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"State of Play"
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"State of Play" (2003) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 2003-

State of Play: :  -- 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 drug dealer is shot dead.


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8.6/10   6,749 votes »
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Release Date:
18 May 2003 (UK) See more »
Sometimes you have to read between the lines
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.
16 wins & 10 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
State of the nation, state of the art See more (31 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 24 of 32)

John Simm ... Cal McCaffrey (6 episodes, 2003)

Kelly Macdonald ... Della Smith (6 episodes, 2003)

Bill Nighy ... Cameron Foster (6 episodes, 2003)

Philip Glenister ... DCI William Bell (6 episodes, 2003)

David Morrissey ... Stephen Collins (6 episodes, 2003)

James McAvoy ... Dan Foster (6 episodes, 2003)
Amelia Bullmore ... Helen Preger (6 episodes, 2003)

Benedict Wong ... Pete Cheng (6 episodes, 2003)

Rebekah Staton ... Liz (6 episodes, 2003)

Polly Walker ... Anne Collins (6 episodes, 2003)

Marc Warren ... Dominic Foy (5 episodes, 2003)

Michael Feast ... Andrew Wilson (5 episodes, 2003)

Johann Myers ... Sonny Stagg (5 episodes, 2003)

Tom Burke ... Syd (4 episodes, 2003)
Maureen Hibbert ... Olicia Stagg (4 episodes, 2003)
James Laurenson ... George Fergus (4 episodes, 2003)

Deborah Findlay ... Greer Thornton (4 episodes, 2003)

Christopher Simpson ... Adam Greene (4 episodes, 2003)

Sean Gilder ... Sergeant 'Chewy' Cheweski / ... (3 episodes, 2003)

Shauna Macdonald ... Sonia Baker (3 episodes, 2003)

Rebecca Ryan ... 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)

Series Directed by
David Yates (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Writing credits
Paul Abbott (6 episodes, 2003)

Series Produced by
Hilary Bevan Jones .... producer (6 episodes, 2003)
Gareth Neame .... executive producer (6 episodes, 2003)
Paul Frift .... line producer (5 episodes, 2003)
Laura Mackie .... executive producer (3 episodes, 2003)
Paul Abbott .... executive producer (2 episodes, 2003)
Series Original Music by
Nicholas Hooper (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Cinematography by
Chris Seager (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Film Editing by
Mark Day (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Casting by
Wendy Brazington (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Production Design by
Donal Woods (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Art Direction by
Charmian Adams (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Costume Design by
Claire Anderson (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Makeup Department
Karen Edwards .... hair stylist / makeup artist (5 episodes, 2003)
Nicola Mansell .... hair stylist / makeup artist (5 episodes, 2003)
Anne Oldham .... hair designer / makeup designer (5 episodes, 2003)
Series Production Management
Tom Crooke .... unit manager (5 episodes, 2003)
Heidi Mount .... post-production supervisor (4 episodes, 2003)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicola Parfit .... floor assistant director (6 episodes, 2003)
Stephen Woolfenden .... first assistant director (6 episodes, 2003)
Paul Mason .... third assistant director (5 episodes, 2003)
Beni Turkson .... second assistant director (5 episodes, 2003)
Series Art Department
Mike Rawlings .... props (6 episodes, 2003)
Jo Aitchison .... stand-by art director (5 episodes, 2003)
Graham Bishop .... production buyer (5 episodes, 2003)
Bunny Burton .... painter (5 episodes, 2003)
Douglas Glen .... stand-by props (5 episodes, 2003)
Matthew Power .... dressing props (5 episodes, 2003)
Mike Power .... property master / props master (5 episodes, 2003)
Tony Power .... stand-by painter (5 episodes, 2003)
Charlie Redman .... stand-by props (5 episodes, 2003)
Brian Rollands .... dressing props (5 episodes, 2003)
Chris Sibley-Hale .... carpenter (5 episodes, 2003)
Nick Slater .... stand-by carpenter (5 episodes, 2003)
Kate Wicks .... art department assistant (5 episodes, 2003)
Gareth Wilkins .... carpenter (5 episodes, 2003)
Roger Wilkins .... construction manager (5 episodes, 2003)
Joe Willmott .... carpenter (5 episodes, 2003)
Charlie Macher .... stand-by rigger (4 episodes, 2003)
Series Sound Department
Lee Walpole .... foley editor (6 episodes, 2003)
Rowena Wilkinson .... foley artist (6 episodes, 2003)
Stuart Hilliker .... dubbing mixer (5 episodes, 2003)
Jeremy Lishman .... boom operator (5 episodes, 2003)
Jamie McPhee .... sound effects editor (5 episodes, 2003)
Simon Okin .... sound mixer (5 episodes, 2003)
Adrienne Taylor .... sound assistant (5 episodes, 2003)
Stan White .... adr editor (5 episodes, 2003)
Pat Boxshall .... dialogue editor (3 episodes, 2003)
Jennie Evans .... dialogue editor (2 episodes, 2003)
Ian Wilkinson .... foley recordist (2 episodes, 2003)
Series Visual Effects by
Colin Gorry .... visual effects supervisor (4 episodes, 2003)
Series Stunts
Paul Weston .... stunt coordinator (2 episodes, 2003)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Jeremy Hiles .... camera operator (6 episodes, 2003)
Chris Williams .... camera trainee (6 episodes, 2003)
Steve Anthony .... best boy (5 episodes, 2003)
Dick Conway .... electrician (5 episodes, 2003)
Steve Ellingworth .... camera grip (5 episodes, 2003)
Guy Hammond .... electrician (5 episodes, 2003)
Stuart King .... gaffer (5 episodes, 2003)
Tom McFarling .... clapper loader (5 episodes, 2003)
Kim Seber .... camera focus puller (5 episodes, 2003)
David Wall .... electrician (5 episodes, 2003)
Paul Worley .... second grip (5 episodes, 2003)
Mark Funnell .... electrician (4 episodes, 2003)

