The BBC series "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister"

Hammer Birchgrove

ACCESS: Top Secret
13 May 2009
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Here are some clips from the first episode of "Yes Prime Minister":

First 15 minutes of "The Grand Design pt 1", in which Prime Minister Jim Hacker learns about UK's nuclear arsenal:


Here it continues with Hacker discussing UK's nuclear deterrent and defence policy with an Austrian professor, which gives Hacker a rather controversial idea:


Civil servant Sir Humphrey learns about Hacker's new defence policy and this is how he reacts:


IMHO still relevant today. Interesting to see how people in general, not just military men, scientists and enthusiasts like us, could hear about "smart weapons" years before the first Gulf War (yeah I know those were first used in Vietnam). It's also interesting to see such good arguments for conscription, I've gone from being against it to undecided.

BTW, another episode mentioned Blue Streak, TSR-2, Concorde, British Steel and British Leyland in one sentence! I took the liberty to explain to my parents after the episode to explain what the Blue Streak and TSR-2 were. ;)
still true. This is how we are governed. Not a comedy but required base for any Politics 101 module. Another episode, The Poisoned Chalice, deals with an Integrated Transport Policy, with Sir Humphrey urging Minister Hacker to avoid the role. Blair actually gave it to his nominal deputy, el Lard, who suffered just as Sir H predicted.
one of my favorite series along with Black Adder
you would be surprised, but selected episodes were aired in USSR already back in 1987 (?) during BBC week
Interesting. I knew before that some Western series, well at least Star Trek, were aired in USSR.

You will be surprised again - but no, Star Trek was never ever aired here till now. Babylon 5, Lexx, Battlestar Galactica - yes. But Star Trek - no...

What did you and fellow Russians make out of "Yes Minister"/"Yes Prime Minister" back in the day? Were you surprised? Got your suspicions confirmed? ???

Well, I was kid back then, but a few series they have choose to show - were funny characters that attracted you even if you wasn't interested in politics too much. actually, I was a guy who made so-called politinformatzia every Tuesday in school at 8:00 AM
Politinformatzia was a short spoken review of political and social news around the world - say, it was a mini-M role of Putin from 'Hunt For The Red October'. But I've tried to be objective. one thing I remember is that I offered class to pay the tribute to the memory of Challenger crew by minute of silence - that caused unpleasant talk with school director later.
Your editing scared me for a second or two - I thought my account had been hacked until I read the whole post and saw it had been edited by you! :D

I got the assumption of Star Trek being aired in USSR partially because Gene Roddenberry had added the character Chekov to appease Soviet criticism of the fact that no Soviet citizens were in the show despite USSR had sent the first man to space, partially from a US B-movie called Comrades in arms.

That movie (which BTW would make the Rambo series look like Oscar winners) is about US and Soviet soldiers uniting against drug lords in South America. When one US soldier made a joke about the aircraft carrier being named The Enterprise, a Russian soldier replied something in the effect of "We can see your decadent shows in the Soviet Union". ::)

In hindsight, the most interesting about that film is that about a year later the film was made, or even the same year, USSR fell and became Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc.

A pity you got in trouble just because you had asked for a silent minute. :(

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