Release Date: February 1980
10. The Writing on the Wall
Season 1, Episode 5
The Minister’s frustrations with the civil service continue when Sir Humphrey, at his bureaucratic best, doesn’t quite deliver the policy paper the Minister is seeking. Hacker wants to announce a cut of 200,000 civil servants and so decides to write the paper himself. He takes it a step further when he announces the planned cuts during a TV interview. The whole thing blows up in his face when the Prime Minister decides that the first cut will be Hacker’s own Department. Suddenly, he and Sir Humphrey are on the same side fighting to keep their jobs.
9. The Bed of Nails
Season 3, Episode 5
The Minister yet again finds himself in it when the Cabinet Secretary and the Prime Minister’s senior advisor con him into taking responsibility for developing a national transportation policy. The whole thing has been tried before and with little success. Sir Humphrey is aghast that the Minister took this on without first discussing with him and at the first meeting of officials, the Minister also realizes that he has made a grievous error. Their first attempt to rid themselves of the commitment fails but their second attempt proves somewhat more successful.
8. The Economy Drive
Season 1, Episode 3
The Minister decides there is far too much waste in government and decides the time has come to launch an economy drive. Sir Humphrey suggests to the Minister that he should lead by example and cut back on his own staff. He soon finds himself without a driver or a secretary and chaos ensues. He immediately gets into trouble with the trade unions and the press take advantage of the situation.
7. The Skeleton in the Cupboard
Season 3, Episode 3
The Minister is once again locking horns with Sir Humphrey, this time over a local Council’s inability, or refusals, to submit its statistical reports. The local Council government belongs to Hacker’s party and he doesn’t want to make waves but Sir Humphrey is insistent. The Minister gains the advantage when a Daily Mail reporter put him on to a story. The 30-year lease on a military base in Scotland is about to expire and the government will lose a fortune it has spent building it up. It would seem that some junior bureaucrat at the time made a grievous error in …
6. The Middle-Class Rip-Off
Season 3, Episode 7
When the Minister is approached by a group of local constituents seeking government funding for their nearly bankrupt local football club, he suggests that they sell the local museum to private interests and use the proceeds for their sports team. Sir Humphrey – a patron of the arts and an avid opera-goer – is aghast at the prospect of taking funds from the arts and transferring it to sports. He and his fellow permanent secretaries come up with an ideal solution – make Jim Hacker the Minister responsible for the arts.
5. A Question of Loyalty
Season 2, Episode 7
The Minister and Sir Humphrey must appear before a Select Committee looking into government waste. Sir Humphrey suggests a number of ways the Minister can evade difficult questions but Hacker is blindsided by an MP who has in her possession the draft of a book by a former civil servant outlining huge waste in his Department. When Hacker is called to a meeting at 10 Downing St., he realizes there is only one solution, much to Sir Humphrey’s dismay.
4. Big Brother
Season 1, Episode 4
The Minister wants to give citizens access to their files on a new national database, but Sir Humphrey is at his obfuscating best. Accused by his political advisor and his wife of being a mouthpiece for the civil service, Hacker decides that he is going get his way on this one. Taking the advice of his predecessor, now an Opposition MP, he successfully anticipates all of Sir Humphrey’s roadblocks but in the end, he uses the civil servants’ own tactics to get his way.
3. Party Games
Season 3, Episode 8
Sir Humphrey Appleby receives his just reward when he’s told by Sir Arnold Robinson that he is to be his successor as Cabinet Secretary. Jim Hacker has mixed feelings about the whole thing and while he appreciates all of the advice he’s received from Sir Humphrey over the years, they have also had their fair share of disagreements. When the Prime Minister suddenly announces his resignation, Hacker decides to take a run at the party leadership. His primary campaign issue is new regulations from Brussels on the content of sausages which point to the demise of the …
2. The Right to Know
Season 1, Episode 6
Once again, the Minister, Jim Hacker and the permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, clash over the Minister’s role in running the Department. The Minister instructs his senior civil servant to keep nothing from him and he is promptly flooded with everything under the sun. For Sir Humphrey, the Minister’s meeting with constituents concerned about saving a local den of badgers is exactly the kind of work he should be doing. When he learns that Hacker’s daughter will stage a nude protest over her father’s decision on the badgers, Appleby must come to the rescue.
1. The Moral Dimension
Season 3, Episode 4
While on an official visit to a Middle East sheikdom to finalize a major contract for a UK firm, the Minister manages to get himself into trouble on several fronts. Learning that the country is dry, he arranges for liquor to be available on the sly. When they are presented with an expensive 17th century antique bowl, Mrs. Hacker gets Bernard Woolley to get the object valued at less than £50 allowing her to keep the gift. When the Minister learns that bribes were likely paid to obtain the contract, he insists that there be a full public inquiry. A little reminder from …