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16.10.2014
Gabriel Byrne laughs darkly when asked if he based his latest character, deputy prime minister Tom Dawkins, on any contemporary politicians.
At BBC Radio 4: Front Row, listen to award-winning political commentator Andrew Rawnsley discuss the first episode of Secret State (this link takes you to the 6-minute audio clip at the BBC Radio 4 website). The Gravesdiggers-Rupert Graves Fans-Tumblr site is a good place to visit so you can see whatever they, the lucky ones in the UK, have to say about the show! Gabriel Byrne is superb as shambling, reluctantly idealistic Deputy PM Tom Dawkins, forced to step in when his boss’s plane goes down. A free culture is not a culture without property, just as a free market is not a market in which everything is free. Gabriel Byrne tells Chris Harvey how brushes with Reagan and Thatcher helped him in his first starring role on British television, in Channel 4’s Secret State. From the apocalyptic opening scene, this political thriller – very loosely based on Chris Mullin’s novel (and then Bafta-winning drama) A Very British Coup – grabs you by the throat and doesn’t release you from its grip for a second. Gabriel Byrne plays Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins, who’s been left with a right mess to clear up after an explosion in an American-owned petrochemical factory in Teesside, which has killed several people and devastated the local community. Journalist Ellis Kane (Gina McKee) smells a conspiracy, but although Dawkins is prepared to listen to her, his colleagues in the corridors of power are more interested in a looming general election. Charles Dance as Chief Whip John Hodder (a Francis Urquhart-style puppet master) is wonderfully reptilian, while Sylvestra le Touzel has hewn her tough and ambitious Foreign Secretary character from granite. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. There’s nothing quite like a conspiracy thriller to make the hair zing on the back of your neck. Was it a fluke that Secret State concluded its business on the day Lord Leveson handed in his homework?
Loved it, loved the actors, loved the storyline, loved that it ended without dragging on to another and another and another series. For me this was a pretty poor series, I think lots of the storyplots were like short puffs of air, no follow up and went nowhere.
Whilst the story was rather over-compressed I really enjoyed the build up to the anticipated climax but what a bloody awful ending!
A stellar cast and very promising UK drama series has just ended up in abject disappointment for me. I was totally confused by the ending and until I read the first comment above thought that it was the penultimate episode rather than the final one.
With the fired General walking back into the MOD and the picture of Dawkins hanging on the stairs at No 10, I suspect not.
I thoroughly enjoyed Secret State, In my opinion you had to 'read between the lines' of the plot, and put it into context. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.Use to create page breaks.
In Secret State, a four-part political thriller that marks his belated starring debut on British TV, he creates a solid man of integrity, not destined for the spotlight, who finds his hat unexpectedly thrown into the ring when a  national crisis strikes.


He faces a looming general election, mutinous colleagues and the fallout of an industrial explosion at an American-owned chemical factory in north-east England. The opposite of a free culture is a “permission culture”—a culture in which creators get to create only with the permission of the powerful, or of creators from the past. And Byrne plays the lead with subtle conviction, giving off a vulnerability and warmth that pulls the viewer towards his side. Adding to his problems, MI5 spooks are listening in to and watching his every move, determined to derail any investigations.
The best (State of Play, Edge of Darkness or, currently, Homeland) draw on contemporary social and political tensions to toy compellingly with our fears of shadowy government plots and malign puppet-masters pulling the strings of power behind the scenes. Still, the good far outweighed the bad, and all the complex scene-setting meant that, even by the end of an action-packed first hour, it felt like the real story was only just beginning. The government ministers, the opposition, the civil servants and other interested powers (banks etc) all seek self interest and stop at nothing to achieve it - even war. At first I thought we were being dragged in to a US style 'hook em in and don't let go' scenario ( a la Lost etc) but now I find that there is no second series and whilst I hate the US format at least I could watch the beginning of series 2 to find the conclusion of series one and then abandon (as I did with Lost).
For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for ?2.95 per month or ?25 per year. Rawnsley is a big fan of the original dramatized version of A Very British Coup (1988), but he acknowledges that times have changed and the issues facing government are very different 25 years later. A top-notch TV cast (Gina McKee, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane) work with Byrne to carve out the characters in a relentlessly plot-driven piece, chockful of exposition and sometimes too pacy for its own good. We are up to our eyebrows and earholes in the political campaign season, but the end is nigh. The blue eyes that have made him a somewhat unlikely sex symbol flash irregularly with charm, but otherwise maintain a steady intensity. So ironic that this very negative review is freely available to everyone who might be even remotely interested in watching this new series. Seeking to do so was Secret State (Channel 4), a new four-parter in which ageing Irish heartthrob Gabriel Byrne played that rarest of TV characters: a politician who puts truth and transparency above self-interest. Where Leveson has investigated the invisible nexus connecting the press, the police and Westminster, Secret State has delivered its verdict on a comparable ratking of vested interests linking government, banks, oil, the military, defence contractors, MI6, old uncle Tom Cobbleigh et al. I know I’ve been tested in certain ways…’ He looks thoughtful, before shifting in his chair and shrewdly moving the conversation back to politics. Ironic that this intensely political drama will begin the day after we have decided who we want to lead us for the next four years! There is a stillness to him, a quiet, evenness of tone that, in the hush of the room, suggests a natural storyteller, a man used to being listened to.
While a harsh and excoriating review might be acceptable for any artwork, it seems inappropriate to publish such a review before the artwork has even been seen by the viewing community.
Cook strebte zunachst eine Kariere als Tanzerin an, nachdem sie im Jessica AlbaJessica Alba ist in Pomona im Bundesstaat Kalifornien zur Welt gekommen. With the hairs already prickling on my neck, I’m definitely booking my seat for the rest of what promises to be a throughly entertaining conspiracy thriller.


