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Episode #1.3 

The Prime Minister resigns and the race is to replace him. Environment Minister Michael Samuels and Foreign Minister Patrick Woolton are the apparent front-runners, though the Chronicle ... See full summary »


Paul Seed


Michael Dobbs (novel), Andrew Davies (screenplay)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Richardson ... Francis Urquhart
Susannah Harker ... Mattie Storin
David Lyon David Lyon ... Prime Minister Henry Collingridge
Miles Anderson ... Roger O'Neill
Alphonsia Emmanuel Alphonsia Emmanuel ... Penny Guy
Malcolm Tierney ... Patrick Woolton
Kenny Ireland ... Ben Landless
James Villiers ... Charles Collingridge
Diane Fletcher Diane Fletcher ... Elizabeth Urquhart
Isabelle Amyes Isabelle Amyes ... Anne Collingridge
Colin Jeavons ... Tim Stamper
Damien Thomas ... Michael Samuels
Kenneth Gilbert Kenneth Gilbert ... Harold Earle
Christopher Owen Christopher Owen ... McKenzie
William Chubb William Chubb ... John Krajewski


The Prime Minister resigns and the race is to replace him. Environment Minister Michael Samuels and Foreign Minister Patrick Woolton are the apparent front-runners, though the Chronicle newspaper comes out publicly in support of Urquhart. At his wife's encouragement, Urquhart seduces journalist Mattie Storin but doesn't realize she recorded their conversation. She traces Charles Collingridge to the rehab center and begins to doubt that he was the engineer of the scandal. When she learns that someone altered the files at the Conservative central office, she has proof but her editor has different plans.When Urquhart learns that she's found Charles, he arranges for a clear message to be sent to her. As Mattie's investigation reveals even more information, she turns to Francis Urquhart foe help. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

2 December 1990 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


When Francis Urquhart says "After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well," he is likening Henry Collingridge to the murdered King Duncan in Shakespeare's play Macbeth (Act 3, Scene 2). See more »


At 29:56 When Matty comes back and sits on the couch, some crew member head disappears near the stairs. behind the railing. See more »


John Krajewski: Yes! He is going, it's official. Not running away from the allegations? Bollocks. He must have done it. Silly bugger.
Mattie Storin: I don't think that necessarily means he's guilty.
John Krajewski: What else?
Mattie Storin: He could've been framed.
John Krajewski: Framed? Framed? Oh, grow up, Mattie. The truth is that everyone is sillier than you could possibly imagine they'd be.
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User Reviews

Episode 3
3 December 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Francis Urquhart still talks to the camera like he is a wily old friend. However the audience now thinks he is less like a jovial uncle.

Prime Minister Collingridge is mortally wounded by the share allegations against his brother and resigns.

The runners and riders set off for the Tory leadership. Francis holds back, he needs to destabilise the other riders before he throws his hat into the ring.

Mattie Storin finds the PM's errant brother in a rehabilitation clinic. She realises that he is in no state to be involved in the share scandal. She thinks that the PM was fitted up but she has no idea who it might be.

Mattie also starts a sexual affair with Francis. More revealingly she calls him daddy.

When the series was broadcast, the nation had just gone through a leadership contest after Margaret Thatcher's resignation. This episode tapped into the heady atmosphere and intrigue relating to such contests. The behind the scenes manoeuvring, getting endorsements of the press.

It is still a fast moving episode, such pace and economy by writer Andrew Davies.

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