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House of Cards

Season 1 Episode 1

Part 1

0
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Unknown on BBC
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
6 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Part 1

After a general election that he helped to win, Francis Urquhart, Chief Whip of the Conservative party, feels unappreciated by the Prime Minister. He sets his sights on the highest post in the land and uses a young, ambitious journalist to embarrass Prime Minister Collingridge.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Remarkably prescient.

    8.5
    When I saw this mini-series again on DVD I was stunned by the way it appeared to make fun of the end of Mrs Thatcher and the rise of John Major. And then I noticed its production date. It was actually made before Mrs Thatcher left office!



    At the start of this initial episode the British Prime Minister (only identified as Mrs Thatcher by a photograph on a desk) has stepped down, much to the regret of Chief Whip Francis Urquhart. She is replaced by a bland character who then has to go through an election to gain any respect. To everyone's surprise he wins that election. (This is precisely what happened to John Major.)



    The programme takes on the form of a Shakespearean king play. Urquhart, played like a modern Richard III by Ian Richardson, frequently addresses the viewers and lets them enjoy his machinations. When Urquhart feels slighted by the new man at No 10, he sets off a series of events to take over. For this he uses an ambitious journalist who happens to be working for a foul-mouthed tycoon who supports the Conservatives. (Murdoch, anyone?) Few people in this first episode have any redeeming qualities. This is satire of the blackest kind, played by actors who are clearly enjoying themselves.moreless
Diane Fletcher

Diane Fletcher

Elizabeth Urquhart

Ian Richardson

Ian Richardson

Francis Urquhart

Isabelle Amyes

Isabelle Amyes

Anne Collingridge

James Villiers

James Villiers

Charles Collingridge

Miles Anderson

Miles Anderson

Roger O\'Neill

Nicholas Selby

Nicholas Selby

Lord Billsborough

Angela Rippon

Angela Rippon

Newsreader

Guest Star

Nadim Sawalha

Nadim Sawalha

Bank manager

Guest Star

Sally Faulkner

Sally Faulkner

Junior Health Minister

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Francis Urquhart: A politician needs a wife - and other people too, regrettably. A man of state needs helpers, little elves and sprites to do his bidding. Even unwitting pawns who don't know who they serve.

    • Mattie Storin: If there's one thing everyone knows, it's that threats from Francis Urquhart are not idle threats!
      Francis Urquhart: (softly) Good.

    • Landless: That is exactly what is wrong with this country. Everyone wants to give their analysis of what's wrong and why nothing ever works. Nobody wants to get off their butt and make the thing work!

    • Mattie Storin: (about Urquhart) I do think he has a sort of... I don't know... magnetism about him.
      McKenzie: The Kissinger Syndrome. The aphrodisiac effect of power.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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