A politician calls a 24-hour strike, and the headmaster of a local school inadvertently sabotages it. So begins a power struggle of epic proportions. Robert Lindsay (Horatio Hornblower) is the corrupt Labour party leader, Michael Palin (Monty Python) his principled foe in this multi-award-winning British miniseries set in the Thatcher era. Written by Alan Bleasdale; BAFTA-winning soundtrack by Elvis Costello and Richard Harvey. "A classic tale of power and corruption"--Independent (UK). SDH subtitles; approx. 588 min. on 3 DVDs. For mature audiences.
Episode 1: It Couldn't Happen Here
One of Michael Murray's first acts as newly elected council leader is to terrorize his former teacher, Mr. Weller. Then he stages a "Day of Action" against the Conservative government but clashes with Jim Nelson, the headmaster of a school for children with special needs.
Commentary by stars Robert Lindsay and Michael Palin and commissioning editor Peter Ansorge
Episode 2: Only Here on a Message
When Jim becomes a local hero in a tragic accident, Michael and his thugs back off. He's appalled when his political "friends," Lou and Peter, next suggest provoking racial violence in the city, but two words--Eileen Critchley--bring him around. Michael also falls for a mysterious stranger, while Jim develops a fear of bridges.
Episode 3: Send a Message to Michael
Jim plans a summer holiday that avoids crossing bridges. Meanwhile, the beautiful Barbara Douglas seems more interested in Michael's past than in his advances, even visiting his mother. To make matters worse, Jim and Michael have a violent confrontation.
Episode 4: Message Sent
Thanks to Mr. Weller, Jim finally has something he can use against Michael: his enemy's old school records. But Barbara would like to get her hands on them as well. Tormented by messages purportedly from Eileen Critchley, Michael is a nervous wreck. Barbara offers to calm him down--in her hotel room.
Episode 5: Message Received
Feeling like a new man after his night with Barbara, Michael attempts to regain control of his city and put a stop to the incipient racial violence. Believing they have eluded their tormenters, Jim and his family arrive in North Wales. And Lou and Peter reveal their mission to a reporter.
Episode 6: Message Understood
When the plotters raid the Nelsons' holiday home and steal Michael's school records, both men start to realize that they are pawns in someone else's game. Even scheming Barbara begins to sympathize with Michael and wonders who her real friends are.
Episode 7: Over and Out
As the city erupts in flames, Jim confronts Michael, Michael faces those who plotted his downfall, and Barbara sees the light. When an old conspiracy is revealed, everything Michael ever believed is turned upside down. A warrant is issued for Michael's arrest, and the Nelsons look to the future.
- Episode 1 commentary by Robert Lindsay, Michael Palin, and Peter Ansorge
- Interview with writer Alan Bleasdale
- Biography of Elvis Costello
- Cast filmographies
Packaging: Boxed set
Run Time: 588 minutes
Number of Discs: 3
Color or B&W: Color
Region Code: 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
"A classic tale of power and corruption"--The Independent (UK)
"A triumph"--Daily Telegraph (UK)
"Thoroughly entertaining"--Daily Mail (UK)
"Blisteringly funny and painfully tragic"--The Scotsman (UK)
"Quite brilliant!"--The One-Line Review
"...a powerful, funny, and often moving examination of political skullduggery..."--Books, Films and Other Distractions
"Brilliant"--Daily Mail (UK)
"Adept, stylish political thriller ... must-see"--Daily Express(UK)
"Masterpiece ... compulsive viewing"--The Sunday Times (UK)
BAFTA TV Award Winner for Best Actor (Robert Lindsay, 1992)
BAFTA TV Award Winner for Best Original Television Music (1992)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Actor (Michael Palin, 1992)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Actress (Lindsay Duncan, 1992)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Drama Serial (1992)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Film or Video Editor (Fiction) (1992)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Film or Video Photography (Fiction) (1992)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Graphics (1992)
BAFTA TV Award Nomination for Best Make Up (1992)
Royal Television Society (UK) Award Winner for Best Actor - Male (Robert Lindsay, 1992)