Executive Power is a Georgeland television program, which made its premiere on 5 August 2018. The show’s creators and executive producers are Joe Starnes, Julian Barnstable and Vijay Kanya . It stars Vijay Kanya, Amy Rowe, Josephine Kennedy, Elizabeth Wilson , Danny Cable, David Boozman and Rae Green. From the third series, Wilson and Cable did not appear, and new stars, Richard Dexter, Toby Bryant and Eliza Bennett joined the cast.
Kanya, Rowe and Kennedy reprise their roles from Starnes & Barnstable’s previous TV series, Martin Hall , of which the show is a sequel and continuation. Set six years after the end of Martin Hall, Executive Power focuses on former political operative Robbie Dahl (Kanya) returning to politics to aid the new Prime Minister of Georgeland as a major national, and international, crisis develops. Kanya was approached about a Martin Hall sequel starring his character in mid-2014, but decided to pursue other projects. In mid-2017, Channel 12 announced the character of Robbie Dahl would return in an original series in 2018, with some of the Martin Hall cast members to return. Of the original series cast, Kanya, Rowe and Kennedy are the only regulars to appear in Executive Power, although Colin Beech made a guest appearance in Season 1, and Rebecca Jordan-Wiley, the star of the original show, made a cameo at the very end of the Season 1 finale. In season 2 Kevin Bosley made a cameo appearance as his character Alan Wheatley (in flashback), and Jordan-Wiley made guest appearances in two more episodes.
The series' first season ran for 13 episodes, and ended with a finale on 28 October. On 19 September, Channel 12 announced the show had been renewed for a second season to begin airing in April 2019. The second season ran for another 13 episodes. At the end of the second season, Barnstable left the series, as did Wilson and Cable. For Series 3, which began airing in March 2020, Starnes was the sole showrunner. Vijay Kanya will be the series co-executive producer with Starnes for Series 4, which will begin airing in 2021.
Series 1 (2018)
Beginning six years after the dramatic events of the Martin Hall season finale, Robbie Dahl has left politics to join the corporate sector, where he works as an advertising and marketing executive. His wife Ingrid is his closest confident, working as an environmental activist while the two raise their daughter Max, aged eight at the series’ beginning. After a cyberattack cripples the national power grid, and the command-and-control mechanisms for US nuclear launch sites, the world is plunged into crisis. The Prime Minister of Georgeland , Gabby Sinclair, begs Robbie to assist her in managing the crisis. To Robbie’s shock, Sinclair’s other adviser is Irene Wheatley, who has been secretly released from a mental institution (having murdered her husband and several others) and is acting as Sinclair’s shadowy, morally-ambiguous coach. As the series progresses, Robbie navigates the increasingly secretive and deadly world of international espionage, tries to figure out why Sinclair is using Irene’s advice, and deal with both personal and political crises.
Series 2 (2019)
More details are revealed about the shadowy rogue spy agency that is evidently controlling the federal government, and the (unnamed) foreign spy ring operating at the highest level. Irene becomes increasingly untrustworthy as her role in the organisation is revealed. As a major international crisis looms, Robbie forms an unholy alliance to save the government from itself and track down the ringleaders of the conspiracy before it's too late. Along the way, Robbie's former life crosses with his current one, and Irene's backstory is made clearer, with indications her late husband, the former Prime Minister, had a hand in events prior to the series' beginning. At the end of the series, Robbie (along with Ingrid) resigns from government service along with Sinclair, as a new government is formed determined to wipe out the conspiracy.
Series 3 (2020)
Robbie and Ingrid have gone into business as a Topstad power couple, running their own political crisis consultation firm. Still hurting over the deaths of Tanner and Danny, Robbie accepts an offer to work for the opposition, led by the charismatic Tony Yates, but is hamstrung by the Official Secrets Act in telling Yates what he knows about the conspiracy. Meanwhile, the new administration struggles to weed out the rogue intelligence agency, and Irene has gone into hiding. When Irene dramatically, and publicly, re-emerges, the conspiracy becomes exposed and dominates the election campaign. With Robbie still unwilling to speak out, he is finally convinced to do so on TV, but his revelations are cut short by a terrorist attack which kills many members of the government and throws the country into chaos.
- Vijay Kanya as Robbie Dahl .
Robbie has come back to politics after six years in the advertising sector, and despite his reputation as a spin doctor, has an uncanny sense for how to act in a crisis and is very well-connected from his days as a political adviser. Robbie is reluctant to return but does so out of loyalty to his country and, more critically, his wife’s determination. In season one, Robbie aids the Prime Minister with a developing international crisis involving a Chinese government conspiracy, and in season two he continues to investigate with the help of journalist Matt Norris, until he resigns in the final episode. In the third series, Robbie and Ingrid work as political consultants for the opposition during the election campaign, and he becomes increasingly exposed as his knowledge of the conspiracy becomes public.
