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House of Cards Season Three | DVD review - Kevin Spacey's devious Frank Underwood is back to his double-dealing best

HOUSE OF CARDS SEASON 3 SBRP619801UV_3D - SPECIAL PACKAGING

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 (opens in new tab), shown on Netflix (opens in new tab) 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.

House of Cards - Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood

(Image credit: David Giesbrecht)

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

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.