The new Prime Minister is preoccupied with defense issues as he begins to learn some of the details, such as the Russians having six times as many nuclear weapons as the UK or that the armed forces ...
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.
As the title suggests, "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" is less of a specific format than a 'coat-hanger' for short sketches, starring the comical duo in various, recurring or unique roles: ... See full summary »
Following a series of circumstances involving the Eurosausage, the Home Secretary drink driving and the Chancellor's dalliances with a shady lady from Argentina, Minister for Administrative Affairs Jim Hacker finds himself elevated to Number 10 Downing Street without being quite sure how he got there. But life as Prime Minister is no easier than being a Minister; Hacker still finds his every move challenged by the Civil Service as represented by his new Cabinet Secretary, the ever-wily and manipulative Sir Humphrey Appleby, who is as equally determined that nothing should change as Hacker is that changes should be made. Wandering nervously between them is Bernard Wooley, Hacker's private secretary, who continues juggling his responsibilities to his political master with his loyalties to his Civil Service colleagues... Written by
"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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