State of Play
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Stephen Collins is an ambitious politician. Cal McAffrey is a well-respected investigative journalist and Stephen's ex-campaign manager. En route to work one morning, Stephen's research assistant mysteriously falls to her death on the London Underground. It's not long before revelations of their affair hit the headlines. Meanwhile a suspected teenage drug dealer is found shot dead. These (apparently unconnected) events expose a dangerous habit within modern government of dancing too closely with the corporate devil. Friendships are tested and lives are put on the line as an intricate web of lies unfolds.]]>
State of Play embodies British television at its finest. It's also a particularly pulse-pounding portrayal of the journalistic life, a small-screen successor to fact-based films like All the Presidents Men and Zodiac--but with a lot more tea and biscuits. Writer Paul Abbott (Touching Evil) and director David Yates (The Girl in the Café) provide low-key commentary for the first episode, while Yates, producer Hilary Bevan Jones, and editor Mark Day contribute to the sixth. Like 1989 miniseries Traffik, the basis for Steven Soderbergh's award-winning movie, State of Play would later be adapted for the big screen by The Last King of Scotland's Kevin Macdonald. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Top Customer Reviews
Having just come off the viewing of 10 weeks of the critically acclaimed HBO's TV show 'The Wire', I needed a pick me up, and wowser did I find one. This BBC 6 show series that aired in 2004 has it all and it is an even toss up with me as to which show is best, 'The Wire' or 'State of Play'. In both series the acting is superb. Bill Nighy as the wry, buttoned down, full of himself editor of the Herald hits the mark every time and won the UK's Best Actor award. Polly Walker known to most of us from HBO's 'Rome' is the politician's wife and is flawless. David Morrissey, as the politician, John Simm and Kelly Macdonald as the intrepid reporters for the Herald mark this cast as fully realized.
The shotgun murder of a drug-related killing, and the apparent accidental death of Sonia Baker, a researcher for Member of Parliament Stephen Collins seems unrelated. The one difference is the makings of a scandal when the news of Sonia's death hits the streets. Stephen Collins the Parliament member who employed Sonia is visibly shocked and upset when her death is announced.Read more ›
Outstanding story, great cast and superb direction! The cast includes some of the best British actors of current day. A great story that, for once, doesn't talk down to the audience. If you appreciate a good suspense film try this one. Everyone I have shown this to loves it. I can't imagine how this can be shortened into a feature length movie, at least the film is using the original writer. Here's to hoping that there will be a second season of this series.
The cast is incredible - John Simm (Life on Mars), David Morrissey (later to attempt self-immolation of his career in Basic Instinct 2 (Unrated, Extended Cut)), Bill Nighy (Still Crazy and countless other classic, untouchable pieces of droll excellence), Polly Walker (Rome - The Complete First Season) and Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men)...oh yeah, and a smaller role by one James McAvoy, since gone very large in little things like, oh, The Last King of Scotland (Widescreen Edition) and Atonement (Widescreen Edition). He gets pumped up here with middle of the cover box treatment, but his role is smaller.
The excellence of the production hangs on the intersection of journalist Cal McCaffrey, as portrayed by Simm, and MP Stephen Collins, as portrayed here by Morrissey. To complicate issues between the two, Collins' winning campaign for MP was managed by McCaffrey, and there's the not small matter of Cal's less-than-subtle pining for Collins' wife (Walker).
Over 500 IMDB reviewers have weighed in with an average review of 8.8 (on a 10 scale), pretty much a chart-blower by that discriminating audience (The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption are 9.1).
Stephen Collins (David Morrissey) is a rising young hotshot Member of Parliament and chairman of the ostensibly independent Energy Select Committee. On the same morning that his beautiful young research assistant Sonia dies under mysterious circumstances in a subway station, a teenage bag-snatcher is shot to death on the other side of London. While investigating the teenage boy's death, newspaper reporters Cal McCaffrey (John Simm) and Della Smith (Kelly McDonald) realize that the youngster made a phone call to Sonia the morning they both died. Further controversy arises when it's revealed Collins was romantically involved with his assistant. There's another wrinkle: McCaffrey once managed the Collins election campaign; in the wake of scandal, the embattled MP and his estranged wife Anne (Polly Walker) both turn to the conflicted McCaffrey for shelter and sympathy.
From there, the drama gets increasingly complicated and messy; I won't give too much away (and have probably given away too much already). The further Della, Cal, and their fellow journalists dig into the two deaths, the more scandal and conspiracy they uncover. Part of the drama is political, part of it is personal, and all of it is riveting. The script (six hour-long episodes) by Paul Abbott is taut and intelligent, allowing plenty of space for both plot and character, with a perfect balance of drama, humor, intrigue, and romance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
not for this region.. really.. how can you sell it in the US yet not able to play on any device for playing DVDs. waste of money.Published 3 days ago by John Bryant
One of the VERY BEST series ever! Binged watched our way thru it, and haven't stopped recommending it to anyone and everyone.Published 18 days ago by JT
This is a fantastic spellbinding series. Excellent production and superb cast.Published 2 months ago by Dianne Gillett
Any rating would be unfair because I could not get the DVDs to work in either my DVD player nor on my computer. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Miller.
The best TV ever. Great cast. Excellent writing. And Bill Nighy!Published 4 months ago by R. George
Suspenseful and sophisticated with great acting and a fast-moving plot.Published 5 months ago by Lisa Martin
Spoiler alert! !!!!!!!!!!!
The first makes the conspiracy seem huge, the guy murders (ok the bike messenger lives) in the Street in broad daylight and can make the power... Read more