Ambassador to Washington is the pinnacle of success in the Foreign Office and the position is offered to only the brightest and the best. But Ambassador Mark Brydon finds his skills tested ... See full summary »
Set during World War II, a story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.
Ambassador to Washington is the pinnacle of success in the Foreign Office and the position is offered to only the brightest and the best. But Ambassador Mark Brydon finds his skills tested to the limits when, following a major diplomatic incident, he is thrust into a web of tangled relationships and conflicting interests. In a world of high stakes, where manipulation of information means ultimate power, the question is: who can he trust? Written by
THE STATE WITHIN is a six episode series from BBC that has class, excellent writing, top notch acting and enough twists and turns of story line to keep the viewer on the edge of the seat for the six hours it plays. Written by Michael Offer and Daniel Perceval (who also directs 3 of the episodes while Lizzie Mickery directs 3 others) the script is tight, the pacing deliberately fast, and the insertion of new characters into almost every episode serves not as distracting but as additive suspense.
Mark Brydon (Jason Isaacs in one of his finest roles) is the British Ambassador to the United States. The series opens with the explosion of an airplane over Dulles International Airport in Washington DC and Brydon must respond to what appears to be a terrorist plot. But who is the terrorist and who is the country behind the plot? Brydon is supported by his undersecretary Nicholas Brocklehurst (Ben Daniels, also wholly convincing in a tough role) and they must face the US government in the person of Secretary of Defense Lynne Warner (Sharon Gless, proving that she is a fine dramatic actress) and her undersecretary Christopher Styles (the always superb Noam Jenkins). There are clues that unravel slowly, fingers that point to a small Middle Eastern country, currently beset by political problems, not the least of which involve American corporate gains. Informers and witness are knocked off right and left and there are intelligence issues in both the British and the US camps that play on the concepts that Warner is financially involved in the plot and Brydon is compromised by a relationship that is related to the little country's dilemma. It is a rush to the finish to resolve all the subterfuge and it is played out very well by a large cast of excellent actors. One comment should be made about this BBC production: as opposed to films made in this country: there is a frank and well acted same sex encounter between Brocklehurst and Styles in the first episode that sets the pace for the tenor of the story. No items of personal business are left unnoticed in this manipulation of information and the extremes that can be taken. While it is a suspense thriller, there is a lot of space for very real interpersonal relationships to unfold. Highly recommended entertainment, with special kudos to BBC for having the courage to explore topics so stringently avoided by American films.
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