Gabriel Byrne in a scene from Secret State.
Gabriel Byrne in a scene from Secret State. Laurie Sparham

ABC delays drama with plane crash following MH17 tragedy

THE ABC has postponed its UK political drama Secret State following the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The four-part British mini-series features the UK Prime Minister dying in a plane crash over the Atlantic Ocean on a flight back from the US.

Gabriel Byrne stars as the Deputy Prime Minister who must step up to the top job while seeking the truth behind the plane crash and a refinery explosion, with both events suspected to be acts of terrorism.

"Tonight's scheduled episode of the UK drama Secret State includes a plane crash in the story line, and following the tragic news of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 we have decided not to air the program today," an ABC TV spokesman said.

"Secret State will be rescheduled to premiere next Friday July 25 at 9.30pm."

The ABC will instead air an episode of The Mystery of Agatha Christie With David Suchet at 9.30pm tonight.

A special one-hour edition of ABC News will air at 7pm.