Michael Rimmer (Cook) joins an opinion poll company in a mysterious capacity, a silent and malevolent observer of what goes on.
In this he's not a million miles from Bedazzled's George Spiggott, but in 'The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer' the targets are clear - big business, local government, the parliamentary parties, democracy itself.
As Rimmer gains more and more personal power, we see a Britain decaying at the seams in a sea of corruption - from the dim humbug makers with their sexy ad campaign to the would-be PM with planted questions at party conference.
Supporting roles are judged well (Denholm Elliott, John Cleese, Arthur Lowe, Ronald Fraser in particular), while Cook himself looks the part, smirking and smart-suited, interfering in a cosy world of middle-aged execs and politics in need of a shake.
There's a lot going on here in a Britain stood still - and it makes for a very entertaining film.