One of the most compelling characters on TV, Kevin Spacey's awesomely devious US politician Frank Underwood returned for another term of magnificently Machiavellian scheming in House of Cards Season 3, shown on Netflix earlier this year and now available on DVD.
Six months have passed since we last saw him, being sworn in as US president having engineered the resignation of the incumbent. He's climbed to the very top of the greasy pole.
But attaining his life's ambition hasn't softened him in the slightest, as the eye-popping opening scene of episode one - which shows Spacey's Frank urinating on his despised father's grave - makes abundantly clear. After two seasons of ruthless double-crosses, stiletto-sharp backstabbing and a couple of murders, aided and abetted by his Lady Macbeth of a wife, Robin Wright's Claire, Frank can still startle us.
Yet things haven't been going entirely his way in the six months since he first got his feet under the desk of the Oval Office - his approval ratings have plummeted, his flagship 'America Works' jobs programme is stalling and his Democratic Party colleagues want to give him the chop.
Stir in Claire's audacious scheme to become US ambassador to the United Nations and the reappearance of doggedly loyal but dysfunctional henchman Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly), left for dead with his head bashed in by born-again former call-girl Rachel Posner last time around, and this season of House of Cards more than lives up to its predecessors for deadly double-dealing and intrigue.
House of Cards: The Complete Third Season is available on Digital HD, DVD & Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Certificate 15. Runtime 681 mins. http://youtube.com/v/sU9QTLXYCCc
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