Adapted for the screen by Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House), House of Cards is a spell-binding dissection of naked ambition, greed and rampant hypocrisy in the corridors of power. The series documents in thrilling detail the rise of Tory Chief Whip Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson, Dark City, Becoming Jane), a man with unwavering contempt for those with "no background, no bottom." With the downfall of Margaret Thatcher, a bitter internecine power struggle ensues within the Conservative Party. Urquhart schemes more devilishly than Iago to depose Thatcher's colorless John Major-style successor. And even Machiavelli would baulk at Urquhart's methods. Any and every act -- including murder -- is legitimate and the ends very much justify the means.