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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth, lies and political expediency
A cracking political thriller with most of the action Washington based and involving governments, private companies and perhaps predictably, a small oil-rich Asian country (Trygyzstan, Tyrgyztan or Tyrygsztan depending how quick your eyes are) so the events are very contemporary and mostly credible, too.

The 350 minutes get off to a stunning start with an...
Published on February 4, 2007 by Robin Benson

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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but improbable
I tracked this BBC miniseries down after reading rave reviews from several TV critics whose opinions I trust... It was not quite the Second Coming of "The Wire" that I'd been led to expect, but it was engaging enough that I watched it straight through in the course of a couple of nights.

The plot is a mish-mash of corporate/spy/powers-that-be...
Published on May 31, 2007 by DJ Joe Sixpack


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Political-industrial complexities, December 31, 2008
By 
Kerry Walters (Lewisburg, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
"The State Within" is a pleasing thriller on just about every count. The acting is good (especially Jason Isaacs as Sir Mark Brydon, British ambassador to the U.S.; Ben Daniels as Nicholas Brocklehurst, British spyguy; Eva Birthistle as Jane Lavery, civil rights attache at the British embassy; and Marnie McPhail as FBI agent George Blake--she's particularly impressive). The script and plot are good: intricate, brainy, but not impossibly so. The cinematography is good. And the basic premise of the show--that it's frequently in corporate and political interests to start wars--is all too true, as recent events have sadly shown.

In addition to all this, it can hardly be denied that the BBC is taking a poke at the Bush administration in "The State Within." Instead of a vice president pulling strings and manipulating world events behind the scenes, the film makes the Secretary of Defense, hard as nails Lynn Warner (ably played by Sharon Gless), the eminence grise. But as the story unfolds, viewers discover that there are powers manipulating her as well, putting a new and frightening spin on Eisenhower's valedictory warning against the military industrial complex.

A few earlier reviewers dismissed "The State Within" as a bit of U.S. baiting. But, notwithstanding the thinly veiled allusions to Vice Presdient Cheney, this strikes me as a rather unreflective analysis. As a major world power, the U.S. certainly takes a centerstage position in the film. But the theme is more about the abuse of power by international financial corporate interests than about nationalist imperialism. In a day and age when such interests are at least as powerful as state governments, the message of "The State Within" is timely.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MI-5/Spooks with Diplomats, January 18, 2007
By 
E. Ng (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
A fantastic 6-part mini-series that stylistically, is a lot like the BBC series, MI-5/Spooks. Part 1 was rather convoluted as a lot of characters were introduced, and many plot threads were as well. But the fun is in finding out how they are connected and come together. You may feel like you don't know what is going on but you will be hooked. And it will be very hard not to watch parts 3 - 6 back to back as the conspiracy unravels with many turns and twists to keep you guessing right to the end.

Leading a great cast, Jason Isaacs is excellent as the British ambassador, especially when he goes head to head with Sharon Gless's formidable Secretary of Defense. Other standouts were Lennie James as death row convict Luke Gardner, and Marnie McPhail as FBI agent George Blake.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mini-Series I have Ever Seen!, June 28, 2007
This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
The state within is one of the best mini-series that I have ever seen. Ben Daniels, Jason Issac, and Norman Jenkins were phenomenal in their portrayl of their characters. Not only is the cast superb, but the plot is so well written and the characters' stories perfectly interlinked, that I sat on the edge of my seat through all six episodes, totally immersed in the conflict and drama being potrayed on the TV screen. This is one of the few movies that I could not predict what was going to happen, who was on which side, and who was romantically involved and their motives. The state within is quite refreshing in this aspect. Usually within the first five minutes of a TV show I am able to guess not only what is going to happen during the episode but also most of the diaologue. This is not the case with The State Within. This mini-series,in my opinion was not long enough, and should be brought back to television as a regular show. It is that good. I can promise you one thing, this movie will make you think and it will keep you thinking long after episode 6 is over. It is well worth the money. I have loaned out my copy to a friend from school and she is keeping it to show her boyfriend and I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to show it to his friends:-). It is a great movie and I encourage anyone who gets the opportunity to watch it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding British Political Thriller, January 25, 2009
By 
R. Crane (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
The British are masters at creating spellbinding political thrillers, and this one is as outstanding as the rest.

Witin the first 15 minutes a British airliner explodes causing havoc along a Washington DC highway, strewing bodies everywhere. Ultimately the search for possible terrorists leads to an entanglement of all the major US and British security agencies. One is never quite sure until well into the series, exactly who is on which side, and who is behind the havoc. It is only at the end that all the pieces finally come together.

The acting is superb, especially Jason Issacs as the British Ambassador, and Ben Daniels as Nicholas Brocklehurst. Sharon Gless plays the Defense Secretary and makes Dick Cheney seem like a wimp.

