Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader, he remains neutral and after a general election where the conservatives are returned ... See full summary »
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1  
1990  
Top Rated TV #148 | Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Francis Urquhart (4 episodes, 1990)
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 Mattie Storin (4 episodes, 1990)
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 Roger O'Neill (4 episodes, 1990)
Alphonsia Emmanuel ...
 Penny Guy (4 episodes, 1990)
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 Patrick Woolton (4 episodes, 1990)
Diane Fletcher ...
 Elizabeth Urquhart (4 episodes, 1990)
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 Tim Stamper (4 episodes, 1990)
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 Michael Samuels (4 episodes, 1990)
William Chubb ...
 John Krajewski (4 episodes, 1990)
Kenneth Gilbert ...
 Harold Earle (4 episodes, 1990)
Christopher Owen ...
 McKenzie (4 episodes, 1990)
David Lyon ...
 Prime Minister Henry Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
Kenny Ireland ...
 Ben Landless (3 episodes, 1990)
James Villiers ...
 Charles Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
Isabelle Amyes ...
 Anne Collingridge (3 episodes, 1990)
John Hartley ...
 Greville Preston (3 episodes, 1990)
Nicholas Selby ...
 Lord Billsborough (2 episodes, 1990)
Tommy Boyle ...
 Stephen Kendrick (2 episodes, 1990)
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 Sir Jasper Grainger (2 episodes, 1990)
Richard Braine ...
 Kevin Spence (2 episodes, 1990)
Hugh Dickson ...
 Dr. Andrew Christian (2 episodes, 1990)
Angela Rippon ...
 Newsreader (2 episodes, 1990)
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Storyline

Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader, he remains neutral and after a general election where the conservatives are returned with a reduced majority, he fully expects the new Prime Minister, Henry Collingridge, to give him his just reward: a senior Cabinet post. When he's informed that he is to stay in his current position, he devises a plot to unseat Collingridge and ensure his own election as party leader which would make him Prime Minister. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Kartenhaus  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Francis Urquhart's catchphrase "You might very well think that; but I couldn't possibly comment" (meaning "Yes, but I'll deny everything if challenged") has become part of the English political language. "Urquhart's Avoidance" is as widely known as real-life political euphemisms such as "he wants to spend more time with his family" ("he's been sacked or resigned in disgrace") and "he's been economical with the truth" ("he's told blatant lies to save his own skin"). See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Francis Urquhart: Me? Well, I'm just a backroom boy.
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Connections

Featured in Tory! Tory! Tory!: The Exercise of Power (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best TV drama serial ever? - "You might very well say that, I couldn't possibly comment"
7 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is no doubt one of the best TV drama serials I've ever seen. I got it on DVD and it was so well-done that I saw the first installment (House of Cards) during one night, and the following two installments (To Play the King and The Final Cut) the following two nights. I just could not stop watching it until it was finished. It is very suspenseful, in addition to being intelligent, revealing, and I must say quite cynical. It is based on the book of the same title by Michael Dobbs, who has been a political insider and was at one point Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. He clearly knows the kinds of things that can happen in the highest echelons of power.

If one is to choose the single best thing in the serial, it is no doubt the performance by Ian Richardson. He is a highly capable and versatile actor and this may well be his best performance. It is really priceless to hear him saying "You might very well say that, I couldn't possibly comment" throughout the series. All the other actors are excellent, the screenplay is of the highest quality, and the whole production is exceptional.


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