Page Eight

Last updated

Page Eight
Page Eight DVD cover.jpg
UK DVD cover
Genre Political thriller, action drama
Screenplay byDavid Hare
Directed by David Hare
Starring Bill Nighy
Rachel Weisz
Michael Gambon
Ralph Fiennes
Judy Davis
Theme music composer Paul Englishby
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Cinematography Martin Ruhe
EditorJinx Godfrey
Running time99 minutes
Production companies Carnival Films
Runaway Fridge
BBC Films
Heyday Films
Original network BBC Two & BBC HD
Original release
  • 28 August 2011 (2011-08-28)(UK)
Followed by Turks & Caicos

Page Eight is a 2011 British political thriller, written and directed for the BBC by the British dramatist David Hare, his first film as director since the 1989 film Strapless . [1] The cast includes Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Tom Hughes, Ralph Fiennes, and Judy Davis. The film was followed by Turks & Caicos (2014) and Salting the Battlefield (2014), which were broadcast on BBC Two in March 2014. The three films are collectively known as The Worricker Trilogy. [2]


Plot summary

Johnny Worricker is a long-serving MI5 officer. His best friend and superior, director general Benedict Baron, summons Johnny to a meeting with MI5 agent Jill Tankard and Home Secretary Anthea Catcheside regarding a potentially explosive report. Worricker verbally highlights a note at the foot of page eight alleging that Prime Minister Alec Beasley has knowledge of secret overseas prisons where terror suspects have been tortured by American authorities. If true, Beasley did not share any intelligence gained with the security services, at the possible expense of British lives.

At the same time, Johnny begins spending time with his neighbour Nancy Pierpan, a Syrian-born political activist whose brother was killed by the Israeli military. Johnny shares his love of modern art and jazz with Nancy but, wondering if she aims to exploit his connections, asks friend and covert intelligence operative Rollo to investigate her. Meanwhile, Baron dies of a heart attack at his country home before he can make the report public. Beasley orders the report to be buried and tells Johnny of his plans to replace MI5 with a US-style Homeland Security organisation. Catcheside's silence is bought by naming her Deputy Prime Minister.

Johnny sells a valuable Christopher Wood painting from his own art collection, for cash. He breaks into the studio of an acquaintance of Nancy's, seen loitering around the apartment building, and learns that the acquaintance is Tankard's son and has been paid to monitor him. Johnny realises that Beasley and Tankard are running a politicised "cowboy" intelligence operation. Johnny gives Nancy a copy of the secret file on her brother's death but points out that he would be implicated if its existence were to be revealed by her. Johnny ends up making a deal with Tankard to keep quiet about the report. In return for Johnny's silence, Tankard agrees to kill the reorganisation of the intelligence services as well as leak the file on Nancy's brother's murder to the BBC. The fallout forces Johnny to disappear for his safety.

Johnny gives Nancy another Christopher Wood painting from his collection, and tells her she can have his car, as he is leaving the country. On seeing the leaked report of her brother's murder on the news, she realises that Johnny arranged it to allow her to pursue a legal case against the Israelis without implicating himself. At Stansted Airport, Johnny dumps the original report incriminating Beasley in a rubbish bin. As Johnny looks at the departure screen, Nancy looks closely at Johnny's painting, of a church near a beach.



Parts were filmed in Jesus College, Cambridge, in which undergraduates and Fellows were recruited as extras. [3]

The gallery scene where Worricker sells his painting is filmed in Saffron Walden; the property used as the gallery is on the corner of Church Street and Museum Street, number 26a and 28 Church Street. It is a listed building. [4]

Worricker then collects his parked car from Market Hill in that town outside the Kings Arms public house.


The film had its world premiere on 18 June 2011 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and closed the 36th Toronto International Film Festival on 17 September 2011. [5] It was broadcast on BBC Two and BBC HD on 28 August 2011 in the United Kingdom, and on PBS in the United States on 6 November 2011, as part of its Masterpiece Contemporary anthology series. [6] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 5 September 2013 by Universal Pictures.