This series is very well done and is well worth watching. Highly recommended. If you enjoyed this wseries, do also get The State of Play, anothe British thriller, quite different, which will also have you sitting on the edge of your seat.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The State Within-An Accidental Surprise!, February 2, 2010
By 
Thomas Outt (San Francisco, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
This BBC production was one of the finest political dramas I have ever seen. The initial premise is simple, a British subject causes an aircraft departing from Washington, D.C. to be blown up--or so we think. Myriad subplots, subtexts, & a vast array of betrayals & human duplicity are illustrated throughout this thoughtful, and all-too-plausible story. Every performer was diamond sharp in his/her role. The reason I bought the DVD set (6 episodes) was because it had Sharon Gless in a featured role, and I was on the Internet searching for something she was in other than Cagney & Lacey. I was happy that she autographed it for me a couple of weeks ago, as she was appearing here in San Francisco in A Round Heeled Woman. Jason Isaacs plays the part of the British Ambassador to the United States, and his take on the part showed an actor who understood how to depict a human being caught up in something that was "larger than life" without losing his humanity. Twice I watched two episodes back-to-back, unable to tear myself away from the unfolding drama, despite pressing issues grabbing @ my free time. (In other words, I was supposed to be studying!). This was one of the best--high production values, nothing cheap or cheesy in this at all! The quality was every bit as good as any full scope motion picture! This one is brilliant!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timely Insider Drama, May 12, 2007
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
While a bit fast-paced and in spots initally hard to get each character straight, the supurb acting of Jason Isaacs and Sharon Gless draw you into this potitical drama about what goes on in government at levels the 'common man' is not supposed to notice. Absorbing to the end, the story is totally believable....and in effect disturbing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Political Thriller, June 28, 2009
By 
madmak (Oakland, California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
I rented this mini-series several months ago and enjoyed it so much I bought a copy. Although on second viewing I found a few quibbles with the way some characters were written, I also found quite a number of subtle pieces of information that made the repeat viewing more fun than the first. I kept thinking of the cliche "keeps you on the edge of your seat". As an old fan of Cagney and Lacey, I enjoyed seeing Sharon Gless as the U.S. Secretary of State; and as a newer fan of the Harry Potter flicks, it was fun watching Jason Isaacs play the protagonist. I highly recommend this DVD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than one might think., November 20, 2007
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
surprisingly good! especially given the usual political conspiracy drivel dished-out now a days in the form of the likes of 24 and the unit.

An intelligent political thriller drawn from the current geopolitical landscape, straight from the headlines, with the British ambassador to the United States, beautifully played by Jason Isaacs, as the central character.

The series takes place in the post Iraq era US and begins with a deadly explosion upon a passenger airliner on route form DC to London attributed to a British born Islamic terrorist with links to an oil rich Central Asian country.
The first episode plays out the expected hysterical American over-reaction to the incident and the ambassador's frantic attempts at preaching restraint to a zealot secretary of defense played by Sharon Gless and a reactionary congress.
So far the plot follows the lines of countless TV and Cinema productions but then a corner is turned in the second episode and you are formally introduced to a death row inmate, a disgraced ex-British ambassador, a CEO of a major American corporation and the chairman of a private security company. From that point onward the series becomes "a join the dots-what if" review of all those articles you've read in the New Yorker, the Guardian and the Independent over the past few years, plotted by Agatha Christi and paced by James Bond.

Both thrilling and surprising The State Within will engage you to the very last moment. The relevance and complexity of the material will negate the need for suspension of disbelief and hinder any early conclusions. While a stellar performance by Jason Isaacs gives what could have easily been a pantomime cut-out a human dimension that will both inspire and move you.

Well worth the watching and certainly far better than I had expected.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy Thriller, February 2, 2007
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This review is from: The State Within (DVD)
The State Within is a roller coaster ride of a conspiracy thriller. Set in the present, it uses drama to inform and entertain us. The cast is outstanding, led by the much under rated British Actor, Jason Isaacs. This 6 part series starts out with a bang (bomb blows up a british airliner over washington dc), and then immerses us in the political world of the british ambassador, politicians, foreign policy between countries, and private companies as investors in our future. I found this absorbing and interesting, and could not wait to see each episode. The script treats the audience as if we are intelligent, concerned public. Not only entertaining, this series will make you think about the daily news that you read and watch on tv. How much of the truth do we actually have reported to us? How truthful are our politicians, locally and nationally? Absorbing and gripping, I highly recommend this thriller to anyone who has wondered about our future as a country, and a planet. Terrorism is as much a concern today as is global warming and international policies.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, September 21, 2011
The thing is, it's credible, goes on all the time, black ops is nothing new. Eisenhower warned against the Military/Industrial/Congressional complex. We still haven't heeded his caution. We are a foolish species.
This is well written and acted and compares favorably to the best of the espionage/thriller genre.
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The State Within
The State Within by Jason Isaacs (DVD - 2007)
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