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Political drama series, adapted from Michael Dobbs's novel by Andrews Davies. Charming chief whip Frances Urquhart plots revenge against his colleagues.
Urquhart's wife, Elizabeth, wants to make provisions for their future and introduces him to Nures, a Turkish Cypriot businessman who reveals the existence of an oil seam in the disputed sea boundary line between the two countries. Nures suggests that Urquhart might be able to influence the British judge who will be chairing the international arbitration panel in return for a handsome consultancy fee, which could be used to set up an Urquhart Trust as their own private pension plan. Tom Makepeace, the Foreign Secretary, is angry with Urquhart for taking all the credit for the Cyprus peace plan. Also keen on winning power is the ultra right wing Home Secretary John Rayner. Urquhart is involved in an unexpected motorway crash and taken to hospital. While recovering from a head wound, the past he thought dead and buried in Cyprus emerges to haunt him.
In the House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster announces the release of war documents relating to the war in Cyprus in the 1950s. A young Greek Cypriot girl accosts Urquhart, asking for help in tracing the war graves of her uncles who were helping the resistance movement. At the public records office they discover a record of the incident but the names and map references have been blacked out. Urquhart promises to help her. Meanwhile, Claire Carlsen arrives to justify her bid for the job of Urquhart's Parliamentary Private Secretary. She admits to him that she is having an affair with Tom Makepeace, but stresses she wants to be on the winning side, Urquhart's side. News comes through that Sir Clive Wading, the judge chairing the international arbitration panel, has decided in favor of the Turkish side, so Elizabeth and Urquhart toast their pension plan. Urquhart precipitates Makepeace's resignation.
Urquhart's bad dreams are worsening and Elizabeth is worried about him. He is making bad decisions, such as appointing Geoffrey Booza Pitt as his Foreign Secretary to replace Makepeace. Claire is shocked when Makepeace announces he is breaking off their relationship. Urquhart is complacent, but even he is stunned when Makepeace reveals that he is standing for the Party leadership. Claire arouses Maria's suspicions when she tells her that Urquhart is unable to help her trace her uncles' graves and suggests that Maria go to Makepeace for help. Geoffrey and Claire are running Urquhart's leadership campaign, but he has only a small majority of MPs backing him. Urquhart seeks to avert the gathering disaster by announcing the happy news of the consolidation of the Cyprus Peace Treaty through the agreement of the sea boundaries. Elizabeth meets Nures again and learns that the first half of a substantial consultancy fee has been paid into a Swiss bank account. Makepeace attacks Urquhart in the House about the cover-up on the Cyprus war graves.Then the leadership ballot results prove disastrous for Urquhart. He knows he needs a miracle to save him. A flash of inspiration; he will leak information about the oil find and persuade the Greek Cypriots that they have been deliberately swindled.
The news of the Cyprus oil find has rocked Greek Cyprus and serious civil unrest has broken out. When the news breaks that the British High Commission has been seized by rebels and the High Commissioner held hostage, Urquhart launches a strong-arm offensive. A swift triumph restores Urquhart's political standing at home and leaves Makepeace floundering. Meanwhile, Claire learns the truth about her boss's war record. After the Army rescues the High Commisioner and the Greek Cypriot President from captivity, Urquhart again orders strong-arm tactics when a convoy carrying them back to the capital is halted by a group of schoolgirls flanked by soldiers. The incident ends in tragedy; some schoolgirls are killed. As the headlines scream for his resignation, Urquhart's fate is sealed. Elizabeth reassures Urquhart everything will be all right in the end. But, when the end finally comes, no one is more surprised than Urquhart.
Miles Anderson(Roger O'Neill)
Damien Thomas(Michael Samuels)
David Lyon(Henry Collingridge)
Isabelle Amyes(Anne Collingridge)
Colin Jeavons(Tim Stamper)
Diane Fletcher(Elizabeth Urquhart)
William Chubb(John Krajewski)
Susannah Harker(Mattie Storin)
Alphonsia Emmanuel(Penny Guy)
Ian Richardson(Francis Urquhart)
James Villiers(Charles Collingridge)
Malcolm Tierney(Patrick Woolton)
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