House of Cards Trilogy (1990)
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House of Cards Trilogy(1990)

Is an old saying that two things you never want to watch; how sausages are made in the country’s political process. Both produce an end product intended to be palatable for the general public and both require procedures that are generally accepted as unsavory, outright revolting. When the streaming video service Netflix decided to go into the original programming business, they were immediately held as creating some of the best series available inclusive of broadcasting channels and cable networks. One of the most critically acclaimed and popular shows were a political drama, ‘House of Cards’, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. The source material, or at least the basic concept, which derived from a BBC miniseries of the same name produced in 1990. The original source material was a best-selling novel by Michael Dobbs, former Chief of Staff at Conservative Party and adapted as a teleplay, highly acclaimed screenwriter. All of the BBC content they offer to the public is usually crafted by the best and most knowledgeable people representing the subject at hand. The series stands on its own merits even for those coming in cold that is having never seen the current American interpretation. All those new to this experience are certain to be greatly entertained and inevitably to categorize this as one of the best political drama they’ve ever seen. You would not be alone in such a categorization; The British Film Institute avoided this series a place on the hundred best television dramas. ‘House of Cards’ was followed by two sequels bringing the production to trilogy status; ‘To Play the King’ and ‘the Final Cut’. The complete trilogy has been assembled together into a single box set on the consideration here. Timeline for the story is set at the tenure of Margaret Thatcher as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Obviously fictional, the story attempts to utilize some of the archetypes and procedures typically found within the British system of government. For those who are enthusiast of the Netflix production and who possess certain acumen as to how the American government to set up, or the most exciting things about watching this original series is as a means to compare not only the differences but the many fundamental similarities between the two systems of government.

House of Cards    (1990)   

The main character of this trilogy is the fictional politician Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson) who holds the position of Chief Whip the Conservative Party, currently in the majority. His job is to make certain the various members of element belonging to his party are in attendance for voting and that the membership present a cohesive block to forward the mandate and goal their party. Mr. Urquhart is an extremely ambitious man set upon advancing his position considerably. His ultimate goal is to leave his party and thus become the Prime Minister. I have similar aspirations; Urquhart possesses the requisite skill set to make it a reality. The man is a consummate politician well-versed in the necessary quid pro quo of any man in his position. Not because you know what you should promise to obtain the correct number of votes, but he is the epitome of a natural psychologist, he knows exactly what guarantee his target acquiescing to his demands and precisely the Ray the ‘offer’ should be presented. For Urquhart a smile and handshake is as potent a weapon as a stiletto neatly steps between someone’s ribs. The main difference is the person being stabbed fully realizes what is going on.

After the resignation of Mrs. Thatcher the ruling party is faced with electing a new leader. Urquhart, as a Member of Parliament and chief whip, will be instrumental in the vetting process, and most importantly ensuring the selected era parent a sense of the post. The only person who was privy to most of the details machinations is his wife, Elizabeth Urquhart (Diane Fletcher). The main contender for the position is, Henry Collingridge (David Lyon), who emerges victorious. Francis considers him weak and ineffectual and plots to lock MP Collingridge from achieving any significant cabinet position during the usual reshuffle of these powerful positions. Part of the plan that Francis is hatching requires manipulation of the news media. With his wife’s knowledge and approval, Francis begins an affair with a junior political reporter for the conservative newspaper The Chronicle; Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker).

To Play the King   (1993)  

is this installment of the trilogy begins Great Britain has a new King (Michael Kitchen) has expressed his displeasure with the Conservative Party at this point Urquhart has achieved his immediate goal has attained residency at 10 Downing St. is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The newly crowned king’s insistence on becoming involved with the work of politics is something that the new PM finds unsuitable for constitutional monarchy. For Francis the Royal all to serve as a figurehead; smiling faces and waving hands suitable for public ceremonies and photo opportunities. The actual business of government should be left to the professional. Demonic disagrees vehemently with the social policies championed by the Prime Minister. He contends that the implementation of these changes has resulted in more problems than they solve. In most instances the policies were used as leverage for Urquhart to forward his agenda. Urquhart immediately prepares for the worst case scenario. He begins to gather his ‘royal insurance’ from several sources but most importantly from Princess Charlotte (Bernice Stegers), the ex-wife of the ex-wife and member of the Royal Family. The length that Francis is willing and able to go to increase dramatically with his new position, including having his party chair, Tim Stamper Colin Jeavons) I suppose that Francis deemed as enemies on the surveillance. This includes the King himself.

The Final Cut   (1995)  

Even the most powerful man in the world must face the end of their careers; a fact that is graphically illustrated when Francis shoots his hunting dog was now become too old to perform his duties. With everything that Francis had gone over this career public hypocrisy would rank as at most a venial sin. When it came time for him to attend the state funeral for Margaret Thatcher, Francis, acting as prime minister, praises the accomplishment of his deceased predecessor. Actually he holds her in great contempt for achieving the historical precedent of being the longest serving person to hold the illustrious post. His mind is now focused on what his legacy will be; how he will be remembered in the history books. This manifests as motivation to negotiate a treaty with Turkey to resolve what is called the Cyprus dispute. This action can be used as leverage to help finances retirement fund by providing offshore order rights to a consortium willing to do business with him. His misuse of authority and power has continued to grow in a sinister fashion. When he is attacked by three drunks ramming their car into his, his security staff quickly eliminates the perpetrators with extreme prejudice. Although sensibly unharmed he is left confused by the incidence. He confuses what happened with an incident back but he was serving in Turkey. As a young Army officer, Francis killed a pair of guerillas while extracting information from them. The incident remains too close to the present as the brother of one of those men currently lives in London. Some real issues are introduced to this installment of the trilogy by infusing the debate over whether or not Britain should adopt the Euro as its currency. Urquhart makes a convincing speech in the House of Commons adamantly opposed to such a move.

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