Secret State 2012

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Secret State is a four-part political thriller inspired by Chris Mullin's novel A Very British Coup, delving into the relationship between a democratically elected government, the military and the markets. In the run up to a general election, an accident on Teesside raises awkward questions about the safety procedures of a US petrochemical company, PetroFex. The Prime Minister claims to have secured a compensation package from them, but on his return from PetroFex HQ, his plane crashes in the Atlantic under mysterious circumstances. Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) takes the reins and during his quest to find justice and the truth for the victims on Teesside, he uncovers a conspiracy at the heart of the political system. How will he deal with the powers at play? And can he remain that rare thing: a decent, honest man in politics?

Starring:
Gabriel Byrne, Charles Dance
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Starring Gabriel Byrne, Charles Dance, Gina McKee, Douglas Hodge, Rupert Graves
Director Ed Fraiman
Genres Thriller
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 3 December 2012
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By ekb on 29 Nov 2012
Format: DVD
The brilliant four part Channel 4 mini-series Secret State is well worth a look. A remake of a 1988 TV mini series A Very British Coup Secret State manages to do what conspiracy thrillers should do i.e. thrill and keep you gripped.

To be honest I have done a little research about the reactions of others on the internet of all places to see what other people think of the show. I decided to check the legitimate reviewers opinions out of curiosity and aparently they are none too thrilled at this conspiracy thriller citing a lack of 'realism' and aparently the premise is 'ludicrous' and the 'show is out of touch with what is important currently'. Really? Really? With all due respect to these comments what ever happened to a little escapism, you know a show with a nice twisty plot with a conspiracy between a few supervillians. But the critics complain that it is not as good as Homeland; well of course it is not but it is one great enjoyable piece of television none the less.

Gabriel Byrne might play one of the most ludicrous unrealistic characters of all time; a noble politician who manages to become PM but man did I root for him.

Like all good conspiracy thrillers you are gripped and genuinely interested in how it will all end.

Oh and just one more thing that makes this show great; have you checked the cast. Just plain awesome.

You might have noticed that this so called review doesn't mention one single plot detail, well I noticed that after one episode that they had a next time on feature. Watched it and lets say they gave away too much. Really to enjoy twisty little thrillers like this it is best to know as little as possible about the plot so you can concentrate on figureing the plot out and get it wrong along the way.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Leslie on 26 Jan 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Gabriel Byrne completely lived up to my expectations and was brilliant. I thought the series was very well adapted from the book especially because it updated the circumstances to include situations which have come to light since the book was written. Yet another excellent BBC series.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Withers on 29 Nov 2012
Format: DVD
This is the best thing I've seen on television for ages. Kept me gripped and desperate for the next episode...my only criticism was that the ending was a trifle sudden and left me wanting more. For anybody who missed it or who would like to watch again, well worth buying.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. 880 on 14 Dec 2012
Format: DVD
In Ed Fraiman's latest adaptation of former MP Chris Mullin's political novel, A Very British Coup, conspiracy certainly isn't what it used to be. Back in the 1980s, under its original title, the brilliant Ray McAnally played Harry Perkins in Alan Plater's excellent version, parading a cautionary tale about radical values and what happens to them once you're in power and the men from the ministry get a hold of you. Plater's version had an international context involving the concerns of the day, not least American nuclear missiles on British soil, and this newly rebooted 21st Century story carries that a step further by putting the villainous cast of the 'war on terror' age - multinationals, rogue Middle-Eastern regimes, military chiefs of staff - firmly in the spotlight. But back in the day, the original drama sat side-by-side with other mini-series like Edge of Darkness, Harry's Game and House of Cards while films like Defence of the Realm - which Byrne starred in during the 1980s - The Whistle Blower and then later Hidden Agenda, not only gripped but opened up possibilities about the British state apparatus that wider society, let alone TV/film culture, hadn't dared contemplate before.

This new take on the dark corridors of Westminster is fine, mind you. Gabriel Byrne plays loyal party apparatchik Tom Dawson with a steely-eyed determination, Douglas Hodge is terrific as a drunk and gone-off-the-rails computer hacker and fixer, while Charles Dance could win BAFTAs simply for the way he unbuttons his suit jacket and gives that look of his.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Griffiths on 27 Jan 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I watched this drama on tv and found it gripping, keeping you guessing until the end. I purchased the DVD as a gift for a relative who lives in the US and misses UK shows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 July 2014
Format: DVD
SECRET STATE. This all-star British political thriller, a television series, received its premier on DirecTV in November 2013. A major industrial accident kills 19 people in Teesside, the north of England. Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Golden Globe® winner Gabriel Byrne, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, IN TREATMENT) is tasked with investigating the accident and seeking justice for the victims' families. As the contemporary production explores the relationship between a democratically elected government, big business and the banks, Dawkins takes on a giant American petrochemical corporation; eventually his own government, to uncover the truth. This contemporary boasts a strong supporting cast including Charles Dance (GAME OF THRONES) as reptilian chief whip of the party, John Hodder; Rupert Graves (SHERLOCK) as Dawkins' colleague/competitor, Felix Durrell, a smooth politican and Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Gina McKee (THE FORSYTE SAGA, NOTTING HILL,THE BORGIAS) as Ellis Kane, a tough questing journalist. The series was written by former British journalist Chris Mullin, based on his own novel A VERY BRITISH COUP. The entertainment is not rated, but there is some coarse language. There
are also, thank goodness, subtitles, for who would want to miss any of this quick paced witty dialog. I received this as a review copy.

Byrne and Dance are two more fine examples of how well some British leading men are able to age into actors with sufficient presence and gravitas as to be able to carry a picture, any picture. Their two-handed exchanges are arresting. Other well-known faces in the cast include Tony ® winner Stephen Dillane (THE HOURS) as Paul J.
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