Yes Minister series 1:
The first series of the elegant sitcom-cum-farce-cum-sophisticated political satire Yes Minister
, sets off Paul Eddington's Jim Hacker, Minister for Administrative Affairs, against Nigel Hawthorne's discreetly obstructive civil servant Sir Humphrey. It features the pilot episode, 'Open Government', curious in that it contains different and distinctly inferior opening and closing credits to the rest of the series. You also sense that Mrs Hacker was originally intended to have a larger role, with comedy focussing on the clash between political and domestic commitments, until the writers wisely decided to focus on the stand-off between Jim and Sir Humphrey, with Derek Fowlds' mousy private secretary Bernard making occasional interjections. While Sir Humphrey is at times a little too sinister for sitcom consumption, all the classic features quickly show up. Hacker's occasional Churchillian bombast, followed by panicky blank double-takes when flummoxed, Sir Humphrey's unflappable verbosity as he brings the dead weight of civil service bureaucracy to bear against Hacker's naively optimistic schemes for open government, Quangos and slashing red tape in episodes like 'The Economy Drive'. Ironic, that when this was first screened in the 80s, it was during the rampages of early Thatcherism in which Government had never been less like the ineffectual politicking satirised here. --David Stubbs
Yes Prime Minister series 2:
Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn's superb sitcom Yes Prime Minister
entered 10 Downing Street with Jim Hacker now Prime Minister of Britain, following a campaign to 'Save the British Sausage'. Whether tackling defence ('The Grand Design'), local government ('Power to the People') or the National Education Service, all of Jim Hacker's bold plans for reform generally come to nothing, thanks to the machinations of Nigel Hawthorne's complacent Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey (Jeeves to Hacker's Wooster) who opposes any action of any sort on the part of the PM altogether. This is usually achieved by discreet horse-trading. In 'One of Us', for instance, Hacker relents from implementing defence cuts when he is presented with the embarrassingly large bill he ran up in a vote-catching mission to rescue a stray dog on an army firing range. Only in 'The Tangled Web', the final episode of Series 2, does the PM at last turn the tables on Sir Humphrey. Paul Eddington is a joy as Hacker, whether in mock-Churchillian mode or visibly cowering whenever he is congratulated on a "courageous" idea. Jay and Lynn's script, meanwhile, is a dazzlingly Byzantine exercise in wordplay, wittily reflecting the verbiage-to-substance ratio of politics. Ironically, Yes Prime Minister
is an accurate depiction of practically all political eras except its own, the 1980s, when Thatcher successfully carried out a radical programme regardless of harrumphing senior civil servants. --David Stubbs
Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 or region free DVD player in order to play.
Yes Minister: (1980 - 1984): From the minds of Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay comes the complete box set of all three series of Yes Minister. First-class political satire and a worldwide favourite seen in over 80 countries, Yes Minister is well-known for being closer to the truth than those in the political arena would like to admit.
Re-live the exploits of the amiable and honourable Jim Hacker and his permanent Secretary, the urbane but evasive Sir Humphrey Appleby as they balance the intricacies of government bureaucracy.
The four-disc set contains the complete Yes Minister collection from Hacker's arrival on the political arena as Minister of Administrative Affairs through to the extraordinary events that turned Jim Hacker MP into Jim Hacker PM.
Yes Prime Minister (1986 - 1988): Following his stout stand against the Eurosausage, The Rt Hon James Hacker, was propelled along the corridors of power to the very pinnacle of politics - No. 10. Fortunately for the country, however, his scheming adversary Sir Humphrey Appleby finds himself in the exalted position of Cabinet Secretary. Appleby is more than willing to steer the unsteady ship of state through the perilous waters of government...
Features every episode from both seasons of Yes Prime Minister.