Mobile Masterpiece Theatre’s “House of Cards,” “To Play the King,” and “The Final Cut”
BBC, London, England, WGBH-TV, Boston, Massachusetts
This superb trilogy tracks the career of scheming, conniving Prime Minister Francis Urquhart, masterfully played by Ian Richardson, as he nefariously seeks to secure his place in history. Together, executive producer Michael Wearing (for the BBC), series executive producer Rebecca Eaton (for Mobile Masterpiece Theater), producer Ken Riddington, director Mike Vardy, and screenwriter Andrew Davies tell a tale of skullduggery and dirty tricks, as the ruthless Urquhart plots to become the greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill. His wife, Elizabeth, cannily played by Diane Fletcher, paves way with her Lady Macbeth-like machinations, while Machiavellian politicians on both sides of the House of Commons scheme to establish their own power bases. Through it all, Urquhart explains his devious, calculating, and crafty moves in soliloquies and asides addressed to viewers, who are turned into unwitting co-conspirators. For presenting a splendidly wicked political satire, a Peabody to the BBC and WGBH-TV for House of Cards, To Play the King, and The Final Cut.