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Francis Urquhart is too experienced a politician not to know that everything must end, even his long career as British prime minister. In order to secure his retirement and establish ... See full summary »
Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader, he remains neutral and after a general election where the conservatives are returned ... See full summary »
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.
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.
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 »
When Ruth Matthews's husband is killed in a fall at an archaeological dig, her daughter Sally handles her father's death in a very odd manner. As Sally's condition worsens, Ruth takes her ... See full summary »
Tommy Lee Jones,
Stamper confronts Francis about having a job in higher office after the election, like Home Secretary, but Francis rejects him. In the first House of Cards, Francis was promised a higher post like Home Secretary from Collingridge, but was rejected. See more »
Although weaker than House of Cards, To Play the King is consistently entertaining, perhaps more so than the other parts of the trilogy, which ended with The Final Cut.
Francis Urquhart has been PM (played by the wonderful Ian Richardson) for some time now, and he now faces a challenge in the new King (a compelling impersonation of Princes Charles by Michael Kitchen), who's views on Britain conflict wildly with Urquhart's. Added to this, Urquhart is engaging in an affair with Sarah Harding (Kitty Aldridge), a pollster, and seriously getting on the wrong side of his oldest friend and Chief Whip/Party Chairman Tim Stamper (played by Colin Jeavons, who almost steals the show from Richardson), who has incriminating evidence concerning Urquhart's involvement in the death of journalist Mattie Storin.
To Play the King carries on the Urquhart trilogy with great confidence. Despite the fact that it came three years after House of Cards, all of the recurring cast slip back into their roles with ease. The location work and music are also outstanding. However, the real weakness with this production is that Andrew Davies' script goes over old ground. The dialogue is naturally superb, but Urquhart's relationship with Harding is thin compared to the one between him and Mattie, and the ending strangely lacks the emotional edges of the other two in the series.
That said, To Play the King is highly enjoyable, and worth checking out if you were a fan (and who wasn't) of House of Cards.
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