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Martin Hall is a Georgeland television drama series, which began airing on Channel 12 in May 2007. The series, created by Joe Starnes, centres around the President of Georgeland, Joan Tanner, played by Rebecca Jordan-Wiley. The series is described as a West Wing or Commander-in-Chief for the Georgeland marketplace.
The first episode, entitled "A Great Leap Forward", aired on May 12. The show recieved a total of 7 million viewers. Since then, she show's regular Friday-night timeslot has averaged around 4.7 million viewers, lower than expected but still high for that particular timeslot. The first episode of Season 4, Breakdown, saw viewing figures of 9.5 million, the highest in the show's history.
After the first series of 13 episodes completed its run on August 4, 2007, Channel 12 announced that the show had been renewed for a second season. All major cast members were signed for 13 new episodes. The second season of Martin Hall was due to begin airing in April 2008. However, on February 5, Channel 12 elected to begin the run early after the writers' strike in the United States disrupted the scheduled resumption of imported programming. The airdate for the first episode of Season 2 was moved from April 5 to February 16. Veteran actor Ross Rann and actress/comedienne Lucy Bishop joined the permanent cast for Season 2, playing the President's press secretary and parliamentary liason respectively. In Season 3, the cast was further expanded with the addition of Pattie Booth, who had already appeared in several episodes as a guest star.
The show's fourth season completed its expanded run of seventeen episodes on January 24, 2010. It will be followed in May by a four-hour miniseries. The show's producers have not stated if the show will recieve a fifth season.

Show concept

President Tanner, a new grandmother who has also been recently elected President (in a popular election, which Georgeland will hold in 2008 but has not held since 1954), will come into conflict with the Prime Minister, played by Mark Collins, and consent to a general election. Unfortunately, she gets more than she bargained for when Alan Wheatley (Kevin Bosley) emerges as the winner of the election; when he is appointed Prime Minister, he starts to conflict with Tanner even more than his predecessor.
Tanner and Wheatley struggle for control and influence, while Tanner tries to be a national figurehead and yet influence government without damaging the Presidency. She also must deal with her family life as well as the duties of Georgeland's head of state.

Characters

See also: List of Martin Hall characters

Major Characters

  • Dr. Joan Tanner (Rebecca Jordan-Wiley) is a mother and grandmother from Long Island who, as the series begins, was elected President four months previously. Tanner is a former schoolteacher and later a professor of political science, and is therefore an expert in political matters. She learns, through the series, that politics is different in theory than in practice. Highly intelligent and very devoted to her family, President Tanner is a consensus-builder, a political independent who dislikes partisan politics. She is not inclined to try to govern the nation, but she has her own ideas about what should and should not be, and this brings her into conflict with the elected government. Tanner tries to keep her family life and her political life separate, but things never seem work out that way.
  • Alan Wheatley (Kevin Bosley) is Leader of the Opposition at the beginning of the series, but was sworn in as Prime Minister in Episode 1. Wheatley is charismatic and charming, but somewhat obsequious and patronising when dealing with President Tanner. Tanner and Wheatley are not on good terms, and their differing ideals is a central point of conflict. Wheatley's political party is kept vague and not explicitly stated. Small amounts of personal information about Wheatley has been revealed - he is a Roman Catholic, hails from Sergiocitta and is married with several children. Over time, Wheatley becomes an ally on occasion but remains with a different agenda, and is ruthless in pursuing it. His demeanour towards Tanner has begun to change as well towards a more familial and equitable one. Wheatley is briefly deposed as Prime Minister in season four, but regains the position later.
  • Robbie Dahl (Vijay Kanya) is President Tanner's Chief of Staff. He comes from a corporate background and is well-suited to the task of managing the President's affairs. He dislikes Wheatley intensely. Robbie is a jovial sort who makes light of almost everything, and in many ways is still a 'high-flier' and behaves like a wealthy corporate executive. He is slightly eccentric and can border on the manic sometimes, but is very good at his job and highly protective of the President.
  • Ingrid Sutter (Amy Roe) is President Tanner's Executive Secretary. Ingrid is young and idealistic, and has a somewhat naive view of the world and of politics in particular. Ingrid and Robbie have an ambiguous relationship at first, which grows into a fully-fledged romantic relationship by season three - however, they find it difficult to manage their personal and work lives. At the end of season four, Ingrid announces to Robbie that she is pregnant with his child.
  • James Tanner (John Riley) is the First Gentleman. A clinical psychologist, James still works actively and has little time for politics. He would probably have preferred his wife not to run for office, but he supports her when he can and acts as a sounding board.
  • Luke Tanner (Colin Beach) is Tanner's eighteen-year-old son, and the only one living in Martin Hall with his parents. Luke is a teenage rebel, who, despite now being a legal adult, behaves like he is still in high school. His adolescent behaviour and delinquent tendencies have a habit of causing trouble for President Tanner and her staff. At the end of Season Two, Luke was dropped from the main cast, but continued to make semi-regular guest appearances.
  • Charlie Dunlap (Ross Rann) is the Press Secretary to the President and the "number two" ranking member of Martin Hall's staff. A veteran campaigner and spin doctor, his style is very different to Robbie's and they clash regularly. He has a brief, drunken, liaison with Margaret during the third season but they agree never to mention it again. Charlie was introduced at the beginning of the second season, but was stated to have been present since the beginning.
  • Margaret King: (Lucy Bishop) is the President's Parliamentary Liaison, whose job it is to negotiate with Parliament and its members. She is somewhat cold and icy, though she has gotten more relaxed over time. Margaret is introduced early in season two.

Minor Characters

  • David Walker (Mark Collins) is Prime Minister in the first episode until his replacement by Alan Wheatley. He conflicts with Tanner over draconian anti-terrorism legislation, but in the past had a good relationship with her and her predecessor. Walker made infrequent guest appearances until the end of Season Four, when he is unexpectedly chosen by the Opposition to oppose Tanner at the presidential election.
  • Cynthia Drummond (Wendy Frist) is the Leader of the Opposition for the first three and a half seasons. She tries to manipulate Tanner as much as Wheatley, to the President's disgust. She is depicted as being somewhat naive and indecisive.
  • David Freeman (George Bent) replaces Drummond as opposition leader in Season Four. He is suave and cunning, and is implied to be very much like Wheatley. The two truly despise one another.
  • John Richmond (Eddie Bilson) is President Tanner's immediate predecessor, who served for eight years. Richmond is a counsellor and adviser to his younger successor, who time to time offers sage advice on how to deal with a hostile government. Richmond appears only in the first season.
  • Thomas Burgess (David Rothman) is Governor of West Mainland and has been in office longer than any other state Governor, making him Acting President when Tanner leaves the country in Episode 7. In that episode, Burgess effectively usurps power by rescinding some of Tanner's orders and signing legislation Tanner refused to assent to. Burgess appears in a few other episodes in a similar role.
  • Benjamin Simons (Colin Kidd) is Governor of Delmago Island and the second-longest-serving state Governor. He acts as President in Episodes 12 and 13 when Tanner and Burgess are both out of the country. Simons is 74 years old and rather infirm, but mentally sharp and unwilling to let Wheatley ride roughshod over the Presidency.

