Can you believe what your superiors tell you -- even if you are the British Ambassador to America? In this high octane, action-packed conspiracy thriller, a terrifying plot is played out along the dark corridors of power. When a flight explodes in mid-air over Washington D.C., the British Embassy finds itself enveloped in a diplomatic catastrophe. What happens next is a cat's cradle of tangled affinities and conflicting interests told through interlinking stories that unfold as British Ambassador Mark Brydon slowly realizes that he is being played by an invisible puppeteer with great power.
Leave it to British TV to deliver the slickest, most intense take on terrorism on U.S. soil (with apologies to 24
, of course). The State Within
is a BBC production of the highest order, tense, dense, and absolutely riveting. The miniseries starts with a bang--actually, a horribly realistic explosion of a U.S. airliner bound for London, and the production values are every bit as detailed and impressive as any big-screen action film. Chunks of plane and passengers fall along the freeway outside Dulles airport in Washington, creating havoc and collateral damage in a truly visceral fashion. And then the real action begins. Our hero is Sir Mark Brydon, British ambassador to Washington, played with sangfroid by Jason Isaacs (slightly reminiscent of Daniel Craig as James Bond). Sir Mark has not only an international crisis on his hands, but quickly learns treachery, deceit, and murder lurk within the governments he's learned to trust. The plot is complex but extremely satisfying, far superior than most mass-market thrillers released in theaters in the U.S. Especially delicious is a small but key role as the U.S. Secretary of Defense by Cagney & Lacey
's Sharon Gless, whose eyes glitter like shards of ice. Savor The State Within
, but be prepared to be rattled the next time you go to the airport--or try to go to sleep. --A.T. Hurley