Tags: house | of | cards | dobbs

'House of Cards' Creator to Newsmax: Politics Biggest Influence of Series

Saturday, 02 Feb 2013 11:20 AM

By Melanie Gray

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Power -- not politics -- is really the subject of Netflix's new original drama "House of Cards," its British creator tells Newsmax TV.

In an interview, Lord Michael Dobbs details how he came to write a best-selling novel that was adapted first into a miniseries for the BBC and now is getting noticed across the pond.

American critics are praising Netflix both for the series' production, which stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and for the series' distribution all 13 episodes hit the airwaves Friday so viewers can watch them in a single sitting.

Story continues below the video:

Dobbs penned his novel after surviving what he calls a "bruising" re-election campaign as chief of staff for then-British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"She frankly had been rather unfair to me. in fact, she had been pretty brutal," Dobbs said of Thatcher, who had just won an unprecedented third consecutive term. "But you know politics is like that. You don't go into politics for a quite, calm, do you? You expect to take some rough with the smooth."

Dobbs, though, told interviewer Kathleen Walters that he "was feeling particularly sore" and decided to write a book about "how power corrupts and how a sitting prime minister could be gotten rid of" because he had come to realize that Thatcher, despite her victory, "was on her way out, on her way down."

"She was sowing the seeds of her own destruction, which is what great leaders do in the end," Dobbs said.

The BBC then adapted the book for television and the first episode aired -- to Dobbs' astonishment -- in the week that Thatcher was forced to resign: "It was an extrordinary coincidence," he said

Dobbs goes on at length to explain why "House of Cards" will appeal to watchers not the least bit interested in Washington or how it operates.

"It's not about politics. It's not about systems. People seem to think political drama...they have to be interested in politics to enjoy. That's absolutely not the truth," Dobbs told Walters. " Politics offer a wonderfully rich colorful backcloth for great human drama. And there's really so much human drama in any arena as there is in the political arena."

As an example, Dobbs pointed to Shakespeare, whose works still are performed worldwide because of their relevance. The Bard has had such success because "he wrote about people, he wrote about passions, he wrote about their foibles and their frailties, and the silly things they do."

"And so political drama is not about politics," Dobbs explained. "It's simply about people in the political cauldron . And it's done well, it can capture some wonderful human emotion, which are universal...."

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