At the 2011 Satellite Awards, Page Eight was nominated for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz were nominated for Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television and Best Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, respectively. [7]

Bill Nighy received a nomination for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. [8]

Martin Ruhe, Page Eight's Director of Photography, won Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Motion Picture/Miniseries Television at the 26th American Society of Cinematographers Awards. [9]

Page Eight received a nomination nod for Best TV Movie at the 2012 Rose d’Or TV Festival. [10]

At the 2012 British Academy Television Awards, Page Eight was nominated for the Single Drama Award. [11]

Paul Englishby was nominated for Best Television Soundtrack at the 2012 Ivor Novello Awards. [12]

At the 2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards, Page Eight was nominated for Best Made for TV Movie/Mini Series, while Bill Nighy was nominated for Best Actor. [13]

At the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards, Judy Davis received a nomination nod in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, while Paul Englishby won for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. [14] [15]

Related Research Articles

Tom Wilkinson English actor

Thomas Geoffrey Wilkinson is an English actor of film, television, and stage. He has received various accolades throughout his career, including a British Academy Film Award, a Golden Globe, a Primetime Emmy Award and nominations for two Academy Awards. For his supporting role in The Full Monty, he won a British Academy Award in 1997. He has twice been nominated for an Academy Award, for his roles in In the Bedroom (2001) and Michael Clayton (2007). In 2009, he won a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Film for playing Benjamin Franklin in John Adams.

Judy Davis Australian film, television and stage actress

Judith Davis is an Australian actress known for her work in film, television and stage. With a career spanning over 40 years, she is commended for her versatility and regarded as one of the finest actresses of her generation with frequent collaborator Woody Allen describes her as, "one of the most exciting actresses in the world". She is known for her portrayals of brittle, neurotic women and is the recipient of numerous accolades, including nine AACTA Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, and two nominations for Academy Awards.

Bill Nighy British actor

William Francis Nighy is an English actor.

Kelly Macdonald Scottish actress

Kelly Dorothy Macdonald is a Scottish actress best known for her roles in Trainspotting (1996), Gosford Park (2001), Intermission (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), No Country for Old Men (2007), Boardwalk Empire (2010–2014), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Brave (2012), the Black Mirror episode "Hated in the Nation" (2016), Line of Duty (2021), and Operation Mincemeat (2022).

David Thewlis English actor

David Wheeler, better known as David Thewlis, is an English actor, director, screenwriter, and author.

Carnival Films is a British production company based in London, UK, founded in 1978. It has produced television series for all the major UK networks including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Sky, as well as international broadcasters including PBS, A&E, HBO and NBC. Productions include single dramas, long-running television dramas, feature films, and stage productions.

Olivia Colman English actress (born 1974)

Sarah Caroline Sinclair, known professionally as Olivia Colman, is an English actress. Known for her comedic and dramatic roles in film and television, she has received numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, three British Academy Television Awards, and three Golden Globes.

<i>The Girl in the Café</i> 2005 television film directed by David Yates

The Girl in the Café is a British made-for-television drama film directed by David Yates, written by Richard Curtis and produced by Hilary Bevan Jones. The film is produced by the independent production company Tightrope Pictures and was originally screened on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 25 June 2005. It was also shown in the United States on cable television station Home Box Office on the same day. Bill Nighy portrays the character of Lawrence, with Kelly Macdonald portraying Gina. Nighy and Macdonald had previously starred together in the 2003 BBC serial State of Play, which was also directed by Yates and produced by Bevan-Jones. The Girl in the Café's casting director is Fiona Weir who, at the time, was also the casting director for the Harry Potter films, the last four of which Yates directed.

Hannah Taylor-Gordon is a retired English actress. She made her film debut in the 1993 film The House of the Spirits. She is best known for her role as Anne Frank in the TV miniseries Anne Frank: The Whole Story for which she received both an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination.

Justin Chadwick English actor and director

Justin Chadwick is an English actor and television and film director. He directed episodes of EastEnders, Byker Grove, The Bill, Spooks and Red Cap before directing nine of the fifteen episodes of the mini-series Bleak House, which was broadcast by the BBC in the UK and by PBS in the United States as part of its Masterpiece Theatre series.

Craig Warner American dramatist

Craig Warner is a multiple award-winning playwright and screenwriter who lives and works in Suffolk, England.

Paul Englishby is a film and theatre composer, orchestrator, conductor and pianist. He is best known for his Emmy Award-winning jazz score for David Hare's Page Eight, his orchestral score for the Oscar nominated An Education, his BAFTA nominated score for the BBC's Luther and his many theatre scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company, with whom Paul is an associated artist.

