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Caught off-guard by the sudden retirement of the Prime Minister, Sir Humphrey and his civil service allies soon get their house-trained minister, James Hacker, elevated to the top job. Written by
Tony Lammens <email@example.com>
"Yes Prime Minister" picks up where the previous "Yes Minister" left off, and continues the quality. The two series are bridged by a Christmas special, "Party Games", where the Prime Minister has retired, and Sir Humphrey has manipulated the selection process to place Jim Hacker in Number 10. The new series picks up with Hacker now in his new job.
The series continued the fine work of its predecessor. The writing is first rate and the performers still shine. New dimension was added with the introduction of Deborah Norton as Dorothy Wainwright, Hacker's political advisor. Wainwright is a master strategist, who is able to counter Sir Humphrey's schemes. As such, Jim gets to win a few more this time. Still, never underestimate Sir Humphrey.
There is more of a trade-off here, as the battles are split between Sir Humphrey and Hacker, and a few where they are allies. If there is any criticism of the show, it's that some of the themes had already been done in the original series. However, they are given a new wrinkle as Hacker is now in the top spot. He no longer has to worry about the PM, because he is the PM; but, he still will not make a "courageous" decision, or anything that is unpopular.
Repetition may explain why this series was shorter. The series had explored everything it could, short of full scale war. Still, every episode is a delight.
The entire series is available on vhs, in the US; and, hopefully, will follow the recent release of "Yes Minister" on DVD. Also, the two "diaries" of the shows are well worth seeking out. They beautifully capture the shows, through diary entries, memo's, and government documents. They are far more than a brief plot summary. You can find them through out-of-print book searches on the web.
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