The Politician's Husband

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The Politician's Husband
Written by Paula Milne
Directed by Simon Cellan Jones
Composer(s) Adrian Johnston
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes3
Executive producer(s) David Aukin
Paula Milne
Producer(s)Hal Vogel
Running time57 minutes
Production company(s) Daybreak Pictures
Original network BBC Two
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release25 April (2013-04-25) 
9 May 2013 (2013-05-09)
Related shows The Politician's Wife
External links

The Politician's Husband is a three-episode British television miniseries, first shown on BBC Two between 25 April and 9 May 2013. [1] Written by Paula Milne, it makes a pair with her 1995 drama The Politician's Wife .



Senior Cabinet minister Aiden Hoynes (David Tennant) and his wife Freya Gardner (Emily Watson) are a high-flying golden political couple. Hoynes resigns from his post as part of a planned leadership bid, which is thwarted when his friend, the equally ambitious Bruce Babbish (Ed Stoppard), condemns Aiden's resignation and inflammatory resignation speech. Babbish is aided by Chief Whip Marcus Brock (Roger Allam), who plans to help the former in his own leadership bid. Freya, who had to temporarily stall her career to look after her and Aiden's two children, Noah and Ruby, replaces Aiden in Cabinet. Away from Westminster, husband and wife face an uncertain future as they come to terms with the diagnosis that Noah (Oscar Kennedy) has Asperger syndrome.

Desperate to salvage his political career, Aiden convinces Freya to bide her time until an opportune moment in which she can pledge support to her husband's position, thus undermining the current Prime Minister. However, soon afterward, on a television interview, Freya is asked point-blank if she supports her husband's reasons for resigning, and she reluctantly says she does not. Aiden initially reacts with rage but later reasons that it was the only answer his wife could give if she hoped to save her job. The two seem to make up, but then Aiden rapes Freya later that night. Aiden leaves the room crying and later apologises to his wife for his actions.

Aiden and Freya slowly attempt to mend their relationship. Undermining their efforts are the necessity that Freya work closely with Bruce due to the close linkage of their departments (Work and Pensions, and Welfare and Employment, respectively), leading Aiden to become paranoid that his wife and Bruce will have an affair. The couple's au pair Dita (Anamaria Marinca) attempts to seduce Aiden, is rebuffed, then later quits and tells numerous tabloids she and Aiden were having an affair. Freya stands by her husband, believing his claims of innocence. Aiden, however has become convinced that Freya is now sleeping with Bruce, though unknown to him Freya has already rejected Bruce's attempts at seducing her. Aiden's father Joe (Jack Shepherd) stays with the family to fill in for Dita.

Aiden calls a meeting with Bruce, telling the latter he wants to mend their relationship for Freya's sake. He offers Bruce a revolutionary plan to provide much-needed elder care through incentives offered to qualified immigrants, overseen by a local start-up management company. Bruce accepts the plan and readies to propose it, meeting with the management firm. With Bruce occupied, Aiden makes a speech in the House of Commons decrying the current government as lacking ethics, which makes headlines. The next day, Bruce is forced to resign when it is revealed that the firm representatives he met were actually undercover reporters, tipped off by Aiden, and that they have video of him soliciting and accepting bribes from them.

Bruce confronts Aiden and Freya, accusing them of having conspired against him. Freya doesn't believe the accusation but later finds a draft of the plan in Aiden's home office. She accuses him of being unable to cope with no longer being "on top" in the relationship and confronts him over how his deception nearly ended her own career. Then, she becomes mortified when she realises that was his intent. Aiden accuses Freya of sleeping with Bruce and claims his scheme was meant to restore things to the way they originally were, before realising that this means the end of their marriage.

That night, Aiden's father berates him for what he has done. The next morning, the couple's daughter, Ruby, finds Aiden's father dead in the back yard, having died walking back from Aiden's office. After the funeral, Freya makes arrangements for Aiden to move out.

Six months later, Aiden has seemingly been elected Prime Minister, with Freya as his Deputy Prime Minister. However, they only remain married for political purposes. They share a brief private moment before their first cabinet meeting, comprising staring at each other emotionlessly. As the cabinet files in, a brief exchange with Marcus Brock reveals that it is Freya, not Aiden, who has been elected Prime Minister.


Main cast

Guest/supporting cast

Writer Paula Milne has revealed that character names were drawn from the successful American political drama, The West Wing . [2]

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  1. "Paula Milne's new drama for BBC Two starring David Tennant and Emily Watson". BBC . Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  2. "What's in a name? It's all in homage to West Wing - and in the interests of irony". Evening Standard . Retrieved 11 May 2013.