8.5/10
8,102
31 user 12 critic

State of Play 

Trailer
0:58 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

In London, 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.
Reviews
Popularity
3,348 ( 104)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
2003  
Top Rated TV #207 | 16 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Chiwetel Ejifor leads an all-star cast in this gritty conspiracy thriller in which he plays a cop searching for the murderer of a crime boss. Detective Inspector Jonah Gabriel returns to ... See full summary »

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Eccleston, Kierston Wareing
Exile (2011)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A father and son story, with a thriller motor. It explores a mystery from the past with a brutal and shocking revelation.

Stars: John Simm, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman
State of Play (2009)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a congressional aide is killed, a Washington D.C. journalist starts investigating the case involving the congressman, his old college friend.

Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stars: Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
Life on Mars (2006–2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After being involved in a car accident in 2006, DCI Sam Tyler wakes up to find himself in 1973, the era of 'Sweeney' type policing, Mark III Cortinas, and flared trousers.

Stars: John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
...
...
...
 DCI William Bell 6 episodes, 2003
...
...
...
 Helen Preger 6 episodes, 2003
...
...
...
 Anne Collins 6 episodes, 2003
...
 Dominic Foy 5 episodes, 2003
...
 Andrew Wilson 5 episodes, 2003
...
 Sonny Stagg 5 episodes, 2003
...
Maureen Hibbert ...
 Olicia Stagg 4 episodes, 2003
...
 George Fergus 4 episodes, 2003
...
 Greer Thornton 4 episodes, 2003
...
 Adam Greene 4 episodes, 2003
...
 Sergeant 'Chewy' Cheweski / ... 3 episodes, 2003
...
 Sonia Baker 3 episodes, 2003
...
 Karen Collins 3 episodes, 2003
Charlie Ryan ...
 Louis Collins 3 episodes, 2003
...
 Robert Bingham 3 episodes, 2003
Patrick Brennan ...
 Neil Woods 3 episodes, 2003
...
 Professor Tate 2 episodes, 2003
...
 Young Guy / ... 2 episodes, 2003
...
 Sheena Gough 2 episodes, 2003
...
 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
Edit

Storyline

In London, 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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Den tredje makten  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The series won a Peabody Award in 2004. See more »

Connections

Remade as State of Play (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
State of the nation, state of the art
24 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

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'.


52 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page