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  • House of Cards is a political thriller tv series based upon the novel written by Michael Dobbs, a former Chief of Staff at Conservative Party headquarters, which was set at the end of Margaret Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In 1990, it was televised in a critically and popularly acclaimed television drama serial by the BBC in four parts, from 18 November - 9 December 1990. The story was adapted by Andrew Davies. Dobbs's novel was also dramatised for radio for BBC World Service in 1996, by Neville Teller. The House of Cards trilogy was ranked 84th in the British Film Institute list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes.Overview The antihero of House of Cards is a fictional Conservative Chief Whip, Francis Urquhart (the entire concept came from the initials, 'F.U.') played by Ian Richardson. The plot follows his amoral and manipulative scheme to become leader of the governing party, and hence Prime Minister of the UK. It appears that Dobbs did not envisage writing the second and third books. The screenplay of the BBC's dramatisation of House of Cards had to differ from the book in order to allow future series. Dobbs wrote two following books To Play the King and The Final Cut which were televised in 1993 and 1995 respectively. House of Cards draws heavily from Shakespeare's Macbeth and Richard III, both of which examine issues of power, unbridled ambition and corruption. Richardson said he based his performance of the scheming Francis Urquhart on the way Shakespeare portrayed Richard III."I couldn't possibly comment" Frequently during the drama, Urquhart talks through the camera to the audience, breaking the fourth wall. The drama also introduced and popularised the phrase: 'You may very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment'. It was used by Urquhart whenever he could not be seen to agree with a question, with the emphasis on either the 'I' or the 'possibly' depending on the situation. The phrase was even quoted in the House of Commons following the series.
  • House of Cards is a 1990 British political thriller television drama serial by the BBC in four episodes, set after the end of Margaret Thatcher's tenure as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It was televised from 18 November to 9 December 1990, to critical and popular acclaim. The story was adapted by Andrew Davies from a novel written by Michael Dobbs, a former Chief of Staff at Conservative Party headquarters. Dobbs's novel was also dramatised for radio for BBC World Service in 1996, by Neville Teller, and had two television sequels. The opening and closing theme music for those TV series is entitled "Francis Urquhart's March". House of Cards was ranked 84th in the British Film Institute list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes in 2000. In 2013, the serial and the Dobbs novel were the basis for a US adaptation set in Washington, D.C., commissioned and released by Netflix.

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