State Of Play

Amazon have got a clear-out sale until the end of the weekend – and there are some amazing bargains among the books, DVDs etc. on the site.

But if you only buy one thing, then it should be State Of Play , the six-part BBC series on which the Hollywood film of the same name is based.

For a start, it has a stellar cast list, boasting some of the best British TV and film actors – John Simm, Kelly Macdonald, David Morrissey, Bill Nighy (one of my personal favourites), a young James McEvoy etc.
It is written by Paul Abbott, who cut his teeth on Cracker and has subsequently gone on to write the Channel 4 series Shameless.

And it has brilliant reviews – 35 out of 36 reviews on the Amazon website are 4 or 5-star.

But the amazing thing about it is the price - £3.98 for six hours of brilliant viewing is an absolute bargain and it is no wonder that it is now the best-selling DVD on the Amazon website.

We watched it over four consecutive nights last weekend and I can tell you that it took quite a bit of discipline to make it last that long.

The storyline starts with the two apparently unconnected deaths of a young Parliamentary researcher and a petty thief and becomes increasingly tangled as the spotlight is shone on whole relationship between politics, big business and the media.

It is often complex, but always intelligible and always believable – and the acting (as you would expect from such a fantastic cast) is first-rate.

I don't know what the film is like, but I do know that for half the price of a cinema ticket you are guaranteed six hours of the best drama the BBC can produce.