Before Kevin Spacey was even a twinkle in a Netflix director's eye, the BBC had their own original version. Although it's not quite as slick as the modern production, there's a subtlety and intruige to the original — not to mention a shit-ton of British accents — that makes it totally worth watching.
Ever since seeing the new trailer for Season 3 of the Netflix original — which, by the way, looks incredible — I've been binge-watching the BBC series (that's what sick days are for, right?). It's set in late '80s London, with the action happening in the Houses of Parliament rather than Congress.
The plot should be familiar to anyone who's seen the modern version — even some of the names are the same — but the different actors and different setting bring out a totally new side of the story. While Francis's affair seems somewhat plausible in the American version (Kevin Spacey still has some kind of psycopathic charm), the daddy issues and power dynamic are far more apparent in the British version. So too is the political intruige, which is all conducted with landlines in dingily-lit Westminster private member's clubs.
The series is still streaming on Netflix (despite a recent scare that they were going to drop a bunch of BBC programmes), and with Season 3 of the new series set to drop in a month or so, now's the perfect time to scratch that Francis Underwood itch.