List of Episodes

Season One

1. A Great Leap Forward
Air date: May 12, 2007
President Tanner conflicts with Prime Minister Walker over a counter-terrorism bill. The President's influence leads the bill to be defeated in the Senate, and Walker calls a general election. Wheatley wins the election, but after the campaign is over announces plans to pass the counter-terrorism laws after a pub bombing in Scoita. Tanner begins to realise that Wheatley may be worse than his predecessor as the two go head-to-head over who has a mandate to run the country.
2. A Time to Heal
Air date: May 19, 2007
Wheatley's new government has written Tanner's speech for the opening of Parliament, but she doesn't want to read it because she doesn't agree with it. The crisis begins to boil over as Robbie rewrites the speech and Tanner tells Wheatley that it is the speech she'll be reading and not the one his government has written. Wheatley urges the President to reconsider, and uses Tanner's daughter as leverage to get Tanner to comply.
3. Malconsensus
Air date: May 26, 2007
The new Leader of the Opposition, Cynthia Drummond, offers President Tanner help in creating a bipartisan policy forum, something Tanner has wanted for months, but Robbie doesn't trust her motives or her attitude. Drummond turns out to be just as manipulative and just as Machiavellian as Wheatley, giving Robbie little faith in politics. Meanwhile, Wheatley and his Treasurer have a very public feud over superannuation funds, and Tanner feels tempted to back the Treasurer's view.
4. The Origin of Species
Air date: June 2, 2007
A maverick MP from the religious Right introduces a bill to mandate the teaching of creationism in public schools. Initially opposed to the bill, Tanner finds the arguments somewhat compelling, and when Wheatley insults Tanner at a speech to a Catholic gathering, she decides to back the bill and embarrass Wheatley. Robbie argues with Tanner over the legislation, Drummond tries to get the President to switch sides while Wheatley is content to let Tanner shoot herself in the foot.
5. Gathering Storm
Air date: June 9, 2007
President Tanner faces her first military test after a Georgeland airliner explodes over Saudi Arabia. While Tanner urges a diplomatic solution and United Nations action, Wheatley flies a khaki flag and threatens military retaliation. Finding herself in conflict with Wheatley again, Tanner is heartened by overwhelming support for her position and forces Wheatley to bring the Saudis to the bargaining table, extracting promises to crack down on terrorism against foreign targets. The motivation for the bombing remains unclear, but Wheatley seems convinced it was Islamists, while Tanner's information points to Scoitan seperatists. Can they both be right, or is Wheatley deliberately keeping Tanner in the dark?
6. Luke
Air date: June 16, 2007
Tanner's son Luke is arrested for drug offenses, causing embarrasement to Joan and James. They find a surprising ally in Wheatley, or so they think, until the Prime Minister unveils a new anti-drug initiative which threatens to leave the Tanners high and dry. Wheatley might be persuaded to withdraw the legislation - but at a very lofty price. Tanner conflicts with Drummond over an opposition amendment to the education funding bill, while Robbie discovers a shocking secret about his parents.
7. Out of Town
Air date: June 23, 2007
President Tanner embarks on an overseas visit to Japan, where a meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister is disrupted by violent clashes between police and protestors. Tanner is embroiled in a scandal when the Japanese PM is accused of hiding his father's war atrocities. Meanwhile, Wheatley sees his chance to circumvent Tanner by using the acting President, West Mainland's Governor Burgess, to sign laws he knows Tanner will never agree to.
8. Welcome Home
Air date: July 1, 2007
President Tanner returns from Japan, but all is not well. Governor Burgess has signed a contraversial electoral law that helps Wheatley's future election chances, and it's too late for Tanner to do anything about it. Wheatley is smug in victory, and Burgess, unapologetic, initially refuses to leave Martin Hall. Meanwhile, Tanner's family problems escalate as Luke is picked up for public drunkenness and James is diagnosed as suffering from clinical depression.
This episode air a day later than scheduled due to coverage of the general election.
9. Phone Home
Air date: July 7, 2007
Air Force radar picks up a UFO over Long Island, which is reported in local media by accident. Within hours, the country catches alien fever as the Air Force denies the UFO is an alien spaceship. The media frenzy grows and grows until it reaches Martin Hall, where Tanner takes the unusual step of going on TV to deny the aliens while Wheatley plays along with the country's national obsession with alien activity. The identity of the UFO is confirmed as terrestrial, but the country isn't satisfied. Meanwhile, the President and First Gentleman argue over what to do about Luke's self-destructive behaviour - Joan wants him to seek counselling, but James is convinced he needs to go to rehab - or even to jail.
10. Our Sons
Air date: July 14, 2007
When three FISIA agents are captured by rebels in the African nation of Enkidu, the President and the Prime Minister are forced to co-operate on a military plan to secure their rescue. When the revels launch a sudden counterattack, however, relations break down between Tanner and Wheatley, with Wheatley urging a decisive military strike while Tanner wants to negotiate a peace settlement. Meanwhile, Robbie finds himself attracted to Ellen, one of Wheatley's advisers.
11. Allies and Enemies
Air date: July 21, 2007
A fully-fledged civil war has sprung up in Enkidu, for which Tanner feels responsible. Despite Wheatley's strong objections, she plans a goodwill visit to the troubled African nation in hopes of helping to broker a peace deal between the warring factions. But Wheatley is determined for her not to go and sets out to sabotage the visit before it begins. Robbie goes on a date with Ellen, and boasts to her about his skill at covering up the activities of Tanner's family when they "go astray". When that information is leaked to the media, it creates a huge storm and threatens Tanner's entire Presidency as she is bombarded with questions about what her family get up to.
12. Save Our Souls
Air date: July 28, 2007
President Tanner begins her visit to Enkidu, but it's a harrowing experience for everybody. The civil war has reaped untold devastation on the country and its people, and when Tanner sees some of the horror first-hand she breaks down. At home, Wheatley again attempts to exploit Tanner's absence by rushing through a gerrymandering elections bill. Robbie, however, is ready for him and has already arranged for the senior State Governor to be overseas; the new Acting President, the Governor of Delmago Island, is much more willing to oppose Wheatley's plan. As Tanner recovers back at the Presidential Palace in Enkidu, the episode ends in a nightmare scenario - Enkidu rebels storm the palace and take Tanner hostage. The rebel leader puts a gun to Tanner's head and issues a demand - all Georgeland forces out of the country, or she dies...
13. Meltdown
Air date: August 4, 2007
As Tanner is held hostage by Enkidu rebels, Wheatley and Robbie run the War Room and attempt to reach a diplomatic solution. When the rebels shoot the negotiator, Wheatley opts for a military rescue, which puts Tanner's life in extreme danger. As footage of the crisis is broadcast worldwide, Wheatley's determination to end the crisis by force leads him into conflict with Robbie, ending with Robbie hitting the Prime Minister and being dragged off by the police. Wheatley agonises over his decision as the clock ticks down, and with time running out, makes his final decision after a conversation with James Tanner. Wheatley orders the troops to rescue President Tanner. The rescue mission succeeds, the rebel leader is killed but Tanner is injured in the process. Wheatley is left alone in the War Room in relief, but the next battle, between the President and the First Gentleman, is yet to come.
Former Prime Minister Campbell Rhodes made a cameo appearance in this episode, playing a reporter at Wheatley's news conference.

