Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

House of Cards: To Play the King

(UK, 1993)

In the continuing adventures of the most ruthless man in Great Britain … F.U. is now the Prime Minister. He finds himself in opposition to no less than the King. The man is never named, but it’s clear that Elizabeth Saxe-Coburg-Gotha has finally kicked the royal bucket, at least 20 years before she actually does (at this writing, 7/3/10, who knows when she will, if she will, least of all her aging, pathetic real-life son, Charlie). The King is a bit like the real Prince of Wales, in that he’s progressive, would like to do something about social issues, and chafes at the constraints imposed on a constitutional monarch in modern-day Britain. F.U. and his Tory government can’t have this, and he sets out to put the regal fool in his place. That turns out not to be as easy as he had thought, but I knew from the start that when it came to a fight between the King and this PM, the King might as well just hand his orb and scepter over to his teenage son. The only fly in the ointment is a rather unexpected feeling of remorse for the murders he has done to get where he is. Well, only one of them, actually, but that doesn’t prevent him from doing what needs to be done again. Two more times, in fact. And we end with the crown being lowered onto the young head of the King’s son … or more to the point, the Queen’s son, as she saw this coming a mile away and made sure F.U. understood whose side she was on.