State of Play

Hmm … doesn’t look like I mentioned State of Play before. It’s a television series I picked up very cheaply and watched through recently, sold by nothing more than having heard it was “one of the best television shows ever made”. I can’t remember where I heard that.

It was remade a short while ago as a film starring Russell Crowe, but this is the original miniseries, as directed by Harry Potter‘s David Yates. The cast is a who’s-who of quality British actors: John Simm (Life On Mars), David Morrissey (The Deal), Polly Walker (Rome), James McAvoy (Atonement), Bill Nighy (Love Actually), and Marc Warren (Hustle). Philip Glenister, also from Life On Mars, yet again plays a cynical, world-weary police detective.

Morrissey plays politician Stephen Collins, whose affair with a young researcher is exposed by her sudden death. Simm is his long-time friend, Cal, who works as a reporter. When Cal links Sonia’s death to an apparently drug-related killing, a conspiracy is uncovered that reveals corruption between the oil industry and the government at the highest levels.

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I wouldn’t go quite as far as to say that it’s the best show ever, but it will certainly keep you busy while you’re waiting for the next series of Spooks. It’s got a genuinely gripping story, likeable cast, it’s got action and drama and romance, the lot. Very highly recommended.

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