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Yes, Prime Minister - The Key/ A Real Partnership/A Victory for Democracy [VHS] (1986)

Paul Eddington , Nigel Hawthorne , Peter Whitmore  |  Unrated |  VHS Tape
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds, Diana Hoddinott, Deborah Norton
  • Directors: Peter Whitmore
  • Producers: Peter Whitmore
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: BBC Warner
  • VHS Release Date: July 19, 2000
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004WG5P
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,866 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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British telly

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best _Yes, Prime Minister_ tape to start with March 20, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This video contains three episodes: "The Key", "A Real Partnership" and "A Victory for Democracy." "Key" is lighthearted introduction to the relationship between all three major characters, with possession of the key to the door connecting Cabinet Secretary Humphrey's office to Prime Minister Hacker's house causing Hacker's secretary, Bernard, some great consternation. "Partnership" has Hacker asking tough questions of the treasury as they seek to slip an underhanded civil service pay raise into the budget. "Victory" sees Hacker doing an end run around both the Foreign Office and Humphrey in his efforts to support a democratically elected government somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
This tape is, for my money, the very best of the whole series. It has an extremely well-rounded selection of episodes, and no particular level of knowledge of British politics is really needed to fully enjoy the episodes. Indeed, this is a great place to start the series, because the basic tensions are laid out very well in its hugely funny episodes.
"Key" in particular does the best job of any single episode of defining the interrelationships between Hacker, Appleby, and Wooley. (The first episode of the _Yes, Minister_ series does it better, of course, but this is the best in the later series.) There are no significant policy issues in "Key"; it's just a straightforward comedy about the power interrelationships.
"Partnership", by contrast, shows the machinations of achieving pay raises for one's colleagues without really looking like it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
'The Key' is the most important episode in the entire 'Yes Minister/Prime Minister' series, with the same pivotal thematic status as the 'Seinfeld' episode in which our heroes get lost in a mall car-park. It is the episode in which Sir Humphrey's authority (and world) finally collapses. It might be cheering to see Mr. Red Tape finally caught in a bureaucratic web of his own making, but the reality is pure nightmare, Lewis Carroll-like, as the doors to Government are literally closed to him, and he scurries in and out of tunnelled corridors, doors and windows in a frantic attempt to retain his vanishing power. From this point on, Humpy can never control Hacker with the same firmness, and will have to be content to shore fragments against the general ruin.
All three episodes on this tape offer startlingly frank analyses of British, and world, government, which show worrying signs of continuity with our shoddy present - Britain's servile 'special' relationship with America; the intractability of the Civil Service when faced with the government they are supposed to be working for; the crises in the Middle East; the political instability in Africa etc. - where all morality is a luxurious slave to amoral pragmatism.
Social reality is reflected too, with the rise of Hacker's ruthlessly efficient female secretary at the expense of Humpy's Oxbridge-educated old boy an example of Thatcherism's and the 80s regenerating drive. If the 'gendering' of this clash seems a little sexist, than we have to admit that genius writers Lynn and Jay couldn't have created such a devastatingly detailed world if they weren't in some way a part of it.
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