Yes, Prime Minister: The Complete Collection (DVD)
In an unlikely chain of events, Jim Hacker emerges as the most viable candidate for his party's next Prime Minister. Now that he gets his own car and driver, a nice house in London, a place in the country, endless publicity and a pension for life, what more does he want? Bernard: I think he wants to govern Britain. Sir Humphrey: Well, stop him, Bernard! Named o of the Top Ten TV programs of all time by the British Film Institute, this brilliantly observed comedy of manners pits the well-meaning Prime Minister Jim Hacker against the machinations of the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, in the ultimate political marriage of inconvenience. Paul Eddington (Good Neighbors) stars as Jim Hacker and Academy Award nominee Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness of King George) first drew wide notice in the role of Sir Humphrey Appleby.
Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn's superb sitcom Yes, Prime Minister
entered 10 Downing Street with Jim Hacker now Prime Minister of Britain, following a campaign to "Save the British Sausage." Whether tackling defense ("The Grand Design"), local government ("Power to the People"), or the National Education Service, all of Jim Hacker's bold plans for reform generally come to nothing, thanks to the machinations of Nigel Hawthorne's complacent Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey (Jeeves to Hacker's Wooster) who opposes any action of any sort on the part of the PM altogether. This is usually achieved by discreet horse-trading. In "One of Us," for instance, Hacker relents from implementing defense cuts when he is presented with the embarrassingly large bill he ran up in a vote-catching mission to rescue a stray dog on an army firing range. Only in "The Tangled Web," the final episode of series 2, does the PM at last turn the tables on Sir Humphrey. Paul Eddington is a joy as Hacker, whether in mock-Churchillian mode or visibly cowering whenever he is congratulated on a "courageous" idea. Jay and Lynn's script, meanwhile, is a dazzlingly Byzantine exercise in wordplay, wittily reflecting the verbiage-to-substance ratio of politics. Ironically, Yes, Prime Minister
is an accurate depiction of practically all political eras except its own, the 1980s, when Thatcher successfully carried out a radical program regardless of harrumphing senior civil servants. --David Stubbs