Today: June 20, 2024

Political Thrills from the BBC

Looking for a distraction from the politics of the real world? Why not revisit two of the BBC’s finest thriller serials; nuclear espionage masterpiece Edge of Darkness and compelling journalism drama State of Play


Starring Jurassic Park’s Bob Peck, this masterful 6-parter from 1985 follows Craven, a widowed policeman as he attempts to unravel the truth behind the murder of his daughter. But as his investigations lead him into an increasingly twisted world of shady government and corporate cover-ups and ultimately nuclear forces, Craven finds himself in a life-or-death battle. Influenced by the political climate of the time and aura of nuclear secrecy, Edge of Darkness is very much a series of its’ time – but the passing years have certainly done nothing to detract from the raw thrills on offer. Often cited as one of the best and most influential pieces of British television drama, Edge of Darkness is a masterpiece ripe for revisiting.

Synopsis: As Yorkshire detective Ronald Craven investigates the murder of his daughter, the story spirals into a gripping eco-thriller of political conspiracy, secret service machinations and even shady medieval societies. As he draws closer to the dangerous inner sanctums of organised environmental protests and nuclear power interests, he discovers the ultimate truths at the heart of our society.


Fronted by an impeccable all-star cast, this tense conspiracy thriller looks at the dark and volatile world where politics meet press. Directed by Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts director David Yates, this compelling series was later adapted into a Hollywood thriller starring Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe – but it is this engrossing original that has stood the test of time. One of the best BBC dramas ever made, State of Play is timelier than ever in this current era of political distrust.

Synopsis: Stephen Collins is an ambitious politician. Cal McAffrey is a well-respected investigative journalist and Stephen’s ex-campaign manager. En route to work one morning, Stephen’s research assistant mysteriously falls to her death on the London Underground. It’s not long before rumours of an affair between Stephen and the assistant hit the headlines. Meanwhile a suspected teenage drug dealer is shot dead. Revelation upon revelation pile up in the aftermath of these two seemingly unconnected events, ultimately bringing to light shady dealings between the government and major corporate powers. Friendships are tested and lives are put on the line as an intricate web of lies unfolds.

EDGE OF DARKNESS and STATE OF PLAY are available now on Blu-ray from BBC Studios Home Entertainment


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