Season Two

1. New Beginnings
Air date: February 16, 2008
Three months after the events in Enkidu, President Tanner recovers from her ordeal, in the countryside attended by daughter Lisa, but notably not her husband, who remains at Martin Hall. Tanner seems little interested in the affairs of government, which prompts Wheatley into taking soundings about her possible resignation. Meanwhile Robbie has been released on bail for assaulting Wheatley but is under an injunction not to return to work until after his trial, meaning he is taking a forced vacation. He struggles with the idea of not working and constantly rings Ingrid to give advice which she is legally bound not to follow. With Robbie out of the office, there is no Acting Chief of Staff. When this allows Wheatley to pass amendments to electoral laws unchecked, Tanner reluctantly returns to work, has it out with Wheatley and appoints Charlie Dunlap as interim Chief of Staff until Robbie is either convicted or acquitted. She orders Charlie to hire a professional lobbyist to act as liaison to Parliament to prevent Wheatley getting the drop on them again.
2. Read All About It
Air date: February 23, 2008
With Robbie still awaiting trial, Charlie, as acting Chief of Staff, interviews candidates for the position of Parliamentary Liaison. There are several good contenders, but the most outstanding is Margaret King, a divorced mother of two with a knowledge of parliamentary procedure and political reality to rival Robbie's own. Charlie recommends her appointment to Tanner and she agrees, but when Robbie finds out about her he develops a sudden irrational dislike without ever actually meeting her. Meanwhile, Wheatley's Foreign Minister makes a speech critical of Israel for which Wheatley rebukes him, but several cabinet colleagues side with the Foreign Minister and a potential rival for the leadership develops. As the rift grows, the press begin to smell blood and soon Wheatley is bombarded, both in parliament and elsewhere, about the incident. His leadership slightly tarnished by the affair, the only person who might be able to help him is President Tanner and her new Parliamentary Liaison.
3. Kill All the Lawyers
Air date: March 1, 2008
Robbie is finally standing trial for assaulting Wheatley, but even his lawyer doubts he can stay out of jail. With the prospect of her Chief of Staff being imprisoned very real, President Tanner prepares to advertise for a new one, with Charlie the prime candidate for the position. Meanwhile, Wheatley brings a new law to Cabinet which will create a constitutional referendum to increase the powers of the parliament to approve judges. Though he sells it as a democratic reform, Charlie and Margaret suspect that it is actually an attempt by the Prime Minister to remove the President's consultation powers. They team up to stall the reform, but there is overwhelming public support for it and Tanner dare not speak out. Fortunately, Tanner finds a surprising ally in former Prime Minister David Walker, who comes out against Wheatley - but Margaret suspects his motives are not pure. Robbie prepares himself for prison and writes a letter of resignation, though he does not sign it.
4. Best Served Cold
Air date: March 8, 2008
Wheatley is on a state visit to India and Pakistan, leaving the Deputy PM, Ed Jones, in charge. Jones promptly puts his foot in it almost immediately when Tanner makes a speech about healthcare and Jones directly admonishes her, leading to a war of public opinion which Tanner overwhelmingly wins. Charlie and Margaret decide to capitalise on this by unveiling an agenda on Parliament that totally conflicts with that of Wheatley and the government. With Wheatley out of the country, Tanner relishes her chance for a bit of revenge on his government.
Meanwhile, Robbie's trial is not looking good, and he is looking like facing a lengthy prison term. As Robbie signs his letter of resignation and makes arrangements for Ingrid to pack up his office, Charlie has an idea. Charlie leans on Jones, who is facing Cabinet and backbench uproar over the Tanner Agenda. Jones telephones Wheatley with a proposal. As Robbie is due to recieve his verdict, Wheatley suddenly drops all charges against him and he is released. A jubilant Tanner wads up her agenda document and throw it across the room into a wastepaper basket and tells Ingrid to make a cake to welcome back her Chief of Staff.
5. Twelve Months
Air date: March 15, 2008
Twelve months have passed since President Tanner took office. As the staff plan their celebrations, Wheatley announces reforms to Parliamentary procedures, including an independent Speaker and a reformed committee system, which is hailed as a blow for democracy - even Robbie is impressed, until he begins to suspect Wheatley's motive. Robbie and Margaret, who already despise one another, are forced to work together to determine Wheatley's real agenda. At Margaret and Ingrid's urging, Robbie is forced to contact Ellen for an idea as to what Wheatley is doing. The consensus seems to be that Wheatley is simply attempting to steal Tanner's thunder, but Robbie and Margaret suspect another, darker, motivation behind the changes. Unable to prove anything, Robbie and Margaret are forced to give up, but not before Robbie confronts Wheatley and asks him directly for an answer, though he does not get one. Robbie and Margaret attend the anniversary celebrations, but so does Wheatley.
6. Heads of State
Air date: March 22, 2008
The Presidential and Prime Ministerial staffs are forced to co-operate on a very important occasion - preparations for a visit by the President of the United States. The two teams, led by Charlie and by Ellen, clash over whom the President will meet with and when - Charlie and Tanner want the meeting of the two Presidents to be a formal issues discussion, while Wheatley's staff insist the 'meaningful' discussions take place only with the Prime Minister. The American officials grow increasingly frustrated at the infighting between Martin Hall and the Residence, and threaten to pull the visit unless both sides agree. Finally, Wheatley and Tanner are personally forced to break the deadlock in a face-to-face meeting at which they agree to a compromise. Meanwhile, Robbie is still adjusting to life back at work and his feelings for Ellen, which continue to resurface as a jealous Ingrid keeps an eye on him.
7. Hail to the Chief
Air date: March 29, 2008
President Tanner and Prime Minister Wheatley temporarily put their differences aside to play joint hosts to Henry Yeats, the President of the United States. Yeats meets first with Tanner and then with Wheatley, but shortly afterwards a pro-democracy protest breaks out in Beijing, threatening to become another Tiananmen. Yeats retreats to a "command centre" to monitor the process while Tanner meets with Chinese officials in the hopes of brokering a dialogue, something Wheatley and Robbie both warn her against. Meanwhile, Drummond's meeting with Yeats quickly turns into a scandal as she inadvertantly gives away details of their conversation, concerning the Chinese democracy movement, during a press conference. Yeats is incensed, Wheatley is delighted and Tanner is horrified when the Chinese walk out on her. Tanner initially blames Drummond but when she is further snubbed by the Chinese she switches sides and comes to Drummond's aid. Yeats leaves town early with the state visit having developed into a comedy of errors and leaving Tanner, Wheatley and Drummond all weakened and bruised.
8. Domestic Affairs
Air date: April 5, 2008
The Wheatley government is rocked by a sex scandal, as the Prime Minister discovers to his horror and embarrasment that two of his Cabinet ministers had been having an affair with the same woman - who was also involved with a convicted mobster. As Wheatley deals with the fallout from the Profumo-esque scandal, Robbie meets with Ellen in an apparent attempt at reconciliation, but Ingrid won't let the two of them be alone. Joan and James Tanner finally discuss the Enkidu incident, and James reveals that he did, indeed, give tacit permission for Wheatley to launch his dangerous rescue mission, endangering her life. The Tanners reconcile after long, heartfelt admissions from both sides. Ellen and Robbie attempt to sneak away from Ingrid's gaze for a long conversation of their own, but the jealous Ingrid manages to tail them to a downtown bar. Suddenly realising she's acting like a stalker, she allows Ellen and Robbie to talk...but the talk quickly turns into something more serious. Wheatley dismisses both ministers from his cabinet and, at the meeting with Tanner to formalise the arrangement, the two bond slightly over the serious trials each has faced during the week.
9. Choices We Make
Air date: April 12, 2008
Luke is once again arrested on drug charges, and under Wheatley's proposed (and retrospective) drug laws, he would go to prison for more than five years. The Tanners, distraught, appeal to police for clemency, but the local police will do nothing. Wheatley offers the Tanners a way out - he'll make the bill non-retrospective, meaning Luke will only recieve a minimal sentence, if President Tanner agrees to an act of hari-kiri and announce she won't run for a second term. Margaret and Charlie urge Tanner to take the deal, but James, in a rare act of partisanship, lobbies his wife to not agree to Wheatley's terms. As the standoff threatens to destroy the President's family, an unlikely ally emerges in the form of a maverick backbencher who dislikes Wheatley's tactics. When the vote is called, the bill is defeated in the House. A bloodied Wheatley agrees to shelve the legislation for three months, and Tanner tells him that she's here to stay and she'll never agree to a self-imposed term-limit at gunpoint. Luke is sentenced to six months prison, but Wheatley's leadership has suffered a serious blow.
10. Requiem
Air date: April 19, 2008
Former Prime Minister Ben Douglas has died. Tanner, as a matter of protocol, has to attend the funeral but gladly allows Wheatley to read the eulogy. Walker, however, has other ideas and the President finds herself mediating between the two men to decide who has the right to eulogise a man she knows for a fact neither one liked. Meanwhile, Charlie meets with a group called Georgeland for a Monarchy, which proposes becoming a Commonwealth Realm after eighty years as a republic. Ellen and Robbie are still trying to decide what kind of relationship they have, but Robbie can't get past the feeling that he's being played. Ingrid, still smarting with jealously, goes to Margaret to seek romantic advice - something Margaret is not exactly qualified to do. At the funeral, Tanner and Wheatley clash over budget negotiations. Wheatley is planning to include tax cuts for higher-income earners as an economic stimulus, but Tanner can't go along with the idea and threatens a veto. Wheatley, gambling that she's bluffing, tries to humour her but the President is in no mood for games. Wheatley declares endgame and announces the tax cuts right after the funeral. With budget night still six weeks away, Tanner tells Robbie and Margaret they have that long to find a solution, or Tanner will veto the budget outright.
11. Desperate Measures
Air date: April 26, 2008
Tanner has never been more popular, enjoying a record approval rating of 74%. Wheatley, on the other hand, due to the drug bill affair and the recent scandals, has been passed in the polls by Drummond for the first time. As Tanner enjoys her popularity and is mobbed during a public appearance, Wheatley decides to retaliate and plays a trump card against Tanner. The Prime Minister completes his budget and, as the Treasurer prepares to read it to the House of Commons, Margaret discovers what's in it and is not amused. Wheatley's proposals to slash the President's budget and fund a 'pork-barrel' roads program make it to the President, who declares she will veto them along with the tax cuts. The tide of public opinion starts to turn Wheatley's way as he argues that he, not Tanner, sets the agenda for the government. Meantime, Luke languishes in prison and is having difficulty adjusting, beginning to suffer from severe depression. Robbie searches for legal avenues for his release, but the Attorney-General is neither able nor willing to help.
12. Above the Law
Air date: May 3, 2008
Budget Night is three days away and still there is a stalemate. Wheatley and the Treasurer won't budge on the upper-bracket tax cuts, and neither will Tanner, despite urging from Robbie that she do so. Tanner grapples with her own conscience and those of her staff in an all-night strategy meeting. As Ingrid finally gets her chance to tell Robbie how she feels, she is interrupted by Margaret to announce the President's decision. Wheatley is having his own meeting to determine a course of action when he is summoned to Martin Hall for a face-to-face with Tanner. The President has come to a decision, and Wheatley won't back down. He calls her bluff and summons Parliament a day early where the Treasurer makes his budget announcement about the tax cuts. As Tanner and her staff watch, debate on the budget is gagged and the money bills are sent through Parliament at speed before winding up on Tanner's desk. The President agonises about the decision but when she sees Wheatley publicly calling her out, she stiffens her resolve. As her staff watch, Tanner calls a press conference and announces that she is invoking her reserve powers and refusing assent to the budget, thereby triggering a shutdown of government and a constitutional crisis...
13. Disillusion
Air date: May 10, 2008
Series finale
The country is deadlocked. The government is shut down, the markets are crashing and the head of state and head of government are completely at loggerheads over the situation. As the stalemate drags into a third day with no end in sight, Martin Hall staffers are sent home, except for the senior staff who volunteer to work with no wages. The 'down time' allows Ingrid to confront Robbie about her feelings and an agonising conversation takes place, which Robbie cannot escape from because Ingrid has locked the door and unplugged his phone. As Ellen desperately tries to break the logjam, all she can do is get a sympathetic Charlie to talk to the President, but when Wheatley finds out she went over his head he fires her. As the situation drags on through the night, the polls show the public are damning both Tanner and Wheatley for their stubbornness. Charlie convinces Tanner and Wheatley to meet face-to-face, whereby Wheatley proposes a solution. He requests that Tanner grant a dissolution of parliament and call a general election. With no choice, and with the protests outside gathering strength, Tanner agrees, knowing that, if Wheatley is re-elected, her position will become untenable.

