See this one quick, before Hollywood messes with it

Right from its opening frames, the 2003 BBC mini-series State of Play (available on DVD 2/25) hits the ground running — quite literally, with a frenetic foot chase over cobblestone streets that ends in a shocking act of violence. And like a proverbial pebble dropped in the Thames, this seemingly random street crime sends ripples throughout Parliament, Fleet Street, and (wait for it) the big, bad U.S. oil industry.

Directed by David Yates, who also directed the most recent Harry Potter film, State of Play mixes politics, sex, and murder in a manic, All the President’s Men–infused race by a team of rather ethically challenged journalists to unravel the truth. The cast is chock-a-block with refreshingly average British mugs, including a pre-Atonement James McAvoy and the mesmerizingly middle-aged (yes!) Bill Nighy.

See State of Play now, before these brilliant and bustling six hours of television are pruned down to the inevitable movie starring Ben Affleck.

RENT State of Play

BUY State of Play

SEARCH for more information on State of Play

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here.

Article continues below
More from Politics
(FILES): These two file photos show then Labor Secretary Thomas Perez (L) speaking to reporters about the minimum wage for federal contractors at the White House in Washington, DC, on Feburary 12, 2014; and Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison (R) during a press conference about Islamophobia at the National Press Club on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC.

US Democrats, licking their wounds from last year's election debacle, will pick a new leader on February 25, 2017 to take the fight to President Donald Trump and his Republicans. The race to chair the Democratic National Committee (DNC) features front-runners Tom Perez, a Hispanic-American and former secretary of labor under Barack Obama who is the establishment pick, and Keith Ellison, a black Muslim congressman from the party's progressive wing who has left open the prospect of pushing to impeach Trump. / AFP / Mandel NGAN AND Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sanders 2020 Just Became Much More Likely With Tom Perez as DNC Chair