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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Thursday January 17, 2002
10:58 AM

I Couldn't Possibly Comment

[ #2218 ]

I've been rewatching the BBC's Francis Urquhart dramas. They started showing them on UK Drama and that reminded me that I already had them on video.

They're quite stunning pieces of drama. They were made in the first half of the 90s. I'm not sure they'd be shown if they were made now. All very subversive.

The first story, House of Cards starts soon after the death of Margaret Thatcher. It implies that she died in office. Francis Urquhart starts out as the government cheif whip and uses all sorts of dubious tactics to discredit a number of high-ranking ministers in order to become PM.

But it's the second story To Play The King that surprised me most. In it, Urquhart is forced to fight against a new king (sounding very much like Prince Charles) becuase the king insists on opposing Urquhart's policies. The writers and actors have great fun with characters who are based very closely on Diana (a blonde slone separated but not divorced from the king) and Fergie (a "party girl" who is divorced from another member of the royal family). But what really struck me as subversive was the way that security services are shown as using fake IRA car bombs to kill enemies of the state. I think that, together with the presence of "saint Diana", is enought to ensure that it will never get another showing on BBC1.

Still got the third series, The Final Cut to go, but from what I remember it's not quite as good as the others. Still, I very much recommend them to you if you ever get a chance to see them.

I love all that "immediate future" fiction. If you do too then you might also be interested in Peter Preston's two novels 51st State (which doesn't seem to be available any more) and Bess .

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