Season Three

Starnes and the network have confirmed that the cliffhanger will be resolved in Episode 1 of Series 3. The major cast members have all be signed for the third series, though Starnes has revealed on the program's website that 'some characters will appear less than they have before, and some will appear more'. He hinted that Ellen and Walker will have greater roles in Season Three.
Pre-production on the third season began in July 2008. In an interview with the entertainment section of the Globe and Standard newspaper, Starnes revealed that Pattie Boothe (Ellen) will be added to the main cast and that the premiere episode will "set the tone" for the rest of the series. It is assumed Wheatley will win the general election but that somehow Tanner will continue as President. When asked in the interview if this was the case, Starnes' cryptic response was "not necessarily".
Starnes revealed more in a follow-up interview with the same paper on September 28, 2008. He revealed the following pieces of information about Season Three:

  • Wheatley will continue to be Prime Minister at least for the first few episodes.
  • The election result will not be known until several episodes into the season. (this later proved to be false, a 'red herring' planted to mislead viewers.)
  • The character of Ellen will be added to the main cast and will assume an advisory role to President Tanner.
  • The first episode of the third season explores the concept of presidential neutrality and will be in some ways a 'reaction' to the real-life election of President Lois Daniels.
  • The first episode will show us the often-mentioned, never-seen Chief Minister of West Mainland, Doug Steele, who will be played by Thomas McCabe.
  • Ellen, Robbie and Ingrid will form a 'love triangle' which may not be resolved by the end of the season.
  • More about Wheatley's past will be revealed.
  • It is possible Wheatley's actual political party will finally be revealed to the viewer.

Starnes also confirmed the name of the Season Three opener, Seven Days in May, a homage to the 1964 film of the same name, and confirmed the airdate of the episode as November 8.
1. Seven Days in May
Airdate: 8 November 2008
The election campaign is in full swing. With only one week to go, Wheatley has turned the tables on Drummond and now leads her in the polls. As Tanner sits silently and watches events without commenting, Ingrid and Charlie have to virtually restrain Robbie from interfering and opening his mouth, knowing he can only make things worse. To Ingrid's chagrin, Margaret finds the ideal distraction - Ellen, Robbie's old flame and Wheatley's former staffer, approaches her about a job. To keep Robbie occupied they indulge her as the election goes on. Wheatley and Drummond exchange barbs in the debate and resort to personal attacks. When asked to comment, Tanner makes a dignified statement against personal politics. A new poll is released, days before the election, showing Tanner is more popular than either Wheatley or Drummond. Wheatley and Drummond both attempt to approach Tanner, but Wheatley gets in first and makes her an offer - an active, but quiet, role behind the scenes in the making of policy. Tanner agrees, despite Robbie's objections. Alan Wheatley is re-elected as Prime Minister with an increased majority. In his election night speech, he praises the President and declares that a new era of co-operation is beginning. But, muses Robbie, can he really be trusted?
2. Round Two
Airdate: 15 November 2008
Wheatley begins to assemble his new government, but faces a dilemma with his choice for Environment Minister, Toby Conway. Robbie and Conway are bitter rivals from their university days, a rivalry made worse by the fact that both once wooed the same woman. As Robbie tries to stop Conway's appointment, Ellen begins her first day at work with a hazing from the staff, to the point where her bike is stolen...but even the FISIA agents protecting Martin Hall are in on the joke! As if that wasn't bad enough, her replacement in Wheatley's office harries her about Conway's appointment. Ellen confronts Robbie and tells him to back down, which he does, but not before revealing a terrible secret about Conway which he plans to sit on until the time is right.
3. Where Angels Fear to Tread
Airdate: 23 November 2008
As Wheatley concludes an international trade agreement in London, a crisis erupts at home as an American jumbo jet is hijacked by a group of anarchists at Doubledance Airport. The American authorities insist on taking charge, but so does the Mayor of Doubledance, the Chief Minister of East Mainland, FISIA and President Tanner herself. As the crisis drags on, Robbie discovers his advice to President Tanner on the crisis is not helping, and enlists Ellen's somewhat reluctant help to keep Wheatley's staff finding out. Wheatley's efforts to resolve the situation remotely are not successful until Tanner volunteers to act as a mediator between all relevant authorities and brings the crisis to a peaceful end. Tanner walks away with all the credit, stealing Wheatley's thunder, but the Prime Minister cannot do anything about it since he agreed to the arrangement in the first place.
4. The Ship of State
Airdate: 30 November 2008
Robbie is forced to take a holiday by a tag-team of Ellen and Ingrid, with Tanner having the last word on the matter. She appoints Charlie as Acting Chief of Staff while Robbie has a hard time relaxing, calling work so often Charlie has his calls blocked. As Robbie's interruptions plague the office, an internal Martin Hall memo regarding the President's re-election plans is leaked to the press. Charlie must find the leaker, cope with Robbie's interruptions and Ingrid's strange ways. Meanwhile, Drummond's leadership comes under threat when a young backbencher challenges her, hoping to force a more credible candidate into the race. Drummond is saved from oblivion, but being officially on notice by her own party she vows to fight on...and begins to seek powerful allies. The leak is traced, but the real culprit appears to be someone close to Wheatley - but there is no proof. Robbie returns to work pledging never to take another holiday.
5.The Good Fight
Airdate: 7 December 2008
Should there be government censorship of the Internet? The staff of Martin Hall are divided on the issue as Wheatley proposes a new bill to provide censorship of "inappropriate" material. As Robbie, Charlie and Margaret urge Tanner to oppose the bill on principle, Ellen, Ingrid and even James strongly discourage her from getting involved. Wheatley, seeing his chance, twists the knife to drive a wedge between Tanner and her staff, eventually advising her not to get involved. When the Senate passes the bill, Tanner signs it, disappointing Robbie, but secretly he admits he is proud of her for doing what needed to be done to ensure she can fight the winnable fights later on.
6. 5,269
Airdate: 14 December 2008
Gridlock strands Robbie, Charlie and Margaret in their car on their way back to Martin Hall after a soccer match. With no chance of going anywhere, they opt to abandon their car and walk all of five kilometers back to work, but they don't count on actually having to meet with real people, with real problems, every step of the way.
7. The Office Party
Airdate: 21 December 2008
It's Christmas, and the Martin Hall staff are celebrating the end of another year. But the office party is fraught with the usual perils of alcohol and hormones, which leads to a not-entirely-unwelcome encounter between Robbie and Ingrid, and a retaliatory strike by Ellen sucks in Charlie. Meanwhile, soem of Wheatley's staff gatecrash the party, and the Prime Minister himself is faced with an unwelcome guest of his own in the form of a drunken backbencher who thinks he can blackmail his boss.
8. Judas
Airdate: 28 December 2008
As the new year begins, most of Martin Hall's staff are still on leave, causing everybody to work harder and longer. Drummond contacts Robbie with a surprising and tempting offer - in exchange for tacit support from the President for her new welfare proposals, she will ensure her party does not field a candidate against Tanner at the next presidential election. Meanwhile, Ingrid's gastroenteritis causes Margaret to be placed in charge of the President's New Years Day schedule, but several minor incidents, involving a sheep and a prize-winning pumpkin, threaten to derail the entire enterprise with staggering speed. Robbie sits brooding on Drummond's offer, unable to ask anybody for advice and unable to reach a decision.
9. Cloak and Dagger
Airdate: 4 January 2009
Robbie is meeting with Drummond for the third time in a fortnight to discuss her offer of support, but he still hasn't told the President and she is beginning to get suspicious. The fallout from the Christmas party begins to settle, as Ingrid finally confronts Robbie about their drunken encounter and Charlie totally misunderstands Ellen's clumsy attempts to apologise. President Tanner attempts to set up a date between one of her junior staffers and her niece, but things go totally haywire for all the wrong reasons.
10. Ever Decreasing Circles
Airdate: 11 January 2009
Wheatley, on a state visit to Thailand, accidentally insults the Royal Family, which is a serious crime. His staff work to get him out of trouble, while Robbie runs interference to keep him there and make him sweat a little. Charlie and Ellen agree that from now on they will not talk about their liason at Christmas, but Robbie and Ingrid can't come to the same agreement and agree to, finally, go on a real date. As Wheatley talks his way out of Bangkok with nothing more than a wrist slap from the Thai government, Robbie tells the President about Cynthia Drummond's offer. The President is furious at him for keeping it a secret, but Robbie recommends she accept the deal. Tanner makes no decision and says she will review it when Parliament resumes.
11. Trouble
Airdate: 18 January 2009
In Enkidu, a Georgeland helicopter is shot down by rebels as part of the UN peacekeeping operation. Tanner wants to use her diplomatic connections to get the rebels to disarm in exchange for amnesty, but Wheatley advocates a hard line and wants to send in more troops. Wheatley and Tanner have an explosive debate in the President's office, wheree Wheatley accuses Tanner of breaking her deal and Tanner accuses Wheatley of undermining her. Robbie and Ingrid go out to dinner on their first real date, but their phones keep ringing and they barely have time to eat, let along talk. Tanner reveals Drummond's offer to Wheatley, who is so furious he goes on TV and denounces both of them.
12. Last Post
Airdate: 25 January 2009
The peacekeeping operation in Enkidu is polarising public opinion, and the opinion of Martin Hall staff, a division Wheatley is keen to exploit. As he attempts to drive a wedge between Tanner and her advisers, Robbie and Ingrid never seem to get a moment alone to talk things over. Margaret has taken up tennis after ten years but after first Charlie, then Ronnie, and then finally the President beat her in straight sets, she decides it probably isn't worth it. Wheatley attends the funeral of the soldier killed in Enkidu but the soldier's brother is very, very angry and leaves Wheatley seriously shaken after an explosive confrontation.
13. Bad News
Airdate: 1 February 2009
SERIES FINALE
As another peacekeeper dies in Enkidu, Tanner and Wheatley clash over what to do. For once, Tanner finds herself going against public opinion, and when a major rebel leader is captured, Wheatley is hailed as a champion of democracy. With the next election due in just over a year, Tanner seeks advice from everybody about whether or not to run, and recieves the best advice from her husband: don't let Wheatley win. While she makes up her mind, Robbie decides to do something about his feelings for Ingrid, but Charlie beats him to it and locks them both in Robbie's office where the conversation quickly turns to something else. Wheatley now finds himself with a high approval rating and is riding the popularity wave, but as he gives a speech outside Parliament, the brother of the first dead soldier makes his way through the crowd, then, as Wheatley leaves the podium, raises his gun and fires...

