Top positive review
on 3 October 2008
What can you say? The BBC's finest moment? Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister are political comedy that do not grow old. You can ignore the brown suits and the interiors, and still feel that the themes and issues are as relevant today as ever. You cannot feel anything but fondness for this brilliantly scripted, witty, sharp and gloriously acted classic.
Jim Hacker is a minister of the crown in a newly elected government. Reliant on his private secretary, Bernard Wooley, for help navigating the complexities of government. Hacker grows into the role, developing the occassional Churchillian conceit, but always remains an affectionate character, even in the depths of his pollitical paranoia. Wooley evolves through these series from a lamb, barely able to help himself never mind his minister, to a wolf cub: still young but growing teeth. The master is of course the cabinet secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, one of the greatest characters ever to appear on TV. Sir Humphrey is machiavellian and delights in the exercise of power. Slowly though the unthinkable evolves, Hacker, with tacit aid from Wooley (who has dual allegiances), begins to exert some measure of authority. The man who studied Classics at Oxford gradually realises that the minister, who studied at London School of Economics, which is almost as bad as Essex University, is worthy of respect.