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No one rises so high as he who knows not whither he is going..
on 27 December 2014
All three series (four episodes a pop) marking the career of Chief Whip Francis Urquhart to the rank of... well, you may well guess where but I could not possibly say. The waspish nature of party politics, meetings in small rooms, the cut-and-thrust of the House are all magnificently rendered with a rich cast of characters based (all too cheekily) on real parliamentarians. The result is very cynical but I doubt very wrong. Politics as my dear old chum von Bismarck used to say of making laws and sausages would, if widely known, keep the public awake at night. The rather dramatic use of violence will come perhaps as less of shock to us today than it did back then. Ian Richardson's breaking of the fourth wall is magnificently done and Michael Kitchen's portrayal of a Certain Royal Person is powerful, at times cruel yet ultimately affectionate. Splendid political drama.