Season Four

Season four will contain 17 episodes instead of the usual 13. Producer Joe Starnes said that there would also be a TV movie as 'Season 4.5' between Seasons 4 and 5.
1. Breakdown
Airdate: 4 October 2009
SERIES PREMIERE
Wheatley is unconcious and undergoing surgery, but that's not the only problem. As FISIA investigate the assassination attempt, a nuclear test in the Indian ocean shows that India, or Pakistan, or both, have deployed nuclear submarines and Georgeland would be right in the middle of any mess they make. Tanner and the Acting PM, Ed Jones, fight for control while Wheatley's condition remains critical. At Robbie's instigation, Jones and Tanner meet and agree to an equitable settlement - Jones handles the politics and takes credit, while Tanner uses her diplomatic contacts to try to defuse the situation. Wheatley's life is out of immediate danger, but he is still in intensive care, comatose, and doctors cannot say whether he will recover, or even regain conciousness.
2. Line of Succession
Airdate: 11 October 2009
Wheatley is still under the knife, and the wolves are massing. Ed Jones is proving a disastrous Acting PM and someone needs to take the reigns. Wheatley's party debates declaring the leadership vacant so that someone else can step into the office and deal with the growing crisis on the Subcontinent. Both Treasurer Prentice and Foreign Minister Riley seem to be jockeying to replace Wheatley, and both advise Tanner that she should terminate the incapacitated Prime Minister's commission and allow them to fill the gap. Robbie urges the President to do the same thing, but James, Margaret and Charlie all argue that Tanner doesn't have the right. The doctors in charge of Wheatley's surgery declare it a success, but his recovery could take months. With the crisis growing, Tanner's hand is forced and she reluctantly terminates Wheatley's commission, appointing Joshua Riley as the new Prime Minister.
3. Detente
To air: 18 October 2009
Joshua Riley is now Prime Minister of Georgeland, and sets about his new job by flying to New Delhi to meet with the Indian leader to talk about defusing the crisis on the subcontinent, but when U.S. President Yeats goes to join him, Riley suddenly becomes the man of the hour and an international statesman. As Riley's ratings sore, he signals a new tactic for dealing with the President: ignore her completely. Meanwhile, Wheatley awakes and begins the long process of his recovery, but when aides tell him his commission has been revoked, he is furious and demands to speak with Tanner. Tanner is then faced with a dilemma - in appointing Riley she has created a monster, but she cannot withdraw his commission without cause, and Wheatley is still in no shape to resume his duties. When Riley, Yeats, and Indian Prime Minister Prachandhi declare the talks a success, Riley returns triumphant and gives Tanner an ultimatum - if she ever dares to outmanoeuvre him or attempt to run the country, he will destroy her. Robbie, going against Tanner's direct instructions, goes to Wheatley's bedside and tries to bury the hatchet, by forming an unholy alliance with the former Prime Minister to get Riley out and Wheatley back in.
4. No Way Back
Airdate: 25 October 2009
Prime Minister Riley announces a new Cabinet, with Wheatley's supporters severely demoted or dumped altogether. Among the big changes is the competent, hard-nosed Helen Simons as Deputy PM, a shrewd political move that has Robbie very concerned. Robbie recruits Ellen and Charlie into the 'Bring Back Wheatley' fold, but Tanner is kept in the dark for deniability. Robbie knows dirt on the new Treasurer, Toby Conway, and wants to use it to embarrass the Riley government, perhaps fatally. When Wheatley, now recovering at home, is presented with this option and balks, refusing to use such dirty tactics, which surprises Robbie and delights Charlie, who presents an alternative: Wheatley is still popular, and hard done by; he might be able to get back into power through a simple leadership challenge. But Wheatley's preferred method is less palatable: he wants Tanner to terminate Riley's appointment. Meantime, Tanner consults with her staff and her husband on whether to seek a second term as the deadline for filing her candidacy approaches. Drummond's offer has completely collapsed, but to Tanner's surprise it is James who leads the charge for her re-election. Tanner goes to visit Wheatley and tells him she cannot terminate Riley's commission, but she has a better idea...
5. You Can Choose Your Friends...
Airdate: 1 November 2009
As the staff cope with Riley's new style, Luke, the President's wayward son, returns home. He has been travelling the world trying to find himself after being released from prison, and claims to be clean now. He also introduces a woman named Gabby, his fiance. Neither of the Tanners are sure Luke is ready for marriage and try to talk him out of it, but he insists it's what he wants. Gabby, meanwhile, is more than the Tanners expected, though she is clearly eccentric. James and Joan give the wedding their blessing, reluctantly, but then Gabby drops a bombshell: she's pregnant. Meantime, Wheatley has returned to his Sergiocitta home but he can't get a moment's peace. Ministers, MPs, staffers and journalists are constantly haranging him. After he and Irene's third unsuccessful attempt at intimacy, Wheatley cracks and abuses the journalists, a rant which is captured on television, to his embarrassment.
6. Back Benches
Airdate: 8 November 2009
Wheatley makes his first speech to the House of Commons as a backbench MP, and it is not complimentary of Riley or the government. When confronted by the press about it, Wheatley is evasive, but to Robbie's surprise, so is the President. Robbie wonders if the two of them could be in cahoots. Meantime, Ingrid is worrying that she and Robbie don't see each other enough and tries to arrange a clandestine holiday to surprise him for his birthday. Charlie and Margaret deal with a difficult Senator who wants an appointment as Ambassador to Ireland and is determined to get it from the President. Robbie is surprised when the Senator makes a speech in support of Wheatley, and confronts Tanner, asking her if she and Wheatley are up to something. Tanner ducks the question and Robbie leaves confused and feeling somewhat left out.
7. The Art of the Possible
Airdate: 15 November 2009
Senator John Briers is determined to be appointed Ambassador to Ireland, but Riley has someone else in mind, a political supporter of his own. Since the choice is actually up to the President, Tanner indicates she will appoint Briers, but Riley is so determined to stop her he threatens to impeach her if she goes against his wishes. Robbie is shocked when Wheatley makes a passionate speech against Riley's choice in the House of Commons and implies he agrees with Tanner. For speaking out against the government, Riley moves to have Wheatley expelled from the party. This plays right into Wheatley's hands - opinion polls show Riley is seen as vindictive and petty, and that Wheatley is still more popular. Armed with the poll data, which also shows Tanner is more popular than Riley, the President formally appoints Briers as ambassador and leaks Riley's impeachment threat to the press. This hurts Riley's standing even more and he backs down but his government has suffered a serious blow. Wheatley, his reputation and party standing unhurt, congratulates Tanner on outmaneuvering the Prime Minister - Tanner replies that she learned from the best.
8. Endgame
Airdate: 22 November 2009
Riley missteps, and publicly attacks Wheatley. The ex-Prime Minister becomes "the bigger man" and walks out of the party room, taking about twenty backbenchers and two ministers with him. The party room now being divided, Drummond and the opposition go on the offensive and Tanner looks nicely neutral and statesmen-like. The President, meantime, is not overjoyed about her sixtieth birthday. Robbie tries to dissuade Margaret, Ingrid and Ellen from throwing her a party but they are not to be talked out of it, especially since James seems to be determined to go ahead with it. As Riley's government collapses and Wheatley's star rises, the Prime Minister is left with little choice and tenders his resignation to Tanner, who accepts it with barely-restrained relief. Wheatley announces he will run to succeed Riley, and there seems to be no obstacle. The next day, Tanner takes a few minutes out of her unwanted birthday party to appoint Wheatley as Prime Minister once again. The next morning, at a press conference, Wheatley is asked about the upcoming Presidential election and casually remarks that he would prefer the party not to run a candidate. Robbie is shocked - it looks as if Tanner and Wheatley planned this whole thing. Tanner ducks Robbie's questions, leaving him secretly in awe of his boss's political skill.
9. The More Things Change...
Airdate: 29 November 2009
Wheatley announces he will keep most of Riley's cabinet, but makes a point of not re-appointing Riley, further alienating him. Drummond attempts to capitalise on the instability in the government ranks but the media are not on her side, and it looks like her days may be numbered. President Tanner and her husband, meanwhile, head off for a holiday, planning on spending three weeks in seclusion in the middle of an exclusive island resort. But the government soon enters a crisis when Burgess, as acting President, collapses in his office and is rushed to hospital having suffered a severe stroke. Tanner attempts to back out of the holiday and return to work, especially with budget negotiations looming, but James restrains her, to the point where he literally locks her in the hotel room and forces her to relax. Robbie, though, can't relax, because with the recent revelation by Wheatley about the upcoming election, it looks as though it will be a two-horse race between Tanner and one serious challenger; though Burgess is now out of the running, he is looking towards Joshua Riley with deep suspicion.
10. Behind the Scenes
Airdate: 6 December 2009
A documentary crew are given exclusive access to Martin Hall as the staff prepare for the upcoming Papal visit. Through candid interviews with the staff and with the President herself, the day-to-day operations of the office of the head of state are captured. Also captured, however, is the ongoing conflict between political reality and ideology. The President, as head of state, is scheduled to meet the Pope first, but Prime Minister Wheatley has different ideas and wants to be there when she does. A powerful Protestant leader then makes an inflammatory comment, leading to a crisis as Vatican officials threaten to cancel the visit. An accord is reached, with both President and Prime Minister greeting the Pope and the incendiary church leader is officially rebuked by both of them.
11. Hope, Faith and Charity
Airdate: 13 December 2009
The Pope is visiting, but Wheatley has bigger issues. Two by-elections in deeply Catholic Scoita are to be held just after His Holiness leaves, and Wheatley is clearly exploiting the Papal visit as a way of garnering the Catholic vote. Tanner decides, against Robbie's advice, to call the Prime Minister out on the matter, and gives a friendly journalist a question to plant at a press conference. However, she is unprepared for a follow-up by a less biased newsman, and inadvertantly insults Catholics by denouncing the Pope's visit as a 'political stunt'. Martin Hall goes into damage control as angry Catholics protest outside the building, and support for the President begins to dwindle in key areas. Wheatley, himself a Catholic, saves the day by calling for calm and refuses to attack the President for her comments, but the damage is done. Wheatley's party stomps to victory in the by-elections and the President's reputation as a consensus leader is now on shakier ground, with less than six months until election day.
12. In One Ear...
Airdate: 20 December 2009
With Christmas looming, the right-wing media attack the President over her apparent indifference and lack of Christmas spirit. Despite Robbie's warnings, the President goes after them and inadvertantly offends Christians. Robbie becomes worried that President Tanner no longer seems to be listening to his advice or anybody else's. Meanwhile, Drummond finally bows to the pressure and resigns as Leader of the Opposition but her replacement, David Freeman, is her exact opposite, and in his first meeting with the President openly opposes her, making it clear he plans to field a candidate against her at the election and then to win it. Robbie insists that he needs to be front and centre when it comes to the re-election plans - nobody else will be able to give her the advice she needs to hear. The President admits that for the first time she really cares about winning, and is ashamed that she has become another poll-driven politician. Robbie comforts her and says that the difference between her and Freeman, or Wheatley, is that she's ashamed. They make an agreement to win the election and govern wisely in the second term.
13. Bring It On
Airdate: 27 December 2009
The President has found a new vigour, and is now campaigning with energy to win re-election, even though she doesn't know who her opponent will be. Wheatley maintains his decision not to field a candidate, but his party has other ideas and begins to court Joshua Riley for a presidential run, again leading him to conflict with Wheatley. Tanner declares she will take on all comers and the new confident style seems to be gaining approval, but the cloud on the horizon is David Freeman - his choice of candidate will undoubtedly win endorsement, and if he chooses wisely he might derail the whole effort. Robbie sends Ingrid undercover to find out who he wants to choose, but she is outmanoeuvred and Robbie is embarrassed in the media for his efforts.
14. The Friend Request
Airdate: 3 January 2010
Tanner has embraced social media and is now Twittering and using Facebook to keep in touch with her supporters. Robbie is proud of the way she is embracing a new style of campaign, but then is hit up for a friend request on his own Facebook account by an old girlfriend, re-opening old wounds. Ingrid tries to console him, which leads to a story about how Robbie got involved in politics in the first place - the girlfriend manipulated him and played on his emotions, working as she was for his political opponent, making him cynical and jaded about partisan politics.
15. Choose Wisely
Airdate: 10 January 2010
As the Opposition hold their nominating conference in Topstad, Robbie feels powerless and tries to bury himself in work. Margaret, Ingrid and Ellen plan a "girl's night" but Robbie keeps interrupting them, to the point where Ingrid gets fed up and confiscates his phone. The Tanners are fretting as well, but are given hope when the conference is deadlocked between the two strongest candidates. As the night progresses, things are looking up, but then the party makes a surprising, but inspired choice - former Prime Minister David Walker. Tanner declares that it is 'game on' and vows to win a second term to "show the partisan hacks a thing or two."
16. David and Goliath
Airdate: 17 January 2010
The Walker campaign begins with a barnstorming tour and Team Tanner are in danger of getting left behind. Wheatley sees the Walker nomination as a political godsend and a referendum on his own leadership. Though officially remaining 'netural', Wheatley allows several ministers and backbenchers to go on the attack, and in Parliament he viciously labels Freeman as "the puppetmaster"; the campaign is very successful in undermining the Opposition Leader, but Walker is unfazed. A year ago, Joan Tanner's position as President looked unassailable, but could she be the Goliath slain by a team of Davids?
17. The Thick of It
Airdate: 24 January 2010
SERIES FINALE With nine weeks to go until the election, polls show Tanner and Walker are neck-and-neck. Anything could turn the balance, and Tanner falls for the trap of making the campaign personal when she brings up Walker's wife's close friendship with Drummond. When Walker retaliates and makes reference to Luke's troubled history, Tanner angrily responds but ends up looking like a hypocrite since she started the personal attacks. Before it can all deteriorate into a mud slinging contest, Wheatley comes to Tanner's rescue by berating Walker's comments as out of line. The media get the idea that Wheatley is on Tanner's side, which he does nothing to deny, and all of Tanner's assertions fall on deaf ears. The tone of the campaign is now set - for the next two months, it will be seen as a referendum on Wheatley. Tanner's numbers slowly start to climb following the Prime Minister's tacit support, and Wheatley reminds Tanner that if she wins, she'll owe him. As the campaign staff prepare for eight weeks of barnstorming, long flights and late nights, Ingrid comes to Robbie's office with a sudden bombshell - she's pregnant!

