To Play the King

Season 1 Episode 4

Part Four

Aired Friday 7:30 PM Dec 12, 1993 on BBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Part Four
As the opposition, supported by the popular King, seems to be heading for a victory at the election polls, Prime Minister Urquhart needs to take drastic measures. He also has to deal with two people in his close surroundings who might pose a problem.

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  • Daring, but less believable than House of Cards.

    In the finale of this mini-series we see how Prime Minister Francis Urquhart outwits the new King and disposes of his enemies. Though very exciting, it lacks the reality of the earlier series, House of Cards. The choice of a new King with remarkable similarities to Prince Charles could distract the viewer at time. And, with hindsight, the peculiar depiction of The Lady (i.e. Diana) as a pragmatic political animal clashes with our present view of the Princess of Hearts.

    Perhaps it's because I'm a man, but I could not believe Sarah's attraction to Francis Urquhart. First this midde-aged man could seduce Susannah Harker, now Kitty Aldridge? The mystery of who had Mattie Storin's tapes is well-handled and at times Tim Stamper seems a worthy successor to Urquhart.

    Somehow the ending came across as rather rushed. Wouldn't the sudden death of two close aides, even disguised as terrorist attacks, cause a lot of fuss?moreless
Rowena King

Rowena King

Chloe Carmichael

Guest Star

Nicholas Farrell

Nicholas Farrell

David Mycroft

Guest Star

Erika Hoffman

Erika Hoffman

The Lady

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Francis Urquhart: Events - the politician's greatest enemy, they say. Plan till you're blue in the face, then things just happen. Events take over.

    • Francis Urquhart: (to the King) You have no constituency, no power base. You represent nothing but one talentless and discredited family. And very soon you won't even represent that. You will represent nothing. You will mean nothing. You will be nothing.

    • King: You wanted to destroy the monarchy.

      Francis Urquhart: Not at all, sir. Don't you understand what I'm telling you? I have no wish to. It is you I want to destroy, not the monarchy. My family came south with James I. We were the defenders of the British throne before your family was ever heard of.

  • NOTES (0)


    • Francis Urquhart: I am in blood steeped so far.

      The Prime Minister slightly misquotes Shakespeare (Macbeth, Act 3, Scene 4): "I am in blood, Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more."

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