Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative... See full summary »
Reviews

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1988  
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Boys from the Blackstuff (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Five unemployed men would do anything just to have a job in Thatchers era Britain.

Stars: Michael Angelis, Bernard Hill, Alan Igbon
Our Friends in the North (TV Mini-Series 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A nine part series depicting the varying fortunes of four friends, Nicky, Geordie, Mary, and Tosker, from the optimistic times of 1964 to the uncertainties of 1995. Taking nine pivotal ... See full summary »

Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Mark Strong, Gina McKee
Talking Heads (TV Mini-Series 1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Six monologues tell the stories of six different repressed souls: a man dominated by his mother, a vicar's wife, an inveterate letter writer, a hopeful actress, a recently widowed woman, ... See full summary »

Stars: Alan Bennett, Stephanie Cole, Thora Hird
Cracker (1993–1996)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An abrasively eccentric forensic psychologist aids in the solving of difficult police cases.

Stars: Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O'Brien
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »

Stars: Alec Guinness, Eileen Atkins, Bill Paterson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay
Tenko (1981–1984)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

After the Japanese invasion of Singapore in February 1942, a group of British, Dutch, and Australian women are held in a Japanese internment camp on a Japanese-occupied island between Singapore and Australia.

Stars: Ann Bell, Stephanie Cole, Claire Oberman
The Signalman (TV Short 1976)
Drama | Horror | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A lonely Signalman is visited by a stranger.

Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Bernard Lloyd, Reginald Jessup
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
Drama | Musical | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.

Stars: Michael Gambon, Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary-style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England, and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly
Yes Minister (1980–1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

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.

Stars: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 The Cabinet - Harry Perkins (3 episodes, 1988)
Marjorie Yates ...
 The Cabinet - Cook (3 episodes, 1988)
Geoffrey Beevers ...
 The Cabinet - Wainwright (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Cabinet - Sampson (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Staff - Thompson (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Staff - Tweed (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Staff - Inspector Page (3 episodes, 1988)
Alan MacNaughtan ...
 The Public Servants - Browne (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Public Servants - Fiennes (3 episodes, 1988)
Christine Kavanagh ...
 The Public Servants - Liz (3 episodes, 1988)
David McKail ...
 The Public Servants - Robertson (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Americans - Secretary of State (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Americans - President (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Media - TV Interviewer (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Media - Fison (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Media - Alford (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Media - Editor (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The People - Patel (3 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Cabinet - Newsome (2 episodes, 1988)
Roger Brierley ...
 The Cabinet - Andrews (2 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Americans - Chambers (2 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Americans - Ambassador (2 episodes, 1988)
Clive Panto ...
 The Media - Producer (2 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Media - Vision Mixer (2 episodes, 1988)
Terry John ...
 The Media - Photographer (2 episodes, 1988)
...
 The Media - Photographer (2 episodes, 1988)
Jessica Carney ...
 The People - Maureen (2 episodes, 1988)
...
 The People - Annette (2 episodes, 1988)
...
 The People - Smith (2 episodes, 1988)
Preston Lockwood ...
 The People - Lord Fain (2 episodes, 1988)
Edit

Storyline

Harry Perkins, steel worker and trade unionist from Sheffield, becomes Prime Minister of the UK by a landslide, partly because of corruption and public disillusionment with the Conservative Party and financial institutions of the City of London. The IMF, the military and their secret service "comrades" start to plot against of the elected PM. They are unhappy with the non-nuclear and neutral aspirations of his party (during the Cold War) and are supported in their fears by nationalistic media moguls. Quietly, the protagonist Harry is driven by an underlying desire to compensate for the corporate manslaughter of his granddad, "who were killed at work" when he was "splashed by molten steel". Harry inherited his shaving mug, nothing more, and was originally determined to see workers participate in decision making for safety on the job. As his national-political consciousness grew he formed a wider agenda for a reinvestment in health and education as well as public ownership of public ... Written by Shaunrey@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 1988 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Colpo di stato all'inglese  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(3 parts)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Look carefully, and you'll see all the cars have 'J' registration plates. The series was made in 1988 when the current registration letter was 'E'; the producers obtained permission to use fake car registration plates to establish that the action was set in the future. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Great Mass in C Minor
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra & The London Symphony Chorus
Conducted by Colin Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A First Rate Poltical Thriller
22 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A left wing candidate is elected after a hard fought campaign by his right wing rivals. No I am not talking about the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. That is the in fact the beginning of A Very British Coup, an excellent and all too plausible miniseries about a left wing British Prime Minister who radical policies lead to members of the right wing establishment trying to bring him down. In fact it for interesting viewing especially in today's world.

Any good production needs a good cast and A Very British Coup has an excellent cast. Ray McAnally gives the greatest performance of his all too short career as Prime Minister Harry Perkins. McAnally captures perfectly the plain-spoken, charismatic leader in both good times and bad. As Perkins, McAnally makes you want to stand up and cheer for him especially with his final speech. McAnally of course is just the tip of the cast. As Perkins biggest enemy is Alan MacNaughtan as Sir Percy Browne, the almost and quietly threatening head of MI5 who sits at the center of the web of conspiracy to bring down Perkins. The supporting cast is made up of some Britain's finest actors from Keith Allen to Tim McInnery, Philip Madoc, Marjorie Yates, Geofrey Beevers, Jim Carter and Oscar Quitak amongst others. Even in small parts like Inspector Page (Bernard Kay) and Annette Newsome (Caroline John) are filled with terrific actors.

The real star of A Very British Coup is its script. Alan Plater takes Chris Mullin's novel and crafts it into a fascinating study of a government under siege from within. Often in political films or series the plot takes head over the dialogue which leads to stifled dialogue. Plater doesn't let that happen and the dialogue never seems stifled but real and urgent. In fact the whole script seems real and urgent despite some of the issues being dated (such as nuclear disarmament). The fascinating thing about watching this is that change an issue or two and this could be today. The result is a story that has the ability to fascinate some twenty years later.

Another important aspect of the productions is its visuals. Director Mick Jackson and cinematographer Ernie Vincze use the camera and screen time wisely. The result is that A Very British Coup is as much a visual feast as anything else with moments in parts two and three that stand out even today. The miniseries is, as a result, a dark and grainy world full of enemies and thinly veiled threats. This even truer when combined with the music of John Keane and the performances of the cast.

The result of all this from the exceptional performance of Ray McAnally, the performances of the cast, an excellent script that's all too plausible and a visual feast makes A Very British Coup a first rate political thriller. It may be twenty years old and somewhat dated at times but it makes a fascinating viewing that still carries weight today. For at its heart A Very British Coup carries an important and time less message: the greatest enemy of a democracy is not from without but from within. It's a message we shouldn't ignore.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?