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State Of Play (BBC Thriller, John Simm, David Morrissey)

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State of Play BBC 2003 Kelly Macdonald John Simm James McAvoy

Conspiracy thriller serial State of Play was set against the background of Whitehall and Fleet Street. Stephen Collins (David Morrissey) is a high-flying, ambitious member of parliament and Chairman of the Government’s Energy Select Committee. Cal McCaffrey (John Simm) is a well-respected investigative journalist and Stephen’s ex-campaign manager.

When Stephen’s young research assistant, Sonia, falls to her death on the London Underground, it’s not long before revelations of their affair hit the headlines. Meanwhile a suspected teenage drug dealer named Kelvin Stagg is found shot dead.

The discovery that Kelvin and Sonia shared a two-minute phone call on the morning of their deaths draws Cal into an investigation that’s always one step ahead of the police. But friendships are tested and lives are put on the line as an intricate web of lies unfolds.

One of the best dramas of the decade with brilliant performances all round. There was a Hollywood film version in 2009 with Russell Crowe in the Simm role and Ben Affleck in the Morrissey role.

Cast: John Simm as Cal McCaffrey; David Morrissey as Stephen Collins; Kelly Macdonald as Della; Bill Nighy as Cameron Foster; Polly Walker as Anne Collins; Amelia Bullmore as Helen Preger; Philip Glenister as Detective Chief Inspector Bell; James Laurenson as George Fergus; Benedict Wong as Pete Cheng; Rebekah Staton as Liz; Michael Feast as Andrew Wilson; James McAvoy as Dan Foster; Marc Warren as Dominic Foy; Deborah Findlay as Greer Thornton

Creator and Writer: Paul Abbott / Executive Producers: Gareth Neame, Laura Mackie / Producer: Hilary Bevan Jones

UK / BBC One / 5×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 2003