Yes, Prime Minister

Season 1 Episode 4

The Key

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Jan 30, 1986 on BBC Two
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Office politics take precedence over national issues when Sir Humphrey and Bernard fall out with each other after Jim tries to restrict Sir Humphrey's access to No 10.

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    Peter Cellier

    Peter Cellier

    Sir Frank Gordon

    Guest Star

    Victor Winding

    Victor Winding

    Policeman Outside No 10

    Guest Star

    Deborah Norton

    Deborah Norton

    Dorothy Wainwright the PM's Political Adviser

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (6)

      • (The Prime Minister is attempting to repeat one of Humphrey's explanations to Dorothy)
        Jim Hacker: Well, if people came to see people who people didn't know people were coming... That is, if people saw people coming before people saw them seeing people, people would see people. The whole ship would come off the rails.
        Dorothy Wainwright: Did you work all that out for yourself?

      • Sir Frank Gordon: Ah, when I say not overstretched, I was of course talking in a sense of total cumulative loading taken globally, rather than in respect of certain individual and essentially anomalous responsibilities that, logically speaking, are not consonant or harmonious with the broad spectrum of intermeshing and inseparable function, and could indeed be said to place an excessive and supererogative burden on the office, where considered in relation to the comparatively exiguous advantages of their overall centralisation.
        Jim Hacker: You could do part of Humphrey's job!

      • Jim Hacker: People can wait in the lobby or in the state room.
        Sir Humphrey: Some people. But some people must wait where other people cannot see the people who are waiting. And people who arrive before other people, must wait where they cannot see other people who arrive after them being admitted before them. And people who come in from outside must wait where they cannot see the people from inside coming in to tell you what the people from outside are going to see you about. And people who arrive when you are with people that are not suppose to know you have seen, must wait somewhere until the people you are not suppose to have seen, have seen you.
        Jim Hacker: Sounds like an entire Whitehall farce going on.

      • Jim Hacker: Bernard, I want you to put Dorothy back into her old office.
        Bernard Woolley: You mean, carry her there?

      • Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, I must protest in the strongest possible terms my profound opposition to a newly instituted practice which imposes severe and intolerable restrictions upon the ingress and egress of senior members of the hierarchy and which will, in all probability, should the current deplorable innovation be perpetuated, precipitate a constriction of the channels of communication, and culminate in a condition of organizational atrophy and administrative paralysis which will render effectively impossible the coherent and co-ordinated discharge of the functions of government within Her Majesty's United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
        Jim Hacker: You mean you've lost your key?

      • Jim Hacker: Why did you allow Sir Humphrey to come in here when I explicitly told you not to?
        Bernard Woolley: Well, I couldn't stop him.
        Jim Hacker: Why not?
        Bernard Woolley: He's bigger than me.

    • NOTES (0)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)