Joss Barratt .... still photographer (unknown episodes)
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gilly Martin .... wardrobe supervisor (5 episodes, 2003)
Marc Ridley .... costume assistant (5 episodes, 2003)
Leonora Stabb .... costume assistant (5 episodes, 2003)
Series Editorial Department
Chris Beeton .... colorist (5 episodes, 2003)
Justin Eely .... on-line editor (5 episodes, 2003)
Natasha Wilkinson .... assistant editor (5 episodes, 2003)
Series Transportation Department
Guy Bostock .... picture car coordinator (6 episodes, 2003)
Series Other crew
Jane Houston .... script supervisor / continuity (6 episodes, 2003)
Dave Williams .... catering crew (6 episodes, 2003)
Sue Affleck .... unit publicist (5 episodes, 2003)
Janine Bennett .... production secretary (5 episodes, 2003)
Heather Bownass .... production secretary (5 episodes, 2003)
Finlay Bradbury .... location assistant (5 episodes, 2003)
Susie Conklin .... script editor (5 episodes, 2003)
Wim De Greef .... production accountant (5 episodes, 2003)
Thomas Elgood .... location manager (5 episodes, 2003)
Mark Galbraith .... production executive: BBC (5 episodes, 2003)
Claire Kerrison .... production coordinator (5 episodes, 2003)
Joann Steele .... assistant production accountant (5 episodes, 2003)
Victoria Brooks .... picture publicist (4 episodes, 2003)
Simon Hoggart .... political advisor (4 episodes, 2003)
Norman Lane .... journalist advisor (4 episodes, 2003)
Kevin Maguire .... journalist advisor (4 episodes, 2003)

Guy Cowan .... caterer (unknown episodes)
Oliver Kersey .... additional set production assistant (unknown episodes)
Daigoro Tivers .... production runner (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Boom  sound post-production
  • Compuhire  computer and video playback

Additional Details

Also Known As:
57 min (6 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:MA | Australia:M (some episodes) | Finland:K-15 | UK:12 (1 episode) | UK:15 (5 episodes)

Did You Know?

A second season was commissioned by then-BBC Commissioner Greg Dyke before the first season had even been transmitted. The second season never materialized, however, because Paul Abbott felt he didn't know how to make the story work and he had already had tremendous success with "Shameless" (2004).See more »
Stephen Collins:[seated on the steps of Cal McCaffrey's house, as Cal is walking away] You're no good to Anne now... Your name will be on the story... You'd know if you had them... Kids... They shoot the messenger... They just doSee more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Top Gear: Episode #8.3" (2006)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
49 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
State of the nation, state of the art, 24 June 2003
Author: paul2001sw-1 ( from Saffron Walden, UK

What makes a good political thriller? Some things are obvious. Firstly, strong believable characters. Secondly, a fast-paced, complex, dazzling plot. But the plot must resolve into something comprehensible - there may appear to be one hundred mysteries, but beneath the smoke and mirrors, there must be one story. Anyone can write an infinite collection of coincidences and conspiracies - but a strong story makes simple sense in the end. Finally, a political drama needs to say something authentic about the current state of the world. If the final conclusion is that the Prime Minister has a prediliction for drinking the blood of teenage girls, then however plausible this is made to seem, an opportunity has been lost - if politics really is the subject matter, and not just the setting, then the personal drama must make some wider political point. Paul Abbott's 'State of Play' succeeds gloriously on all these points, and confirms his reputation as among the the sharpest writers in British television today.

Director David Yates also deserves credit, for keeping the mood tense but unmelodramatic throughout, while the cast show uniform excellence in bringing Abbott's characters to life. Abbott has commented that he knew he would have failed if any of his (largely journalistic) heroes could be sumarised as "mavericks" - a simple lesson ignored by ninety percent of writers today. Instead we have real, three-dimensional portrayals. What's especially impressive is how well the female characters are realised - neither passive decoration nor kick-ass post-feminists, but believable, not necessarily glamorous women - the contrast between the sexes has a low-key ring of truth. David Morrissey as the MP around whom the storm breaks is also excellent - when politicians are held in universally low stock, 'State of Play' avoids all the easiest shots. If one of the tragedy of politics is that many of its protagonists are first rate idiots, another is what it makes out of those who are not. Morrissey's Stephen Collins is never sympathetic, and yet comes across as the sort of man you might almost choose to try and run the country. Paul Abbott, meanwhile, is certainly the sort of man you'd choose to write a drama. In 'State of Play', he has produced the best British TV series since 'Holding On'.

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Dominic Foy!!!! CUTEST! jelly_blob_bobs
Mad dogs Keith_in_Brighton_UK
Plot Hole humphreywalwyn
the truth about Stephen Collins ? (spoilers galore) dwgryph
Other Miniseries? afox9119
That was some shot dwgryph
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