Through the Winter

Martin Hall: Through the Winter was a four-hour, two part miniseries that aired on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 2010.

Part One

The election is to be held in only two weeks time, and the polls are still fairly even though showing President Tanner in a slight lead over former Prime Minister David Walker. The President, however, is beginning to feel the strain of the campaign. She collapses after a rally and has to get complete rest for three days, during which time Walker blitzes three cities and starts to pick up his numbers. The campaign is forced into damage control and Robbie, as campaign manager, is forced to do something he thought he would never do. He asks Wheatley to campaign on the President's behalf. Wheatley refuses and is insulted by the suggestion, and Robbie finds himself in trouble when it is leaked to the press. Ingrid tries to comfort him but he realises he has failed in his duty to the President and offers her his resignation - a furious Tanner almost accepts it but James persuades her to cool off and think about it. As the polls get tighter, Tanner gets desperate and starts making mistakes she wouldn't be making if Robbie was there; Charlie and Ellen step into his role as Robbie, chastened and with the President not speaking to him, tries to manage affairs at Martin Hall. As Tanner's executive secretary, Ingrid finds her loyalties torn, but chooses Robbie and resigns her position. As the campaign enters its final week, however, everything changes when a terrorist attack takes place in downtown Santa Christina, destroying an office building and killing 213 people...and Margaret was in the building at the time!