<i>Parades End</i> (miniseries) Television series

Parade's End is a five-part BBC/HBO/VRT television serial adapted from the eponymous tetralogy of novels (1924–1928) by Ford Madox Ford. It premiered on BBC Two on 24 August 2012 and on HBO on 26 February 2013. The series was also screened at the 39th Ghent Film Festival on 11 October 2012. The miniseries was directed by Susanna White and written by Tom Stoppard. The cast was led by Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall as Christopher and Sylvia Tietjens, along with Adelaide Clemens, Rupert Everett, Miranda Richardson, Anne-Marie Duff, Roger Allam, Janet McTeer, Freddie Fox, Jack Huston, and Steven Robertson.

<i>Georgia OKeeffe</i> (film) 2009 American television biopic

Georgia O'Keeffe is a 2009 American television biographical drama film, produced by City Entertainment in association with Sony Television, about noted American painter Georgia O'Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The film was directed by Bob Balaban, executive-produced by Joshua D. Maurer, Alixandre Witlin and Joan Allen, and line-produced by Tony Mark. Shown on Lifetime Television, it starred Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons in lead roles.

<i>Turks & Caicos</i> (film) 2014 television film directed by David Hare

Turks & Caicos is a 2014 political thriller television film, written and directed for the BBC by the playwright David Hare. It follows Page Eight, which aired on BBC Two in August 2011 and is followed by Salting the Battlefield.

Salting the Battlefield is a 2014 British political thriller television film, written and directed for the BBC by the British writer David Hare. It follows Page Eight, which aired on BBC Two in August 2011 and Turks & Caicos, which aired in 2014.

Bill Camp American actor

Bill Camp is an American actor. He has played supporting roles in many films such as Lincoln (2012), Compliance (2012), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Love & Mercy (2015), Loving (2016), Molly's Game (2017), Vice (2018), Wildlife (2018), Joker (2019), and News of the World (2021); the HBO miniseries The Night Of in 2016 and The Outsider in 2020; and the Netflix miniseries The Queen's Gambit in 2020. He had a recurring role in the HBO drama series The Leftovers from 2015 to 2017 and the Hulu space drama series The First in 2018.

The Triple Crown of Acting is a term used in the American entertainment industry to describe actors who have won a competitive Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award in the acting categories, the highest accolades recognized in American film, television, and theater, respectively. Its term is related to other competitive areas, such as the Triple Crown of horse racing.

Odile Dicks-Mireaux is a British costume designer. Her work include productions for both cinema like the Academy Award-nominated films An Education (2009) and Brooklyn (2015) and television like the BBC One drama The Lost Prince and the HBO miniseries Chernobyl (2019), receiving an Emmy Award for the former and a BAFTA Craft Award for the latter.


  1. Child, Ben (5 May 2011). "Edinburgh film festival announces initial lineup". The Guardian . Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  2. "Bill Nighy to reprise his role in The Worricker Trilogy". BBC Press Release. Archived from the original on 6 May 2013.
  3. Jesuan News, Spring 2011.
  4. 26a and 28 Church Street in British Listed Buildings
  5. Evans, Ian (2011), "Page Eight TIFF premiere photos",, retrieved 29 March 2012
  6. Young, Bill (19 August 2011). "Page Eight, a PBS Masterpiece, Nov 6". Tellyspotting. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  7. "2012 Winners". International Press Academy. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  8. "Golden Globe Awards Nominations: The Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  9. "THE TREE OF LIFE Earns Top Honors from Cinematographers". The American Society of Cinematographers. 13 February 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  10. "Life's Too Short up for Rose d'Or award". BBC News. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  11. "Watch Coverage of the Television Awards in 2012". BAFTA Television. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  12. "Adele leads nominations for 57th Ivor Novello awards". The Guardian. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  13. Andreeva, Nellie (5 June 2012). "Critics' Choice TV Awards Noms: 'Community' At Top Of List". Deadline Hollywood . Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  14. "Emmy winners and nominations 2012: The complete list". Los Angeles times. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  15. "HBO Leads With 17 Creative Arts Emmys, CBS 13, PBS 11; 'Undercover Boss' Wins Reality Emmy; 'Daily Show' Writers, Jimmy Fallon, Kathy Bates, Jeremy Davies, Martha Plimpton Win Emmys; 'Wizards of Waverly Place' & 'The Penguins of Madagascar'". Deadline Hollywood. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.