A thriller set in London, in which a politician's life becomes increasingly complex as his research assistant is found dead on the London Underground and, in a seemingly unrelated incident, a teenage pickpocket is shot dead.
Reviews
Popularity
2,835 ( 51)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
2003  
Top Rated TV #193 | 16 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Life on Mars (2006–2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After being involved in a car accident in 2006, DCI Sam Tyler wakes up to find himself in 1973, the era of 'Sweeney' type policing, Mark III Cortinas, and flared trousers.

Stars: John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White
Exile (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A father and son story, with a thriller motor. It explores a mystery from the past with a brutal and shocking revelation.

Stars: John Simm, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Chiwetel Ejifor leads an all-star cast in this gritty conspiracy thriller in which he plays a cop searching for the murderer of a crime boss. Detective Inspector Jonah Gabriel returns to ... See full summary »

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Eccleston, Kierston Wareing
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Cal McCaffrey (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Della Smith (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Cameron Foster (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 DCI William Bell (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Stephen Collins (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Dan Foster (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Helen Preger (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Pete Cheng (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Liz (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Anne Collins (6 episodes, 2003)
...
 Dominic Foy (5 episodes, 2003)
...
 Andrew Wilson (5 episodes, 2003)
...
 Sonny Stagg (5 episodes, 2003)
...
 Syd (4 episodes, 2003)
Maureen Hibbert ...
 Olicia Stagg (4 episodes, 2003)
...
 George Fergus (4 episodes, 2003)
...
 Greer Thornton (4 episodes, 2003)
...
 Adam Greene (4 episodes, 2003)
...
 Sergeant 'Chewy' Cheweski / ... (3 episodes, 2003)
...
 Sonia Baker (3 episodes, 2003)
...
 Karen Collins (3 episodes, 2003)
Charlie Ryan ...
 Louis Collins (3 episodes, 2003)
Stuart Goodwin ...
 Robert Bingham (3 episodes, 2003)
...
 Neil Woods (3 episodes, 2003)
Madeleine Potter ...
 Professor Tate (2 episodes, 2003)
...
 Young Guy / ... (2 episodes, 2003)
...
 Sheena Gough (2 episodes, 2003)
...
 Yvonne Shaps (2 episodes, 2003)
Carla Du Bois ...
 Hotel Receptionist (2 episodes, 2003)
Elizabeth Elvin ...
 Apex House Receptionist (2 episodes, 2003)
...
 Joy Cipriani (2 episodes, 2003)
Anne Karam
(2 episodes, 2003)
Edit

Storyline

A thriller set in London, in which a politician's life becomes increasingly complex as his research assistant is found dead on the London Underground and, in a seemingly unrelated incident, a teenage pickpocket is shot dead.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes you have to read between the lines


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 May 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Den tredje makten  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A second season was commissioned by then-BBC Commissioner Greg Dyke before the first season had even been transmitted. The second season never materialized, however, because Paul Abbott felt he didn't know how to make the story work and he had already had tremendous success with Shameless (2004). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Top Gear: Episode #8.3 (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Superb
26 June 2003 | by (London,England) – See all my reviews

The BBC haven't made a mini series as good since 'Edge of Darkness' in 1985. Although 'State of Play' doesn't quite match that seminal classic it is still superb. It is an oasis in a very large desert of quality programming from the once mighty BBC. Apart from the 2001 co-production 'Conspiracy' the BBC drama output is a poor shadow of what it used to be in the sixties and seventies.

The six episodes of 'State of Play' need close attention but once the plot gets going it is a roller coaster ride to the last few minutes of the last episode. The journalists, the politicians and the police prowl around each other as the conspiracy is unravelled. It is not just a driving narrative however, there are real people with real emotions caught up in the action. The six episodes allow several characters to become rounded and interesting. High praise indeed for Paul Abbott, the writer. It gripped from start to finish.

The acting is excellent. David Morrissey and John Simm as Stephen Collins and Cal McCaffrey play brilliantly off against each other as truths are eventually discovered. The last scene between them is corker. The journalists are the heroes but they are also flawed and troubled. All the actors playing the journos were great but I thought Kelly Macdonald as Della Smith was exceptional. Bill Nighy had some hilarious lines which he gave full justice to. Forget Hollywood star names, these are proper actors.

Apart from the human characters the other character that is well portrayed is London itself. London has many faces and the series brought several of those out. From nights by the Thames , to the bleak housing estates, to the pretty suburban streets, to the formality of Parliament, to the sounds and almost the smells of eight million people jostling together. All photographed atmospherically. As a Londoner it made me look at my city again.

I'll run out of superlatives soon, so I'll just say it is a great achievement by all the artists concerned. Apparently another series is being considered and hopefully that will be just as good.


81 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?