Part Two

Margaret is dead, killed by a bomb in an office block in Santa Christina. There are only seven days till the election and now everything is different. The campaign must end - there can be no politics at a time of national tragedy. Wheatley, Walker, Tanner and Freeman all appear together at the memorial service and unite in a great show of political willpower. The election cannot be called off, however, but both candidates agree to run no more ads and make no more speeches as Wheatley declares a period of national mourning for the victims. FISIA discover that the bombing is linked to an obscure Islamist sect and Tanner wants answers - why did this happen and how did they go undetected for so long? Wheatley agrees and promises a full investigation and a special commission, but only after the election. Tanner, distraught over Margaret's death, gives an interview to the GBC three days before polling day in which she inadvertently suggests that the terrorist attack may be part of a wider conspiracy and immediately the story spirals out of proportion. Tanner is forced, reluctantly, to bring Robbie into the fray as damage control but Wheatley is furious, and actively attacks the President whose candidacy he once tacitly endorsed. The entire affair is condemned by the voters, with one commentator lamenting that all politicians cannot be trusted not to make politics out of a disaster. Election day finally comes around, and Robbie once again offers to resign, but Tanner says he can't - if she wins, she won't be able to do this without him. She declares that she has lost Margaret and Ingrid, and she will not lose him as well. Robbie agrees to stay on but the two of them agree he cannot be Chief of Staff anymore - he needs to be able to help Tanner with the politics and stay away from the spotlight. As exit polls show a low turnout and a large backlash against both candidates, it appears the election will go to preferences and indeed it does. Tanner wins re-election by 53% to 47%, but the damage to her reputation, and indeed Wheatley's, may be irreparable. With a depleted staff and a depleted ego, Tanner calls all her staff into her office and tells them to get back to work.

Season Five

Season Five of Martin Hall commenced airing on October 31, 2010. It will run for a full 13 episodes. The series will be Starnes' last as showrunner. In November 2010, Channel 12 confirmed a sixth season would air in 2011 with Julian Barnstable as executive producer; this series may be the show's last.
1. Death and Taxes
(airdate: 31 October 2010)
Former President John Richmond has died. As Tanner reflects on the death of her friend and mentor, the government hands down its budget; an election is due within six months and Wheatley is beginning to suffer, so he announces a major tax reform package. Robbie is now working as 'Senior adviser' to the President and Charlie is interim Chief of Staff, but Tanner cannot bring herself to appoint a permanent replacement or hire a new Parliamentary Liaison. Things are complicated when Wheatley tries to poach Ellen back again, but she rejects him and instead offers to fill Margaret's job. Robbie instead suggests Charlie permanently replace him and Ellen become the new Press Secretary; Tanner reluctantly agrees but in an emotional confrontation, reveals she is still angry over Margaret's death and its role in the election.
2. Regime Change
(airdate: 7 November 2010)
Ingrid is now on maternity leave, and a series of temps are totally unable to do her job, causing Robbie to lead an office revolt. Robbie and Charlie clash over office organisation, to the point where Ingrid is forced to turn up and intervene, establishing new "rules" that unite Robbie and Charlie in opposition. The President contemplates her upcoming state visit to Britain while preparing to receive the British Prime Minister, whom Wheatley despises.
3. Peace in Our Time
(airdate: 14 November 2010)
The British Prime Minister, Robert Holmes, is visiting Georgeland; Wheatley, who detests him, leaves most of the talks to Tanner and the Foreign Minister, until a Georgeland submarine accidentally fires on a British frigate during joint operations, at which point Wheatley instantly transforms himself into 'Britain's friend'. Tanner's meeting with Holmes leaves her equally reviled and she begins to get cold feet about her reciprocal visit; so does Wheatley, who declares that he will go instead of her. Meanwhile, Robbie gets his own cold feet after Ingrid uses the "M-word" for the first time.
4. Drowning, Not Waving
(airdate: 21 November 2010)
Wheatley and Tanner are overseas together visiting Great Britain, each trying to top the other in the news cycle. Charlie resents not being allowed to go; Robbie decides not to in case Ingrid gives birth while he's away, and so Tanner has to fight Wheatley's advisers as well as his ministers for media coverage. With the announcement of a Royal Wedding, however, the press lose interest in the trip and all parties are somewhat relieved the battle, for now, is over.
5. Due
(airdate: 28 November 2010)
Another general election is due within a few months, and Wheatley is plotting a third term while he's riding high in the polls; since the Opposition's Presidential candidate, hand-picked by Freeman, was defeated, the other side's electoral prospects have dimmed. When tensions threaten to destabilise Freeman's leadership, Wheatley decides to strike. Meanwhile, Ingrid suddenly goes into labour and Robbie goes with her to the hospital. While he's there, an earthquake hits in Scoita, and Tanner needs all her staff. Robbie refuses to leave Ingrid, until she pushes him out the door.
{C}6. Of Mice and Men
(airdate: 5 December 2010)
{C}The earthquake has killed more than a hundred people and the nation goes into mourning. President Tanner and her staff visit the site, but Robbie is distracted and the President orders him home, as Ingrid's labour goes into its sixth hour. Wheatley's initial plan to call an election is destroyed by the earthquake disaster, and he is forced into a clenched-teeth photo op with Freeman. Charlie makes his first major gaffe by being indiscrete with the press; Ellen bails him out but promises to make him repay the debt at some future time. Wheatley announces an enquiry into the earthquake's massive destruction, with dodgy builders potentially to blame for the collapse of an office building during the quake. Just afterwards, Freeman resigns as Leader of the Opposition in favour of the popular Shadow Foreign Minister, Harry King, and Wheatley curses that he missed his chance to crush the other side. Ingrid, after eight hours, gives birth to a baby girl. Tanner is delighted to find the baby is named after her.
7. Preemptive Strike
(airdate: 12 December 2010)
An election is due soon, but Wheatley finds himself unable to call it without looking like he is capitalising on the earthquake disaster. Meanwhile, King, Freeman and Drummond, the "trinity", make a series of public appearances which make Wheatley very nervous about their rising popularity. Parliament proves a disaster when King gets the better of the PM in Question Time and Wheatley makes a serious gaffe, inadvertently lying to the House. Could Wheatley's star be waning? His own Cabinet begin to get nervous as new polling shows the government would be defeated if the election were held today. They urge Wheatley to risk calling an election now before it's too late. Wheatley prevaricates until he is goaded into doing so by King - who immediately accuses him of politicising the earthquake tragedy. But it's now game on, and Wheatley will be fighting for his political life.
{C}Of the regular cast, only Kevin Bosley appears in this episode, though the others are credited as normal.
{C}8. Family Business
(airdate: 19 December 2010)
Robbie is still adjusting to fatherhood, to the point where he has had very little sleep and is a danger to himself and others around the office. Charlie attempts to control Robbie's rather erratic behaviour but when Tanner orders him to go easy office chaos ensues. Ingrid attempts to argue to Ellen the case of paid maternity leave, but Ellen has other things to deal with, such as a boycott by the speechwriting staff.
Kevin Bosley does not appear in this episode.
9. The Devil Inside
(airdate: 26 December 2010)
Ellen is firmly convinced Alan Wheatley is having an affair with an aide, but she has no way to prove it. Robbie goes behind Tanner's back and does some digging, but draws a blank. Wheatley, on the campaign trail, is gaining ground against King and all seems well, until the news that Mrs. King is pregnant. As Robbie and Ellen dig deeper, they uncover no evidence of an affair, but the prospect of a darker secret seems to loom large in their view - a mysterious death twelve years ago. Could Wheatley be responsible?
{C}10. Prologue
(airdate: 2 January 2011)
{C}As the staff face a crisis when eight Georgelanders are killed in a terrorist attack in Germany, the story is told, through flashback, of how they all came together - Tanner is persuaded to run for President by Robbie, Charlie signs on after being fired from his job as a PR consultant, Ingrid is hired after all the other applicants are unsuitable and she chastises Robbie in her interview and Tanner has to persuade James that a run for President won't destroy their fragile marriage.
11. Darkness Falling
(airdate: 9 January 2011)
Robbie and Ellen dwell on the possibility that Alan Wheatley may hold a deep, dark secret that could destroy him, the government and the country. Could he have been responsible for the death of a lawyer and adviser, Joseph Duggan, twelve years ago? Wheatley is in the midst of an election campaign - the terrorist attack in Germany has helped his numbers but they are still soft, and the scandal could destroy him. Ellen is convinced that it would be the right thing to find out if Wheatley is a murderer, but Robbie isn't sure and they have no evidence. They investigate the murder with the help of an ex-boyfriend of Ellen's, a detective. The evidence is inconclusive, but when Wheatley announces a plan to reintroduce National Service, which he knows Tanner will veto, Robbie and Ellen become determined to find the truth - and use it to control the Prime Minister.
Rebecca Jordan-Wiley, Amy Rowe, John Riley and Ross Rann do not appear in this episode, though they are still credited.
12. 196
airdate: 16 January 2011
With one week before polling day, Ellen, Robbie and Stephen are homing in on Joseph Duggan's killer. Could it really have been Alan Wheatley? King and Tanner make a pact to stop the National Service plan, angering Wheatley but giving Ellen and Robbie more incentive to discover if Wheatley is really a murderer. The trail leads to Wheatley's former secretary who tells them that she is sure Wheatley did it, and to a police detective who was bribed to close the case...by Wheatley's former Chief of Staff.
{C}13. Coda
{C}airdate: 23 January 2011
Season Finale
{C}The election is only days away, and it's neck and neck. Robbie and Ellen, for what they see as the good of the nation, are determined to stop Wheatley. Anonymously, they blackmail him by sending him the name 'Joseph Duggan' in an envelope and instructions to drop the national service plan. Wheatley, stunned but defiant, pledges that he won't do so...until his wife Irene convinces him otherwise in a private chat. Wheatley announces he is dropping the plan to an assembled media pack, who portray him as losing his touch in the nightly news. King makes much of Wheatley's flip-flop and it looks as if he may win the election, but at the eleventh hour he makes an on-camera gaffe in which he makes a racist remark. Wheatley's party retains power by the skin of its teeth, and though King made big gains it seems his career is over. Robbie and Ellen, however, are suffering a crisis of conscience. They can control Wheatley, but at the cost of their souls. They finally confront him in the Houses of Parliament underground car park and admit the truth. Robbie asks if Wheatley ordered Duggan's death. Wheatley says he didn't. When Ellen accuses him of lying, Wheatley admits the secret: Irene was the one who had Duggan killed, because she and he had been having an affair and she wanted to protect her husband's career when he threatened to go public. Distraught at what they know, Ellen and Robbie return to Martin Hall where Robbie asks the President for a moment and, as the door closes, says he has something to tell her...


