The Right Honorable James Hacker has landed the plum job of Cabinet Minister to the Department of Administration. At last he is in a position of power and can carry out some long-needed reforms - or so he thinks.
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1984   1982   1981   1980  
Top Rated TV #114 | 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 James Hacker (22 episodes, 1980-1984)
...
 Sir Humphrey Appleby (22 episodes, 1980-1984)
...
 Bernard Woolley (22 episodes, 1980-1984)
...
 Annie Hacker (10 episodes, 1980-1984)
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Storyline

James Hacker is the British Minister for Administrative Affairs. He tries to do something and cut government waste, but he is continually held back by the smart and wily Permanent Secretary of the Department, Sir Humphrey Appleby. Private secretary Bernard Woolley is caught in the middle, between his political master, and his civil service boss. Written by Tony Lammens <lammens@connexus.apana.org.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 February 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Javisst, herr minister  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(21 episodes) | (1 episode)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds all hated having to record the show in front of a studio audience (as was the convention for television sitcoms at the time) due to the distraction and often having to pause for audience laughter to die down. See more »

Goofs

During the train sequence in "The Official Visit", a close-up shows that the warning notice on the wall is written in gibberish. See more »

Quotes

Sir Humphrey Appleby: [Talking about Government reports] it could be argued that the Sermon on the Mount, were it a government report, would never have been published.
[pauses]
Sir Humphrey Appleby: All that nonsense about the meek inheriting the Earth.
[pauses]
Sir Humphrey Appleby: It could do irreparable damage to the defence budget!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 50 Years of BBC2 Comedy (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Ministerial Will and the Administrative Won't!
31 May 2003 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

I first discovered "Yes Minister" by accident, while flipping channels. I came across A&E (this was the mid 80's) and there were several British comedies, much like my local PBS station. Two of these shows stood out; "Blackadder" and "Yes Minister"

"Yes Minister" is the supremely witty and genuinely funny portrayal of the battle of the Ministerial Will and the Administrative Won't. The characters were highly developed and hilariously funny. Paul Eddington was a master of timing (illustrated beautifully in a sketch on "A Bit of Fry and Laurie") and Nigel Hawthorne was an expert with verbal humor. Derek Fowlds was the junior civil servant, caught in the middle. As such, he often got some of the best lines, while showing his befuddlement. The writing was a triumph; extremely intelligent and delightfully witty.

The supporting characters were always well rounded and memorable. The situations rang true, because they were true. The creators have stated that they did their research by taking various important people to lunch. They were able to glean the most amazing stories from those lunches. For example, in the episode, "The Moral Dimension," the British set up a situation room at a reception in an Arab country. Since Islam forbids alcohol, they use the situation room to smuggle in alcohol. Throughout the night, the British receive messages from Mr. Haige, John Walker, and the Russian official Smirnoff. According to Jonathan Lynn, this actually occurred.

The series rings true for the US, as well. All you have to do is substitute a President, cabinet secretaries, and Congress; and then use the same situations. Bureaucracy is pretty much the same in any government.

Thankfully, the complete series is now available, in the US, on DVD. It should be required viewing for every civics and political science class.


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