A history of the eleven years which Thatcher spent as Prime Minister of the UK.
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1  
1993  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Herself (4 episodes, 1993)
Philip Tibenham ...
 Himself - Narrator (4 episodes, 1993)
Emma Nicholson ...
 Herself / ... (4 episodes, 1993)
Peter Carrington ...
 Himself - Foreign Secretary, 1979-1982 / ... (3 episodes, 1993)
Cynthia Crawford ...
 Herself - Personal Assistant (3 episodes, 1993)
Geoffrey Howe ...
 Himself - Foreign Secretary, 1983-1989 / ... (3 episodes, 1993)
Bernard Ingham ...
 Himself - Mrs. Thatcher's Press Secretary, 1979-1990 (3 episodes, 1993)
Nigel Lawson ...
 Himself - Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1983-1989 (3 episodes, 1993)
Cecil Parkinson ...
 Himself - Chairman of the Conservative Party, 1981-1983 / ... (3 episodes, 1993)
Charles Powell ...
 Himself - Mrs. Thatcher's Private Secretary, 1984-1990 (3 episodes, 1993)
Norman Tebbit ...
 Himself - Chairman of the Conservative Party, 1985-1987 / ... (3 episodes, 1993)
William Whitelaw ...
 Himself - Deputy Prime Minister, 1979-1988 (3 episodes, 1993)
Robert Armstrong ...
 Himself - Cabinet Secretary, 1979-1987 / ... (2 episodes, 1993)
John Biffen ...
 Himself - Leader of the House of Commons, 1982-1987 (2 episodes, 1993)
Frank Cooper ...
 Himself - Permanent Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence 1976-1982 (2 episodes, 1993)
Michael Dobbs ...
 Himself - Adviser to Margaret Thatcher, 1979 / ... (2 episodes, 1993)
Denis Healey ...
 Himself - Shadow Foreign Secretary 1980-1987 (2 episodes, 1993)
Alistair McAlpine ...
 Himself - Conservative Party Chairman, 1983-1990 / ... (2 episodes, 1993)
Ronald Millar ...
 Himself - Speech Writer (2 episodes, 1993)
Michael Palliser ...
 Himself - Head of the Diplomatic Service, 1975-1982 (2 episodes, 1993)
Chris Patten ...
 Himself - Environment Secretary, 1989-1990 (2 episodes, 1993)
Francis Pym ...
 Himself - Defence Secretary, 1979-1981 / ... (2 episodes, 1993)
Nicholas Ridley ...
 Himself - Trade Secretary, 1989-1990 / ... (2 episodes, 1993)
Robert Runcie ...
 Himself - Archbishop of Canterbury, 1980-1991 (2 episodes, 1993)
Helmut Schmidt ...
 Himself - West German Chancellor, 1974-1982 (2 episodes, 1993)
Alan Walters ...
 Himself - Economic Adviser to Mrs Thatcher (2 episodes, 1993)
John Whittingdale ...
 Himself - Mrs. Thatcher's Political Secretary, 1988-1990 / ... (2 episodes, 1993)
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A history of the eleven years which Thatcher spent as Prime Minister of the UK.

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20 October 1993 (UK)  »

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Reflections and righteousness
21 September 2013 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

I had thought I might find 'The Downing Street Years' unwatchable: four hours of self-justification by Brtian's controversial (and recently deceased) former Prime Minister. In fact, the programme is studiously neutral in its political conclusions, but ruthlessly incisive in its personal ones; and the person who wields the knife is in fact Thatcher herself, though she is its main victim. For most of the other interviewees, like most former politicians in such documentaries, come across as rueful, thoughtful, reflective. Maybe this cuddliness is just an act; but it does make you wonder what the political process does to have made them seem quite so inhuman when in the heat of government. But Thatcher is the exception, and when asked to comment on the events of the recent past (the programme was made in 1993), she does so without showing the slightest hint of humanity. It's not just her regal tone; but the fact that her opponents are so uniformly condemned as wrong, deceitful, cowardly and (in most cases) actively trying to make Britain a worse place. There's not a hint of nuance in her world-view; no willingness to concede that she might not have always been right, or even that others might have been wrong but nonetheless acting in good faith. It's almost like watching old film of Adolf Hitler: it makes you wonder, how did this person ever get to become leader of a country? What did people see in her? Perhaps people really did think that the problems of her time required an unusual personality to deal with them. Because, while the programme can not and does not offer a definitive answer, say, on the correctness of her monetary policy or her actions in the Falklands conflict, it fairly unambiguously paints the great leader as someone with a sense of self-righteousness verging on the lunatic.

Another interesting question. Was she always like this, or did power make her so? But that, perhaps, is the story of another programme.


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