Series 1
First Principles
A Proper Function of Government
Is Your Journey Really Necessary?
The Most Suitable Person
Always Glad to Help
A Feasible Solution
Special Relationship

Series 2
At All Costs
Enough of Ghosts
Decision by Committee
A Question of Loyalty
It Couldn't Happen Here
Operation Kingmaker

Series 3
All in a Good Cause
To Hell With Justice
Unusual Approach
My Name is Anna Wiseman
Sometimes We Play Dirty Too
Who Needs Enemies
Opposite Numbers

It Couldn’t Happen Here
‘Have you got no sense of occasion, Willie?’

An American senator is murdered. Ross believes it was done by reactionaries in the FBI. There may not be any evidence, but it does seem odd that the Secret Service doesn’t seem to trust the FBI either.

Events West Germany reveals there may be a cabinet minister who has been giving information to the USSR. Burnside grapples with the question, how do you stop a man who is more powerful than you? The pussy-footing around ends in a frank discussion as Burnside promises not to assassinate Stratford-Baker.

Comment
Although not quite as forthright as Oliver Stone's JFK, this episode rather unsubtly puts forth conspiracy theories about the assassination of President John Kennedy. For a change, Burnside plays the skeptic, while other people try to sell him difficult ideas. It's usually Burnside pitching the difficult ideas to others. In this case, conflict between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

For American viewers, this episode may be a bit annoying. Both the late Senator Herrin and the bowtie-wearing Al Briscoe come across as a bit brash; the ‘American Rifle Association’ is a misnomer; and Burnside appears to have a credulity-stretching knowledge of U.S. senators (Willie: ‘The young senator from Maine.’ Burnside: ‘Donald O'Shea?’). Though, it is possible the events were headline news, or that Burnside had been reading up on it since he admits to have been thinking about it all night.

Production Notes
Jana Sheldon’s American accent is very good, but she stumbles slightly over the pronunciation of ‘photocopy of a letter’.

Look carefully at the letter Peele holds after the scene where Burnside starts dictating to Diane. The entire text of the dictation is on the page.

Maybe one more take?
Wipe your mouth, Jeff. Why didn’t Neil bring some napkins?

Personnel file
Last appearance of James Greenley. He exits gracefully and forcefully, bending Burnside to his ethic of lawful public service, at least temporarily. Burnside is more terrifying in this scene than Bond is in any 007 picture.

Intersections with the real world
A major theme in this episode is the ethics and responsibility of assassination. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced an excellent radio documentary examining exactly this point. The show is available in the Real Audio format. The programme, from the CBC Radio One show Dispatches, is called State Sanctioned Assassination.

And of course, there is a Presidential's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.