Season Six

Season Six commenced airing on November 20, 2011. It was the series' final season, and the only season of the program to win a Georgeland Television Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The season was shortened and featured only ten episodes, culminating in a ninety-minute finale.
1. Secrets
(airdate: 20 November 2011)
The Wheatley government is in crisis mode. Deputy Leader Neil Mycroft has been forced to resign after an explosive confrontation with Wheatley, and as an independent MP is now blasting the government. Charlie tries to recruit him as an ally to counter Wheatley. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience learns that a year ago, just after the election, Tanner was told about Irene Wheatley's crime and refused to act on it. Over the next year, Robbie and Ellen are still tormented by the knowledge and Wheatley has been totally compliant because of the secret they keep. Back in the present, after Wheatley's newest rival, Peter Lloyd, becomes his new deputy, Wheatley and Irene discuss the future, and Irene implores her husband to stay on. In a secret conversation under the House of Commons, Robbie tells Wheatley that they will not use the explosive information they have, ever, but Wheatley doesn't believe him. The two men leave the meeting knowing that only one of them will come out of the next few months intact.
2. The Weight of the World
(airdate: 27 November 2011)
President Tanner is visiting Japan, accompanied by Charlie and Ellen. While there, Ellen commits a serious social faux pas by blowing her nose and causes a minor incident which the media, in typical fashion, blow out of proportion. In Topstad, Robbie and Ingrid's wedding day is approaching but the groom can't focus, and the bride is becoming a Bridezilla, especially since young Joan is now teething. Wheatley mulls over a plan to cut defence expenditure but is worried about how it will look with a popular Defence Minister expected to oppose it. 3. Kangaroo Court
(airdate: 4 December 2011)
The Australian Prime Minister is all charm in public, but in reality is a drunken lout who makes trouble at a state reception. Meanwhile, an important Supreme Court case is about to decide the future of government legislation, but Wheatley and Robbie are again on opposite sides. When the court rules for the government, and the Australian PM throws up on him, Robbie snaps and quarrels with both Ingrid and the President. In the explosive confrontation, Robbie insists Tanner use the information she has against the Prime Minister, but she again refuses. When he keeps insisting, Tanner fires him for a second time. 4. Just the Two of Us
(airdate: 11 December 2011)
The wedding is off, Robbie has no job and he knows a secret that's tearing him apart. Disheveled and alone in his apartment, Robbie is visited secretly by Wheatley and the two of them talk about politics, the future, their rivalry and Irene's secret. As they get drunker, the two confide their secrets: Wheatley is terrified of his wife's clearly diminishing sanity, and Robbie is consumed by self-loathing for his temper and confrontationalism. The conversation ends by Wheatley doing the most surprising thing he's ever done: offering Robbie a job as his new adviser. "Help me get the country right."
This episode featured only Kevin Bosley and Vijay Kanja and no other cast. It was set entirely in one room with no scene changes. 5. Blood
(airdate: 18 December 2011)
Tanner feels completely betrayed by Robbie's change of allegiance, but Ingrid feels worse. Ellen, who left Wheatley for Tanner, tries to console the President but she is unable to focus on her job. Robbie, on his first day working for Wheatley, is given the task of helping to fill a Senate vacancy, having to mediate between two extreme rivals. Charlie's ex-wife has returned to town with her new husband, and he is unable to resist being mean-spirited. James Tanner reveals the results of his doctor's appointment; he has cancer. 6. Duty Must Be Done
(airdate: 1 January 2012)
The President has taken a leave of absence, with James' condition deteriorating. The Governor of Scoita, John Quinn, is totally uninterested in the job he's supposed to be doing in her place, and Charlie is left as the effecting Acting President. Unfortunately, his main job is to negotiate with Robbie on a new clean energy bill which leads to an inevitable confrontation. Ingrid is trying to get rid of her wedding dress but it's proving an uphill battle.
Rebecca Jordan-Wiley does not appear in this episode but is credited as normal. 7. From Whose Bourn...
(airdate: 8 January 2012)
James Tanner, the First Gentleman of the United Islands of Georgeland, passes away from advanced cancer. A state funeral is held, temporarily uniting staff of Martin Hall, past and present. The President, devastated by her husband's death, takes an extended leave of absence, increasing the burden on Charlie as Chief of Staff to an Acting President at a time of great loss and grief. Even Wheatley is on side for once, and at James' wake, he and Tanner bury the hatchet and he admits to her that his wife is becoming worrying, not sleeping properly and having blackouts of memory. Tanner offers as much support as she can give him, but she is burnt out and uncommunicative. When he gets home, Wheatley's wife is having a psychotic episode and she is taken to hospital.
8. Over the Edge
(airdate: 15 January 2012)
With the President on indefinite leave, the Prime Minister's wife in hospital and the Prime Minister himself looking over a dark abyss, the government is beginning to unravel. A new Opposition Leader, Duncan Williams, has emerged and is ahead in the polls, and Wheatley is seeing the end of the road. Robbie gets wind of a leadership challenge from Lloyd, and is determined to stop it. After Williams bests Wheatley in the House, the vultures circle. Irene comes home and seems recovered, and does a joint interview with the Prime Minister. Shortly afterwards, it transpires that Lloyd is dead, having been killed in a car crash. Tanner returns from leave and makes an announcement: she will resign as President at the end of the year. <bnr /> 9. The Last Hurrah
(airdate: 22 January 2012)
The Wheatley government searches for a new President to replace Tanner when she retires, and Wheatley hits upon the ultimate solution to everyone's problems: he decides to nominate himself. The decision enrages Robbie who quits, but neither Charlie or Ellen will take him back. Ingrid is more willing, and after a long talk, the two reconcile and she accepts him back into her life. Tanner prepares to leave office after six years in the job, but is less than enthused about the idea of Wheatley replacing her, since he is a politician and she isn't. She manages to talk him out of it, and instead he nominates a surprise candidate, with her blessing: Charlie. 10. End Times
(airdate: 29 January 2012) <br /) Joan Tanner is beginning the final day of her presidency, and Charlie Dunlap is about to begin the job he never dreamed he'd have. To Robbie's surprise, the President-elect offers to make him Chief of Staff once again. Robbie struggles over whether to tell Charlie about Irene Wheatley's dark secret but decides not to, as Ingrid agrees to marry him once more. Alan Wheatley's government is starting to recover and he seems again to be on top of things, with a less confrontational President about to take office and his wife seemingly recovered. The government is about to pass a landmark economic reform, and Wheatley decides, and announces, that after the bill passes he will step down as Prime Minister. Irene, distraught, demands and screams for him to stay in office, and then runs away. Wheatley orders the police to find his wife and keep it a secret, then begins to break down. As noon approaches, Tanner and Charlie warmly meet and she tells him nobody else is more suited for the role he's about to take on. Charlie says he won't seek re-election and will retire gracefully in two years; Tanner tries to convince him but he's resolute.
Wheatley heads off to attend the inauguration, but his wife is still at large and he is clearly overrought. En route to the car, Wheatley is ambushed by his wife, who is holding a gun, and she demands he recant his resignation. She reveals that it was she who arranged Lloyd's death but four others, including Wheatley's first opponent when he ran for party candidature fifteen years previously. She pleads with him that she did it all for him, to make him the man she knew he could be, but he is repelled by her clear descent into total madness. He tries to disarm her, but Irene shoots her husband and kills him. Charlie becomes President, but is immediately informed that Wheatley is dead, Irene is in custody, and a new crisis has emerged. In an epilogue, Charlie meets with the temporary new Prime Minister, who it is believed will succeed Wheatley permanently, and they get on well. It seems a new era is at hand, despite all the recent tragedy. As Joan Tanner's car leaves Martin Hall, she takes one last look at her home for the last six years before closing the window and letting the future unfold.
This episode was ninety minutes long and was the final episode of the series.

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