- Amy Rowe as Ingrid Dahl , Robbie’s wife and closest confidante.
At the beginning of the show she is an environmental activist, but is fired in the seventh episode of the season when she takes the fall for her boss’s corruption in order to expose him later as a Chinese spy. At the end of the season one finale, Ingrid is kidnapped by shadowy agents of a foreign government, and is rescued by Robbie and Matt in the premiere episode of season two. Halfway through the second season, Ingrid begins working for the government, until she resigns with Robbie in the season finale. In the third series, Ingrid works with Robbie for Yates and the opposition but she is bombarded with questions about her role in the events of the previous two series.
- Josephine Kennedy as Irene Wheatley. The widow of deceased former prime minister Alan Wheatley, she murdered him along with several of his political rivals over the years, information which is not generally known. Officially confined to a mental institution after a breakdown following her husband’s (unsolved) murder, Irene goes by the name ‘Joan Daley’ and has altered her appearance in order to interact with others, but she is rarely seen in public. She is implied to have an intelligence background, and acts as an unofficial adviser to the prime minister, although this is a recent development and apparently related to Irene’s past and connections. She refuses to discuss her husband’s death, or acknowledge Robbie’s knowledge of the truth. Cold, calculating and devious, nobody entirely trusts her; however, at the end of the first season she does risk her life in order to save Robbie, and appears to genuinely wish to see Ingrid rescued. It was her idea to entice Robbie to help, and she arranges a visit from former president Joan Tanner in the final episode of Season 1. in order to convince him to risk his life. In season two, Irene appears to be an intelligence agent, and recruits Danny to her unnamed, and possibly rogue, agency. In the second series, Irene's loyalties are unclear and she eventually reveals that she is the director of a rogue intelligence agency created by her husband. At the end of the second season as the conspiracy is exposed, Irene disappears. She re-emerges halfway through the third season, in hiding, before publicly revealing her identity to the world and blaming the conspiracy on her late husband. She is implied to have orchestrated, or at the very least had foreknowledge of, the terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament.
- Elizabeth Wilson as Gabby Sinclair, Prime Minister of Georgeland. As with prime ministers in the original show, her political affiliation is not mentioned. She is a nationalist and a tough negotiator, but has a strong moral code which is slowly being eroded, not least because of Irene’s influence. She has been in office four years at the start of the first series after a period in opposition; she was also Minister for Defence at one point in the past, when Chinese operatives attempted, and failed, to recruit her as a spy. In the final episode Ingrid implies, but does not directly state, that Sinclair may in fact be a spy after all, although for whom is unclear. This is confirmed at the end of season two, when Sinclair is forced to resign rather than face treason charges, although it is also stated that she was not working for China. She is succeeded as Prime Minister by Scott Dell at the end of the second season. Sinclair was referred to but did not appear in the third season of the program.
- Danny Cable as Matt Norris, an investigative journalist who reports on the unfolding crisis, but is gradually brought into Robbie and Sinclair’s confidence to act as an undercover intelligence operative, using his sources to help them expose the conspiracy. By the end of season one he is being interviewed by intelligence services, apparently with a view to becoming a full-time operative. In season two, he is an intelligence agent undercover as a journalist, working directly for or with Irene. For part of season two, Matt is stationed in Syria, tracking down a contact of Irene's that has disappeared. At the end of the second season, Norris is arrested on Grace Fife's orders, but he mysteriously dies in custody.
- David Boozman as Scott Dell, Attorney-General of Georgeland. Young and idealistic, Dell is a supporter of Sinclair within his party but not much of a powerbroker. His goal is to ‘tame’ rogue elements within the intelligence community and simply national security procedures, but the crisis forces him to adapt, and take some extraordinary measures. His wife Linda is killed in Episode 6, and after a short leave of absence, Dell returns determined to find the culprits and unmask the conspiracy. Dell continues to serve in the government in season two, but increasingly turns against Sinclair, eventually forcing her resignation. He is elected to succeed her.
For the third season, Dell is Prime Minister and adamant about stamping out the conspiracy without revealing too much to the public. He and Fife argue over tactics, and he is dismayed at Robbie's decision to work for the opposition. Dell is present at the House of Commons when it is bombed in the season three final, and it is unknown whether he survived. However, Boozman confirmed that he is part of the cast of the show for the fourth season.
