Secret State (miniseries)

Secret State is a 2012 British four-part political thriller, starring Gabriel Byrne, Charles Dance and Gina McKee, and inspired by Chris Mullin's novel A Very British Coup. It delves into the relationship between a democratically elected government, the military and big business. The first one-hour part premiered on Channel 4 on Wednesday 7 November 2012, with the other three parts being shown the following Wednesdays.[1]

Secret State
British and Irish DVD cover
GenrePolitical drama
Based onA Very British Coup
by Chris Mullin
Written byRobert Jones
Directed byEd Fraiman
StarringGabriel Byrne
Charles Dance
Douglas Hodge
Gina McKee
Rupert Graves
Ruth Negga
Theme music composerAlex Heffes
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes4
Producer(s)Johann Knobel
CinematographyOwen McPolin
Editor(s)Mark Thornton
Running time4 x 1 hour (Including ad breaks)
Production company(s)Company Pictures
Newscope Films
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release7 November (2012-11-07) 
28 November 2012 (2012-11-28)


In the run up to a general election, a devastating industrial accident on Teesside leaves 19 people dead and raises questions about the safety procedures of a US petrochemical company, PetroFex. The British Prime Minister claims to have secured a compensation package from them, but on his return from PetroFex HQ, his plane crashes in the Atlantic under mysterious circumstances. Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) takes command, and during his quest to find the truth and justice for the victims, he uncovers a conspiracy at the heart of the political system.[1][2]

Main cast

Chris Mullin, the author of A Very British Coup, which served as inspiration for Secret State, appears as a vicar in a cameo role.[3]


A DVD was released in the UK on 3 December 2012.[2]

The series is available in the UK Amazon Instant Video[4] and Channel 4 On Demand[5]

Other countries

All four episodes were shown on the German/French TV station Arte on 6 February 2014.[6] In Saudi Arabia the first one-hour part premiered on OSN (Orbit Showtime Network) on Friday 21 March 2014, with the other three parts being shown the following Fridays. Series were shown in Croatia on HRT, from 14 April to 17 April 2014. In Australia, the first episode aired on ABC on Friday 25 July 2014, with the other episodes over the subsequent three weeks, while in New Zealand it began its appearance on 10 August 2014 on TV One in the 10:30pm Sunday night slot. It's currently being shown on STV 2 in Scotland.

See also


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