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
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
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
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
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
Absolute Power (TV Series 2003)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The inner workings of a successful PR firm - lying for a living.

Stars: Stephen Fry, John Bird, James Lance
The Hanging Gale (TV Series 1995)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The four brothers of the Phelan family battle to save their farm and their family from the ravages of the Irish Potato Famine in 1846, and from an English land agent who takes a dislike to ... See full summary »

Stars: Joe McGann, Mark McGann, Paul McGann
State of Play (TV Mini-Series 2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A thriller set in London, in which a politician's life becomes increasingly complex as his research assistant is found dead on the London Underground and, in a seemingly unrelated incident, a teenage pickpocket is shot dead.

Stars: John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, Bill Nighy
G.B.H. (TV Mini-Series 1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Michael Murray is an ambitious and charismatic politician, Jim Nelson is a much loved headmaster of a local school for disturbed children. When the paths of these two men cross, things are ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Lindsay, Michael Palin, Dearbhla Molloy
Secret State (TV Mini-Series 2012)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Secret State explores the relationship between a democratically elected government, big business and the banks.

Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Ralph Ineson, Charles Dance
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

The series takes place from 1991 to 1992. 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

 
Nice one Harry...!
12 April 2000 | by (Auckland, Aotearoa.) – See all my reviews

Very fine underrated british drama released in 1988 and now sadly passed into oblivion. Alas by all accounts there are no copies on video or dvd. The story focuses on one Harry Perkins. Former coal miner and popular left wing leader of the british parliamentary labour party. Following a landslide election he is soon to be sworn in as prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, first lord of the treasury and the Kings first minister, with whom he appears to get along fine. Others however take more convincing. His arrival to say the least causes consternation amongst the mandarins of the civil service and their underlings, a few media barons not to mention the white house, britains NATO allies, the head of the BBC and a few others besides. It is not an auspicious beginning. Their main concern of course is how far left the Kings new first minister is going to take them. Old Harry has a few radical policy changes in mind which is sure to rattle a few established institutions and practises of whom he is quite prepared to ignore. He has a manifesto to follow, promises to keep his electorate and more important matters to ponder over. It is then that a few partisan members of his own intelligence service together with a powerful media baron(shades of R.Murdoch) decide to take matters into their own hands and initiate measures to ensure that Harry Perkins is brought back into line. They do this in the most unsubtle ways. Like opening his mail, prying into his past life and even manipulating his bank accounts to show unaccounted deposits. To a wider degree and on a more machiavellian scale they also manipulate the head of one powerful union and there is suspicion about their involvement in the unexpected death of the PM's chief scientific adviser on the eve of an important meeting. Most of this is accomplished through the old boy network within the civil service and other organs of the government where the 'old school tie' comes into prominence. It is the start of a very british coup...! Harry of course is not entirely ignorant of this skullduggery behind his back and pretty much knows who is behind it. He bides his time and with only a few trustworthy helpers in his inner circle including the blunt spoken chief of his security detail, he ponders over how to foil their plans and pinpoint the traitors in their midst. Enough said.

This is an amazingly good drama as only the brits can produce these days. Ray McAnally shines in his portrayal of the politically savvy and down to earth Harry Perkins. It is one of his best roles and sadly one of his last. Alan McNaughton stands out also as Sir Percy Browne the treasonous MI5 chief and Tim McInerney as his able but weasley paranoid assistant Fiennes. It is a story of excessive political manipulation at its worst and written by Chris Mullin at the height of the Thatcher years when despite the economic upturn only a few people were actually benefiting from it. It was also a time when Great Britain had never actually been so close to the USA in their foreign, defence and economic policies. Thatchers close working relationship with Reagan outlined all that very clearly. Hopefully the drama will be released in video form so that others can also appreciate this low budget but very canny political tale.


24 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?