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State of Play 

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In London, a naive young politician becomes a suspect when his female assistant and mistress is killed in a suspicious accident. The politician's investigative journalist friend and his team uncover a government conspiracy.
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1  
2003  
Top Rated TV #240 | 16 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
John Simm ...  Cal McCaffrey 6 episodes, 2003
Kelly Macdonald ...  Della Smith 6 episodes, 2003
Bill Nighy ...  Cameron Foster 6 episodes, 2003
Philip Glenister ...  DCI William Bell 6 episodes, 2003
David Morrissey ...  Stephen Collins 6 episodes, 2003
James McAvoy ...  Dan Foster 6 episodes, 2003
Amelia Bullmore ...  Helen Preger 6 episodes, 2003
Benedict Wong ...  Pete Cheng 6 episodes, 2003
Rebekah Staton ...  Liz 6 episodes, 2003
Polly Walker ...  Anne Collins 6 episodes, 2003
Marc Warren ...  Dominic Foy 5 episodes, 2003
Michael Feast ...  Andrew Wilson 5 episodes, 2003
Johann Myers ...  Sonny Stagg 5 episodes, 2003
Tom Burke ...  Syd 4 episodes, 2003
Maureen Hibbert Maureen Hibbert ...  Olicia Stagg 4 episodes, 2003
James Laurenson ...  George Fergus 4 episodes, 2003
Deborah Findlay ...  Greer Thornton 4 episodes, 2003
Christopher Simpson ...  Adam Greene 4 episodes, 2003
Sean Gilder ...  Sergeant 'Chewy' Cheweski / ... 3 episodes, 2003
Shauna Macdonald ...  Sonia Baker 3 episodes, 2003
Rebecca Ryan ...  Karen Collins 3 episodes, 2003
Charlie Ryan Charlie Ryan ...  Louis Collins 3 episodes, 2003
Stuart Goodwin ...  Robert Bingham 3 episodes, 2003
Patrick Brennan Patrick Brennan ...  Neil Woods 3 episodes, 2003
Madeleine Potter ...  Professor Tate 2 episodes, 2003
Anthony Flanagan ...  Young Guy / ... 2 episodes, 2003
Natasha Wightman ...  Sheena Gough 2 episodes, 2003
Geraldine James ...  Yvonne Shaps 2 episodes, 2003
Carla Du Bois Carla Du Bois ...  Hotel Receptionist 2 episodes, 2003
Elizabeth Elvin Elizabeth Elvin ...  Apex House Receptionist 2 episodes, 2003
Pui Fan Lee ...  Joy Cipriani 2 episodes, 2003
Anne Karam Anne Karam 2 episodes, 2003
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Storyline

In London, a naive young politician becomes a suspect when his female assistant and mistress is killed in a suspicious accident. The politician's investigative journalist friend and his team uncover a government conspiracy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes you have to read between the lines


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 May 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

State of Play See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Philip Glenister and John Simm have co-starred in four series together - Clocking Off (2000), State of Play (2003) Life on Mars (2006) and Mad Dogs (2011) and one film, Tu£sday (2008). They both starred in the series Prey (2014) (TV Mini-Series), but in separate seasons. See more »

Connections

Featured in Timeshift: Political Thrillers: Plays of State (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb
26 June 2003 | by henry-girlingSee all my reviews

The BBC haven't made a mini series as good since 'Edge of Darkness' in 1985. Although 'State of Play' doesn't quite match that seminal classic it is still superb. It is an oasis in a very large desert of quality programming from the once mighty BBC. Apart from the 2001 co-production 'Conspiracy' the BBC drama output is a poor shadow of what it used to be in the sixties and seventies.

The six episodes of 'State of Play' need close attention but once the plot gets going it is a roller coaster ride to the last few minutes of the last episode. The journalists, the politicians and the police prowl around each other as the conspiracy is unravelled. It is not just a driving narrative however, there are real people with real emotions caught up in the action. The six episodes allow several characters to become rounded and interesting. High praise indeed for Paul Abbott, the writer. It gripped from start to finish.

The acting is excellent. David Morrissey and John Simm as Stephen Collins and Cal McCaffrey play brilliantly off against each other as truths are eventually discovered. The last scene between them is corker. The journalists are the heroes but they are also flawed and troubled. All the actors playing the journos were great but I thought Kelly Macdonald as Della Smith was exceptional. Bill Nighy had some hilarious lines which he gave full justice to. Forget Hollywood star names, these are proper actors.

Apart from the human characters the other character that is well portrayed is London itself. London has many faces and the series brought several of those out. From nights by the Thames , to the bleak housing estates, to the pretty suburban streets, to the formality of Parliament, to the sounds and almost the smells of eight million people jostling together. All photographed atmospherically. As a Londoner it made me look at my city again.

I'll run out of superlatives soon, so I'll just say it is a great achievement by all the artists concerned. Apparently another series is being considered and hopefully that will be just as good.


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