Vision, integrity and a ruthless streak are the weapons of political power. Unfortunately new Prime Minister Jim Hacker has none of these, but he does have cowardice, desperation and a scheming, pragmatic Cabinet Secretary in Sir Humphrey...THE GRAND DESIGNThe Prime Minister's plans for the country's defence manage to antagonise the Civil Service and the military. Is Hacker really the right man to have his finger on the nuclear button?THE MINISTERIAL BROADCASTJim is being coached for his first TV broadcast as Prime Minister, but Sir Humphrey seems more concerned with what he says than how he says it.THE SMOKE SCREENA radical plan to deter people from smoking by raising taxes leaves Sir Humphrey fuming. He calls in the tobacco lobby to ensure there's no smoke without fire...THE KEY What can a PM do when his Cabinet Secretary is getting above himself? Jim's answer is to lock Sir Humphrey out of Number 10...A REAL PARTNERSHIPBackbench MPs want a pay rise, the Civil Service want a pay rise and the government has a financial crisis. Something's got to give and this time it's not going to be the PM - probably.A VICTORY FOR DEMOCRACYIs the Foreign Office carrying out government policy or is the government there to carry out Foreign Office policy? Hacker is about to find out...THE BISHOP'S GAMBITSir Humphrey wants the PM to appoint an old friend to the post of Bishop of Bury St Edmunds. But Hacker's got a nurse in a Middle East prison to sort out first...ONE OF USJim's sliding down the nation's popularity polls. It takes a spy, a sheepdog and an expensive army operation to improve his standing...
Hacker's now PM, but Humphrey and Bernard have followed him to Number 10. This show is a classic - politics has never been funnier nor has it been so ruthlessly and accurately portrayed. The scripts are erudite and the acting is superb: Sir Humphrey Appleby is one of the greates TV characters ever created and Nigel Hawthorne plays him flawlessly (no wonder he won three Baftas for the role). Favourite episodes include anything to do with the Foreign Office ("A Victory for Democracy" especially) and the Department of Education episode. One of the best series ever made.
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