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Episode #1.4 

Francis Urquhart announces his intention to seek the leadership of the Conservative Party and become Prime Minister. It's six days until the first ballot and Urquhart plots against his ... See full summary »


Paul Seed


Michael Dobbs (novel), Andrew Davies (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Richardson ... Francis Urquhart
Susannah Harker ... Mattie Storin
Miles Anderson ... Roger O'Neill
Diane Fletcher Diane Fletcher ... Elizabeth Urquhart
Alphonsia Emmanuel Alphonsia Emmanuel ... Penny Guy
Malcolm Tierney ... Patrick Woolton
Damien Thomas ... Michael Samuels
Colin Jeavons ... Tim Stamper
Christopher Owen Christopher Owen ... McKenzie
Kenneth Gilbert Kenneth Gilbert ... Harold Earle
William Chubb William Chubb ... John Krajewski
Vivienne Ritchie Vivienne Ritchie ... Stephanie Woolton
Tommy Boyle Tommy Boyle ... Stephen Kendrick
Eric Allan Eric Allan ... Adrian Shepherd
Janis Winters Janis Winters ... McKenzie's Assistant (as Jan Winters)


Francis Urquhart announces his intention to seek the leadership of the Conservative Party and become Prime Minister. It's six days until the first ballot and Urquhart plots against his rivals. One by one, the minor candidates fall by the wayside - the Health Minister who has an accident; an MP who had an encounter on a train with a young man. He finishes second on the first ballot and has another week to deal with his main rivals, Patrick Woolton and Michael Samuels. Woolton gets tripped up by the recording of him in bed at the party conference and throws his support to Francis. Mattie Storin is keen on Urquhart's candidacy and he convinces her to stop digging in the other candidates' background. She finally puts two and two together however forcing Urquhart to take action. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Did You Know?


When Francis Urquhart says "If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not" he is quoting Banquo from Shakespeare's play Macbeth (Act 1, Scene 3). See more »


When McKenzie gets out of the car (after it knocks down a man in a wheelchair) and gets hit in the face with an egg, he's wearing a different pair of glasses. See more »


Francis Urquhart: Can I trust you?
Mattie Storin: You know you can.
Francis Urquhart: Oh, Mattie. It gives me such pain to say this, but, I don't believe you. I don't believe I can trust you.
[Urquhart throws Mattie from the roof]
Mattie Storin: [falling to her death] Daddy...!
See more »


Featured in To Play the King: Episode #1.1 (1993) See more »

User Reviews

Episode 4
9 December 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

And so we reach the final episode. Unlike the American version which is still running as of 2018 even though the lead character has been killed off!

Francis Urquhart bows to pressure of the press and public alike and announces his candidacy for the Tory leadership.

Now it is just a case of destabilising the rivals. Easier to do with the weaker candidates.

It is Woolton and Samuels who are more difficult, but Urquhart has the dirt on Woolton.

The only flies in the ointment are weak willed Roger O'Neill who is despatched with some adulterated drugs. Mattie Storin though cannot stop digging about and finally realises that Urquhart had the dirt all along because he was chief whip.

Mattie confronts Urquhart on a rooftop but he has murder on his mind.

Andrew Davies reveals a reptilian chilling side to Urquhart. Now he is portrayed as being lot less suited for the highest office of the land.

Maybe House of Cards painted it too easy for Urquhart to get to the top of the greasy pole.

A terrific serial, so well written, briskly directed. Westminster looks so shiny and new as it had gone through a long and expensive restoration process in the mid 1980s. As the serial shows, inside it was still dark and grimy.

Ian Richardson became a household name after so many decades in the business. There were two sequel series made by the BBC to House of Cards that were not as good.

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Release Date:

9 December 1990 (UK) See more »

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