Yes Minister: Season 1, Episode 1

Open Government (25 Feb. 1980)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 121 users  
Reviews: 1 user

With his party now ready to form the government, Jim Hacker anxiously awaits a call from the Prime Minister offering him a Cabinet post. When the call does come, he is named Minister of ... See full summary »




(by), (by), 2 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 120 titles
created 25 Jan 2012
a list of 3445 titles
created 29 Apr 2012
a list of 5 titles
created 27 Jan 2014
list image
a list of 22 titles
created 25 Mar 2014

Related Items

Search for "Open Government" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Open Government (25 Feb 1980)

Open Government (25 Feb 1980) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Yes Minister.
1 of 22 Episodes | Next Episode »


1 video »


Episode complete credited cast:
Paul Eddington ...
Derek Fowlds ...
John Nettleton ...
Edward Jewesbury ...
Diana Hoddinott ...
Neil Fitzwiliam ...
the Mayor
David Moran ...
Nigel Lloyd-Pritchard
Fraser Kerr ...
the Radio Reporter


With his party now ready to form the government, Jim Hacker anxiously awaits a call from the Prime Minister offering him a Cabinet post. When the call does come, he is named Minister of Administrative Affairs. He meets his new Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby and his Permanent Private Secretary, Bernard Woolley. As his first act, the new Minister decides to make good on his party's election promise to have open and transparent government by publicly canceling a major contract issued by the previous government to an American computer firm. Sir Humphrey counsels against it knowing that there will soon be important US government visitors but Hacker pushes ahead only to find himself summoned to 10 Downing St. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

political corruption | See All (1) »




See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 February 1980 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




See  »

Did You Know?


[Jim Hacker is being introduced to his new position as Minister]
James Hacker: Who else is in this department?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well briefly, sir, I am the Permanent Under Secretary of State, known as the Permanent Secretary. Woolley here is your Principal Private Secretary, I too have a Principal Private Secretary and he is the Principal Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary. Directly responsible to me are ten Deputy Secretaries, eighty-seven Under Secretaries and two hunddred and nineteen Assistant Secretaries. ...
See more »


Featured in What Lies Beneath (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"You can either be open, or have Government!"
6 January 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Someone asked me once in a private message what it was that makes great comedy. I replied that if I knew the answer, I'd write it myself and make millions. The truth is, no-one knows. I'm sure that when 'Yes Minister' was first mooted in 1979, the head of comedy at B.B.C.-2 could not have been thrilled. A sitcom set in the grim, grey world of British politics? What a turn-off! But it got made thankfully, and proved to be one of the best sitcoms in B.B.C. history.

'Open Government' begins the day after a General Election ( the winning side is not named. A real election was being fought as this was made, and to try and predict the outcome could have left the producers looking foolish ). Jim Hacker ( Paul Eddington ), newly elected M.P., nervously awaits a call from the Prime Minister, expecting to be offered a job in the Cabinet. Following a number of false alarms, the call finally comes, only wife Annie ( Diana Hoddinott ) takes it in error.

Jim is appointed Minister Of Administrative Affairs. On arrival at the Ministry, he is greeted by civil servants Bernard Woolley ( Derek Fowlds ) and Sir Humphrey Appleby ( Nigel Hawthorne ), who run the place while using the Minister as a figurehead. Jim's faithful political adviser Frank Weisal ( whom they call 'weasel' ) is whisked off to a waiting room while they brief the new boy. Jim's first major policy idea is 'open government', giving the electorate the chance to connect with the people it has elected. Sir Humphrey is appalled. He regards the voters as 'the bewildered herd' - ignoramuses who should be kept in the dark for their own good. He concocts a plan to embarrass Jim and stop the policy from becoming a reality...

A hilarious first episode, though rather chilling with its implication that democracy is worthless and that the real power in the country lies in the hands of faceless, unelected bureaucrats. It is a theme that writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn ( what a far cry from 'Doctor In Charge' this was! ) returned to many times in the course of the series. The writing and acting are simply brilliant.

The version on my D.V.D. copy has a different title sequence and theme music. I'm glad that they were replaced. Ronnie Hazlehurst's bombastic tune is far superior to the dreadful one used here.

Funniest moment - Jim grabbing the phone, expecting to hear the P.M.'s voice. Instead he finds himself talking to the Gas Board!

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Opening TERRIFIED me as a child katherineklutts
How old are you? bittermilk
Best quote from the whole series? nsullivan
Favourite character? Mrs_Twelvetrees
If they made a movie burchard-1
Claire and Riekiebol's New Yes Minister Thread Mrs_Twelvetrees
Discuss Open Government (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: