In 1993, ambitious British politician Tony Blair arrives in Washington D.C. to meet with advisors who helped bring Bill Clinton into office. He is met with little fanfare - his driver doesn't even remember to pop the trunk to accommodate his suitcase. At his meeting, Blair is given war room wisdom: "Listen to what the people are saying. It's easier to change what the party stands for than what the people want."
Three years later, Blair puts the advice to work, declaring, "Je suis European" at a speech in Paris, committing himself to his fellow Continentals. His rising star attracts the attention of Bill Clinton who invites him to D.C. and gives him the VIP treatment - although Blair's Labour Party has yet to win the election. Months later, both Blair and Clinton are swept into office, and the Clintons visit London. Meeting with his new UK counterpart, Clinton shares with Blair his excitement over their "unique opportunity" to advance their center-left ideas and bring genuine change over the next few years... and the next eight when Al Gore is elected. Blair brings up the "special relationship" that have long bound the two nations together, founded on their mutual interests and shared language. When the pair meets again for supper with their wives, both Clintons advise Blair to "hit the ground running" and decide his future before someone else does it for him.
As the two men continue their terms in office, world and personal events determine which man has the upper hand in the long-standing alliance. The conflict in Northern Ireland, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and differing strategies about the crisis in Kosovo all play a part in shifting their positions on the world stage, and their opinions of each other. And when the 2000 election brings new leadership into the White House, it is up to Blair to decide how the relationship will carry on.
The third in screenwriter Peter Morgan's trilogy on Tony Blair, following "The Deal," which aired on HBO, and the Academy Award®-nominated film "The Queen," The Special Relationship is directed by Emmy® winner Richard Loncraine and is an HBO Films presentation in association with BBC Films of a Kennedy-Marshall Production and Rainmark Films Production. Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Andrew Harries, Peter Morgan and Christine Langan executive produce. Frank Doelger, Tracey Scoffield and Ann Wingate produce.