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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.
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2003  
Top Rated TV #175 | 16 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Cal McCaffrey (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Della Smith (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Cameron Foster (6 episodes, 2003)
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 DCI William Bell (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Stephen Collins (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Dan Foster (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Helen Preger (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Pete Cheng (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Liz (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Anne Collins (6 episodes, 2003)
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 Dominic Foy (5 episodes, 2003)
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 Andrew Wilson (5 episodes, 2003)
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 Sonny Stagg (5 episodes, 2003)
...
 Syd (4 episodes, 2003)
Maureen Hibbert ...
 Olicia Stagg (4 episodes, 2003)
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 George Fergus (4 episodes, 2003)
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 Greer Thornton (4 episodes, 2003)
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 Adam Greene (4 episodes, 2003)
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 Sergeant 'Chewy' Cheweski / ... (3 episodes, 2003)
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 Sonia Baker (3 episodes, 2003)
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 Karen Collins (3 episodes, 2003)
Charlie Ryan ...
 Louis Collins (3 episodes, 2003)
Stuart Goodwin ...
 Robert Bingham (3 episodes, 2003)
Patrick Brennan ...
 Neil Woods (3 episodes, 2003)
Madeleine Potter ...
 Professor Tate (2 episodes, 2003)
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 Young Guy / ... (2 episodes, 2003)
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 Sheena Gough (2 episodes, 2003)
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 Yvonne Shaps (2 episodes, 2003)
Carla Du Bois ...
 Hotel Receptionist (2 episodes, 2003)
Elizabeth Elvin ...
 Apex House Receptionist (2 episodes, 2003)
...
 Joy Cipriani (2 episodes, 2003)
Anne Karam
(2 episodes, 2003)
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes you have to read between the lines


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

18 May 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Den tredje makten  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The set of the House of Commons chamber is the same one that was a part of Granada Studios Tour. It was purchased personally by the scriptwriter Paul Abbott so it could be used in the drama; otherwise it would have been destroyed when the Tour closed, and he feared it would take too long to get the necessary money from the BBC. It is currently kept in storage in Oxford. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Top Gear: Episode #8.3 (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Possibly the best TV drama ever made
15 December 2006 | by (Edinburgh, UK) – See all my reviews

Paul Abbott is a genius. His writing here is taut and intelligent, just like anything else he has done. This BBC production is truly flawless. From the writing to direction to the acting, it is outstanding. This is exhilarating and challenging TV that, though politically-charged, crucially develops interesting characters that you can care about. The plot is complex, as the best political thrillers are, and delivers a TV drama that hopefully shuts up those who say that us Brits can't make TV like the Yanks. Yes, American TV is great but the marathon seasons and multiple writers are exhausting and create bloated, sometimes frustrating TV. Look at Lost, it is as easy to hate as it is to love and becomes dull frequently in the flabby, direction-less mid-season hell. Not here though. Six streamlined parts that never let up the pace and never loosen their grip on the audience. 'State of Play' keeps you hooked and leaves you begging for more, as with all great pieces of entertainment. You'll be sucked into this world and won't want to leave.

Credit must be equally divided between its makers, and the direction is every bit as thrilling as the writing, and ,accordingly, David Yates is moving on to bigger things with the Harry Potter franchise. The tremendous cast all deliver as you'd expect, with David Morrissey and John Simm excellent as the leads and a stunning supporting cast that includes Kelly MacDonald, Philip Glenister, Polly Walker, Patrick Brennan, Shauna MacDonald, Rebekah Staton, James McAvoy, Marc Warren and, of course, the ever-delightful Bill Nighy.

More joy is found in the pulsating soundtrack, tight editing and cinematography.

Overall, 'State of Play' is among the most thought-provoking and exhilarating thrillers you'll ever see and is quite possibly the best thing to have been on TV; British, American or otherwise.


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