“The State Within” Review

Despite all the post-CSI, post-24 flashy gimmicry, and the US setting, it is still clear that what we have on our hands here is that increasingly rare commodity: a quality British drama.

I caught this by chance because it features the excellent Sharon Gless.  Set in the near future, it concerns the outgoing British ambassador caught in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.  The Guardian compared it to State of Play and Edge of Darkness, auspicious company, and though it’s not yet clear that it is of that quality, it must be admitted the opening was simply breathtaking.

Around half way through the show, as we veered off into a death penalty sub-plot it threatened to turn into a Washington embassy based soap (not that this would be uninteresting to me – I know a couple of people who work in the Washington embassy and I’d be interested to know how it compares) but by the end of the opening episode it had become clear that this was just a lull in the narrative drive; this really is a quality political thriller.

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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