Series 1/Episode 1
Thursday 15 October 2020
BBC Two/BBC Two HD
Director: Rob Coldstream
Series Editor: Sam Bergson
Series Producer: Kate Quine
Executive Producer: David Glover
This inaugural episode gives us a front row seat to the first 18 months, as key players including Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, Omarosa Manigault Newman and Anthony Scaramucci take us behind the scenes of this extraordinary presidency.
In November 2016, Donald Trump unexpectedly wins the United States election. He faces a change of lifestyle as he moves into The White House and finds himself confronted with a whole new set of rules, rules Trump isn't used to. Trump sends out Sean Spicer to bat for him over reports of disappointing inauguration attendance figures, in an episode which establishes a fraught new relationship with the press.
From this moment, Trump's relationship with his audience - some adoring, others not so much - takes centre stage. He downgrades White House briefings, and instead talks directly to the public through Social Media Networking (more specifically Twitter). His use of emotive, repetitive phrases - from 'fake news' to 'fire and fury' - shows an instinct to connect with the American public in a completely new way.
Factions in The White House compete for Trump's attentions as he finds his feet, with discord between Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, and Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci played out in public. Washington life begins to resemble a Serial Drama and the cameras are poised to capture it all.
Trump hits the world stage, displaying showmanship and instincts for populist entertainment honed over years in worlds of business and reality television. Facing a broad range of challenges, from violence in Charlottesville to historic encounters with Kim Jong Un, Trump develops the guiding principles of his presidency, proving resistant to all attempts to change or mould his unique character.
Trump's presentational style, his creation of new narratives around the very idea of truth, and his refusal to bend to Washington etiquette is changing the political landscape - perhaps forever.