Still shot from BBC program The State WithinThe UK version of 24 starts tonight in the United States, when BBC America will run the first installment of the three-part series of TV movies The State Within.

The program, which premiered in the UK in the autumn of last year, uses the 24 technique of creating multiple plot twists by means of unpredictable multilevel conspiracies at the very top of the government.

Judging from the character and plot descriptions on the BBC America site, the program seems likely to be a good deal to the left of 24 and to constitute a comprehensive catalog of suspense-drama cliches, but it might be some good dumb fun for a Saturday night.

Here’s a description of the first episode: 

When a flight headed for the UK explodes during take off from a Washington DC airport, America believes it may be, once again, under attack. As the day progresses, mounting evidence suggests that it’s the work of a British suicide bomber. With political relations between the UK and the U.S. in jeopardy, the British Ambassador, Sir Mark Brydon (Jason Isaacs, Friends with Money, Brotherhood), maneuvers U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lynne Warner (Sharon Gless, Cagney and Lacey, Queer as Folk) into a public show of solidarity. But behind the scenes, tension mounts between the pair.

As a series of frightening events unfold, Brydon finds himself in the center of a terrifying conspiracy that could bring down Western governments. In the murky world of international conspiracy and espionage, your enemies are not always who you think they are – and neither are your friends…

The main idea appears to be that us regular folk can’t trust the government, even in nations where we elect them.

Sounds reasonable enough. . . . 

The program’s U.S. premiere is tonight at 9 EST on BBC America.