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For centers of government and politics, see Capital (political). For the fictional city in The Simpsons, see Capital City (The Simpsons).

Capital City is a television series which focused on the professional and personal lives of a group of investment bankers working in the dealing room at Shane-Longman, a fictional international bank based in the City of London. The 23-episode series was produced by Euston Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thames Television, for the ITV network.

Thames Television spent an estimated £500,000 to run newspaper and billboard advertisements to promote the series' launch which at the time was believed to be the largest advertising spend for a program in the history of ITV. Full-page advertisements were taken in six national newspapers including The Financial Times, The Times and The Independent. The ads promoted the Shane-Longman "brand", rather than "Capital City", and featured images of cast members in character.

Thames Television stated that the press and poster ads were considered necessary to raise the profile of the series amongst members of the public who had a specialised or more professional interest, however a number of City bankers described the series as "fairly inaccurate", "confusing for the ordinary viewer", and lacking solid research. One television critic stated: "All of this would have been quite novel and exciting three years ago, but the world has turned, the market has crashed and we have all seen enough of other people's Porsches to last a lifetime... City hustlers do not look very heroic any more, just extravagantly paid."

Still, it could be argued that most of the characters in "Capital City" - perhaps with the exception of the reckless and predatory Jimmy Destry, power-hungry Lee Wolf and the duplicitous Sylvia Roux Teng - portray City bankers in a generally positive manner. The primary characters come across as likeable and - in contrast to the Gordon Gekko "greed-is-good" stereotype often associated with their industry - as possessing a moral and/or social conscience; in one episode, the entire dealing room threatens to go on strike in protest against handling a bond issue on behalf of a company which dumps toxic waste in poor African countries and demand that Shane-Longman introduce policies which enable them to avoid dealing with clients who they regard as unethical.

Capital City is very much a product of its time: the women wore big hair, everyone wore shoulder pads, the dealing room computers used what appeared to be a DOS operating system, mobile phones were the size of bricks, the primary methods of long-distance, "instant" communication were still the phone, fax and telex, and smoking was permitted in the workplace as well as restaurants and bars. At the same time, the series dealt with several mature storylines including alcoholism, depression, mental illness, sexual assault of a minor, drug use, homosexuality, physical assault, gambling addiction, prostitution, promiscuity, shoplifting, fraud, bribery, corruption and abortion.


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