It begins innocently enough: a politician calls a strike, and the headmaster of a local school inadvertently sabotages it. Soon the men are caught in a power struggle of epic proportions. Robert Lindsay (Horatio Hornblower) is brilliant as the corrupt, egomaniacal Labour party leader Michael Murray. Michael Palin (Monty Python) is superb as the principled, mild-mannered Jim Nelson. They are unlikely but inexorable foes, and as their conflict escalates, so do the risks. Nelson suffers from debilitating anxiety attacks. Murray hides a tormented past, and the arrival of a beautiful woman (Lindsay Duncan, Rome) further complicates matters.
With a BAFTA-winning soundtrack by Elvis Costello and Richard Harvey, this richly woven, acclaimed British satire skewers its Thatcher-era setting. Veering from drama to farce, it’s a darkly humorous tale of good versus evil, the progress of madness, and the ultimate cost of revenge. "Blisteringly funny and painfully tragic" --The Scotsman (U.K.).
- Episode 1 commentary by Robert Lindsay, Michael Palin, and Peter Ansorge
- Interview with writer Alan Bleasdale
- Biography of Elvis Costello
- Cast filmographies.
Top Customer Reviews
Michael Murray (Robert Lindsay) is a newly successful Labour Party council leader with a mysterious past that haunts him. He lords his power over particular people of his childhood. Mr. Weller, childhood headmaster, is targeted. Murray used psychological means of attack, & thugs when needed. A city-wide strike, Murray led, has one flaw, Jim Nelson (Michael Palin-"Monty Python"), headmaster to a school for special-needs kids. Pickets were not placed at that school through an error. Murray takes it personally and adds Nelson to his "get-him" list. Nelson doesn't need this, since he's already dealing with hypochondria and a host of neurotic phobias.
There is some past dastardly deed, unknown in the beginning to viewers, that causes Murray much strife and sets up a psychological plot that actually has viewers shaking their head in disgust one moment, laughing another, and cheering for the weird-o's in other places. Got to give the writer credit there.
Beautiful Lindsay Duncan ("The Rector's Wife") cast as Barbara Douglas (an alias), comes to the rescue, or on attack, well, both. Who is she anyway, and what mind-churning event created her drive? Murray's mom (Julie Walters-"Mamma Mia!" & "Calendar Girls") also gets into the sometimes weird/sometimes funny acting. There are thugs, agents, reporters, police, politicians galore and all seem to have just skipped out on their daily "group therapy" session.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Revelatory on all levels. A high water mark which richly repays the viewer's investment of time.Published 5 months ago by Kevin E Cain
Excellent performances from all the cast, especially Robert Lindsay and a surprising Michael Palin, from a golden age of British television.Published on October 22, 2010 by Will E