By last night’s closer, every man jack of them was clamouring for a lucrative war with Iran, and they were all somewhat miffed when hyper-idealistic Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne, looking more and more like Gordon Brown) climactically called their bluff.Secret State, based on a novel written by Chris Mullin all of 30 years ago, has had shouty things to say How Things Are Really Run in this country. I voted early, of course, so I am ready, willing, and able to focus on this new show from the other side of the pond. Sie hat einen Alex BorsteinIhr damaliger Freund Jackson Douglas machte Alex Borstein einen Heiratsantrag vor laufenden David BoreanazDavid Boreanaz ist in Buffalo geboren und in Philadelphia aufgewachsen. The manner in which it said them possibly detracted from the impact of the message’s salutary cynicism. Mind you after the second one it didn't seem worth watching but I persevered and it was a waste of time. Wedged into four high-octane episodes, where six or even 10 would have been (say) the Danish option, it increasingly came across as the comic book version of political drama.Thus key exchanges were rarely allowed to take more than a couple of shallow breaths before we were hurried on to the scene of the next crime against the body politic. Ah, she has read some of the interviews that I have not–the interviews in which he discusses the focus of the drama and comments on UK politics and politicians. Thus Paul Clarke (Stephen Dillane), the sleazy head of petrochemical giant Petrofex, waltzed right into Westminster to deliver a plot-rich piece of information to the PM, who himself took impromptu meetings in all sorts of places: other people's private jets, the morgue, even on a pair of chairs placed in front of Number 10.
Campaigning journo Ellis Kane (Gina McKee, pictured above right) seemed to be able to walk in on Dawkins without so much as a knock on the door. Dempster, will wait until I and the rest of the viewing community have had an opportunity to see this show before pontificating on its merits.
But then perhaps this was the ultimate message: no matter who the incumbent, the wheels within wheels have precious little respect for the office. In the end, the much dangled plotline about Dawkins’s dodgy record in Bosnia eventually went for nothing, while his ex-wife (Sophie Ward) did not reappear after the first episode.
I hope those who have read her review will withhold their judgment until they have enjoyed the series in its entirety.
Everyone played their part to put flesh on the bones on Robert Jones's neurotically jumpy script - from Ruth Negga’s rogue operative (pictured) in GCHQ to Anton Lesser’s deliciously reptilian banker. People said “fucking” a lot, apart from the PM’s glowering bodyguard, but then he didn’t say much at all until in a thrilling scene he had to pull a gun on some heavies from MI6.For all its breathless convolutions, Secret State delivered its homily about the murky web of interests protecting their stake in UK plc with clarity of purpose. In the end, the rousing climax was pure blue-sky fantasy: that a serving Prime Minister would step up to the dispatch box and, like a turkey putting an X against 25 December in the polling booth, propose a motion of no confidence in his own rotten government is regrettably not the way things are done, as the resumption of the status quo swiftly confirmed. But it was cheering to hear someone in high office give cronyism a bloody nose, even if this was no more than a fictional manifesto from the dreaming leftiverse.Hey, at least we can safely conclude that Secret State is for the most part alarmist nonsense.
Where else but in a sensationalist thriller thick with implausibilities would a PM and leading journalist be on cosy first-name terms and freely horse-trading information by mobile telephone?



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