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Francis Urquhart, unscrupulous but cunning Conservative politician, managed to become the British prime minister and crush all significant opposition. But his survival on the top is threatened by a liberal monarch and some skeletons in the closet. Written by
Dragan Antulov <email@example.com>
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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