Yes, Prime Minister (1986–1987)
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When the Director General of MI5 informs the Prime Minister that his predecessor was a Soviet agent, Jim Hacker learns that he had been thoroughly investigated some years previously by none... See full summary »


Sydney Lotterby


Antony Jay (by), Jonathan Lynn (by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Paul Eddington ... James Hacker
Nigel Hawthorne ... Sir Humphrey Appleby
Derek Fowlds ... Bernard Woolley
Michael Aldridge ... Geoffrey - Director General MI5
John Nettleton ... Sir Arnold Robinson
John Normington ... Sir Norman Block
Diana Hoddinott ... Annie Hacker
Martin Muncaster Martin Muncaster ... Newscaster
Miranda Forbes Miranda Forbes ... Secretary


When the Director General of MI5 informs the Prime Minister that his predecessor was a Soviet agent, Jim Hacker learns that he had been thoroughly investigated some years previously by none other than Sir Humphrey and given a clean bill. Needing to regain the upper hand over Hacker, Sir Humphrey suggests that he order the rescue of a dog that has wandered onto an artillery range. While the ploy to get positive publicity works, it also provides Sir Humphrey with valuable leverage. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

political corruption | See All (1) »




TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 February 1986 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Geoffrey - Director General MI5: You could hold an inquiry into Sir Humphrey.
James Hacker: Could I?
Geoffrey - Director General MI5: But I wouldn't recommend it. Not at this stage. Things might get out. We don't want any more irresponsible ill-informed press speculation.
James Hacker: Even if it's accurate.
Geoffrey - Director General MI5: Oh, *especially* if it's accurate. There's nothing worse than *accurate* irresponsible ill-informed press speculation.
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Spoofs Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Season 1: Wonderfully droll word-play and cynicism with silly moments that work too
8 April 2012 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

It has been a while since I rewatched Yes Minister and I decided it was high-time I came back for some more in the same way that the BBC did – by watching Yes Prime Minister. It had been a few years since Yes Minister had finished originally and I had been very young when I had first enjoyed this series, so I did wonder if it would managed to continue the high standard (because, after all, if they could – why did they end the original series after only three seasons?). I was worried for no reason though because this season was consistently a joy to watch.

The majority of the plots involved Hacker's plans to scrap the Trident missile programme, cut taxes and reintroduce national service and this provides the rough structure for the season as a whole. On the whole the episodes engage in a cynical game of politics that is frequently by word play and action that is a delight to watch, wonderfully droll and very intelligent. The season occasionally dips into the sillier side of the comedy (indeed the episode The Key is more spoof than satire) but even then it still works because the characters are so well drawn and they manage to be comedic but yet also believable as reality as well.

Having played these characters for three seasons already, the cast are understandably on-point from the very start. Eddington doesn't play dumb as he perhaps once did, but instead he gets to the politician of his character and is much funnier for it because he is playing the games like the others – just perhaps with more limited interests. Fowlds is mostly support but his limited time is well used – but the star here is of course Hawthorne. Smarmy, manipulative, desperate, whatever, he is funny and he delivers the very strong script with real relish – it is a great comic performance and I never tire of seeing him do it.

These characters are soon to be 30 years old, but yet they remain fresh, funny, sharp, cynical and brilliant. Some shows are brilliant in their time when their relevance and timeliness help them be better, but a true classic stands for decades after it was topical. Yes, Prime Minister is such a show – it may not have the swearing of The Thick of It, but it is wonderfully funny and comes with plenty of bite.

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