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Final Cut, The (BBC One 1995, Ian Richardson, Isla Blair)

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The Final Cut BBC One 1995 Ian Richardson

Following on from House of Cards and To Play the King, The Final Cut is the third and final serial in the House of Cards trilogy following now Prime Minister Francis Urquhart as he continues his quest to leave his mark on the world before he retires. Urquhart gets heavily involved in trying to sort out a conflict unfolding in Cyprus. Meanwhile machinations are afoot to try and get Urquhart removed from office.

Ian Richardson as Urquhart is once again mesmerising, completely owning everything scene he is in. Always a brilliant actor his performance in the House of Cards trilogy is a tour-de-force.

Novelist Michael Dobbs, whose books the series was based on, was apparently less than enamoured with this final entry in the trilogy. So much so that he had his name removed from the credits. In fact this was mostly down to a scene in the serial that show Urquhart attending the funeral of Margaret Thatcher – at the time she was still very much alive and Dobbs (along with most of the daily newspapers) considered it very bad taste to include the scene. Margaret Thatcher died in 2013.

production details
UK / BBC One / 4×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 5 – 26 November 1995

Writer: Andrew Davies / Book: Michael Dobbs / Music: Jim Parker / Production Design: Ken Ledsham / Associate Producer: Tony Redston / Executive Producers: Michael Wearing, Rebecca Eaton / Producer: Ken Riddington / Director: Mike Vardy

cast
Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart
Diane Fletcher as Elizabeth Urquhart
Paul Freeman as Tom Makepeace
Isla Blair as Claire Carlsen
Nickolas Grace as Geoffrey Booza Pitt
Kevork Malikyan as Nures
David Ryall as Sir Bruce Bullerby
John Rowe as Sir Clive Watling
Glyn Grain as Rayner
Dorothy Vernon as Speaker
Nick Brimble as Corder
Duggie Brown as Joe Badger