- Rae Green as Grace Fife. Fife is Director-General of the (fictional) National Intelligence Office, and the government’s ‘intelligence supremo’. It is Fife who delivers advice to Sinclair on national security matters. She strongly opposes Robbie’s appointment, but Irene’s role as Sinclair’s adviser is unknown to her until Episode 9. She is offended when a Chinese agent attempts to influence her, suggesting she is loyal to her country, but is also seen to pursue a morally-questionable agenda, and may in fact be working against Sinclair in some other way. She and Dell force Sinclair's resignation in the second season, and is tasked by Dell of getting to the bottom of the apparently rogue intelligence agency infiltrating the high levels of the national governnment, and she orders Matt's death as part of a plan to take down Irene.
In the third series, Fife has consolidated her power and is considered the most powerful civil servant in the country. She works with Dell to track down and root out the conspirators but is blindsided when Irene and Robbie both go public. After the terrorist attack, Fife is seen activating emergency powers leaving her, effectively, in charge of the government.
- Richard Dexter as Tony Yates, the Leader of the Opposition. A charismatic man of principle, he is Robbie and Ingrid's employer in the third season as he works to become prime minister and expose the conspiracy. Robbie describes him as very Tanner-like in his convictions and it is stated that he had been a backbencher for most of Robbie's time in Topstad. Like Dell, Yates is present at the House of Commons when it is bombed, leaving his fate uncertain.
- Toby Bryant as Colin Richardson, Attorney-General in Dell's government. He is nominally Fife's boss, but the two have an antagonistic relationship. A staunch ally of the PM, he and Dell fall out over the emergency powers legislation and he resigns to join the opposition in the penultimate episode of the third season. In the final season he is not present at the Houses of Parliament when they are bombed, and he watches the events on television.
- Eliza Bennett as Alice Gourley, the English-born secretary and personal assistant for Robbie and Ingrid's business in the third season. She gets unwittingly drawn further and further into events and begins an affair with a senator, who later turns out to be working for Irene.
- Colin Beach as Luke Tanner, son of the former president of Georgeland . Luke makes a surprise appearance in episode 4 of the first season. No longer a troubled, drug-abusing youth, Luke has become a respected social worker and community activist, living in a small town with his second wife, Della (Brianna Coombes) and their children. Luke attends a party to which Robbie and Ingrid are also invited, and he speaks fondly of them to Fife and Dell. Later, Luke admits to Robbie that he was also once approached by foreign agents, but he flatly turned them down.
Beach reprised his role from Martin Hall.
- Rebecca Jordan-Wiley as Joan Tanner , former President of Georgeland. In the closing minutes of the series finale, Tanner finds Robbie contemplating suicide after his wife’s kidnapping and the enormity of the situation faced by the country, and the world, and talks to him about their time together, and convinces him to take drastic action to save both his wife and the country. She tells Robbie that she has been ‘keeping busy’; in the series’ first episode, Robbie mentions Tanner is now on the board of UNICEF.
Tanner re-appeared in the fifth and sixth episodes of the second season, in a story arc that ended with her death at the hands of Irene Wheatley, apparently on Sinclair's orders. Later it is shown that Irene took instructions from her (unseen) superiors in her agency, and Sinclair did not know about the action. Tanner's death from assassination is covered up as natural causes. Her state funeral appears in episode nine.
Jordan-Wiley was the star of Martin Hall. Her initial appearance on Executive Power was a closely-guarded secret known only to the showrunners and a few of the crew. After her episode aired, she tweeted that she had not yet been asked to reprise her role in Season Two, but that she was definitely not going to be making regular appearances as she has largely retired from acting. Her character was confirmed to return in early 2019. After her character's death, Tanner revealed it was her own request, as she felt the character needed a closure to allow viewers to move past the show's origins and let the new program stand on its own.
- Kevin Bosley as Alan Wheatley. The former Prime Minister of Georgeland, who was killed by Irene at the end of Martin Hall, is seen in the first episode of season two in flashback. It was he who evidently empowered or created the shadowy rogue intelligence force Irene works for, and Irene was recruited for it after his death.
Bosley's cameo was filmed in secret, like Jordan-Wiley's from the first season, and was a surprise to viewers. Afterwards, Bosley stated that he didn't feel like he would be asked to appear again. In an interview with Peter Rogers, he said Well I'm dead now. That was a one-time thing. I don't want to go back to that role really; if it suits the show, maybe, but I feel it's probably just a one-off.
- Jonas McCool as Cameron Wicks, Defence Minister in Dell's government (Season 3). He enthusiastically supports the new emergency powers legislation.
- Jason Mitchum as Gordon Barry, Foreign Minister under both Sinclair and Dell.
- David Wenham as Gerald Knight, the Australian Ambassador to Georgeland.