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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:
Rupert Graves, Douglas Hodge
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 44 minutes
Starring Rupert Graves, Douglas Hodge, Gina McKee, Charles Dance, Gabriel Byrne
Director Ed Fraiman
Genres Thriller
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 3 December 2012
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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2 Comments 25 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent drama series. It was a complete surprise. The scripts are clever and the actors superb in every department - not one weak link for me. I am not a fan of the lead actor (Gabriel Byrne) but he does an excellent job in this movie. If you like subterfuge and British Noire type movies, then this is for you. There are four episodes bought together as a series of hour and something long movies.
The setting and locations are good and the whole experience is believable.
Somehow, I kept thinking throughout watching this that it reflected so many things in life that lie below the surface as reality but society lies about them.
If only politicians were like the principle character, so many of our problems would be resolved.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this dvd for my husband who gets through dvd's like their going out of fashion. He loved this dvd and said the story was really gripping.
Worth buying.
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