Alan Clarke (Sir John Hurt) is the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton, where he longs for a "proper" role as a Minister in Thatcher's government. When he gets the call, he joins the ...
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John Lacey comes home one evening to discover a letter from his wife (starting with "Dear John" - hence the title) telling him that she is leaving him. Lonely and now divorced, the series ... See full summary »
When Jack Blake (Sir John Hurt) picks up a woman and her daughter, stranded when their car breaks down, he is struck by the daughter's resemblance to his own murdered child. Jack sees an ... See full summary »
Ralph, a once-famous screenwriter, is in his seventies and terminally ill. He has two final missions: to be reconciled to his son, Michael, and, secretly, to ensure he is not a burden to his wife, Anna, as he goes "into that good night".
Known as the inivibles, in the 1980s Maurice Riley and Syd Woolsey, were master burglars. But now they have retired with their spouses to the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Homesick, they ... See full summary »
A librarian begins a passionate affair with a mysterious woman who walks into his library. When she suddenly disappears, he travels down to London to search for her, only to discover that ... See full summary »
Drawing on her love of theatre and art, New Zealand author Ngaio Marsh created elegant crime-puzzlers full of quirky characters with hidden agendas, all brought meticulously to life in this BBC series.
Alan Clarke (Sir John Hurt) is the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton, where he longs for a "proper" role as a Minister in Thatcher's government. When he gets the call, he joins the government, but is totally unprepared for the commitment involved, and is totally unable (and unwilling) to manage the rigors of bill reading and committees. Despite this, he rises up the ranks, still proving his apparent penchant for controversy and evasion.Written by
bob the moo
In episode three, Clark's ministerial globetrotting is charted on an animated map. Unfortunately the map used for this sequence is a present-day one and very obviously wrong for the 1980s setting (the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia should each be shown as a single country). This is especially conspicuous because Clark travels to Sarajevo, and Bosnia-Hercegovinia was a republic within Yugoslavia, not an independent country. See more »
Alan Clark is a junior minister in the Thatcher government: irreverent, accident-prone and indiscreet. He wants to move up the slippery pole but lacks the necessary energy or cunning or self-belief. Only when the administration enters terminal decline can he rise to a higher station as others slip rapidly down the pole. Bureaucrats consider him a fool; he alternately lusts after (the females) and loathes them. John Hurt gets this character very well and Jenny Agutter plays his long-suffering wife with a nice mixture of brave grins and maternal snarls. What's missing is a dramatic context for Clark's monologues/thought bubbles. The viewer is rushed through a series of political accidents and incidents in which it is often hard to know or remember who is who and what is what. Too often, we are expected to be satisfied with the Clark witticisms without being given a proper understanding of what it is he's being witty about. The flatness to the look of the series and the metronomic directorial pacing prevent us from fully engaging with the larger story of a government willing to accommodate someone like Alan Clark.
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