The BBC and PBS have released a first look image at Hugh Laurie in upcoming political thriller Roadkill. This new four-part drama is written by British playwright David Hare, who penned the 2018 miniseries Collateral and wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.
Laurie stars as charismatic politician Peter Laurence, a self-made former salesman who has risen to the heights of the British government, thanks to a natural gift for populism and a deft ability to navigate the tightrope of Machiavellian party politics. He’s shamelessly untroubled as revelations about his personal life are laid bare. But beset by enemies who want to take him down, ambitious colleagues who want to overtake him, family and lovers who want what he can’t—or won’t—give, and a past that he can’t outrun, will he be able to claim the ultimate political prize? And at what cost?
Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory plays savvy, calculating Prime Minister Dawn Ellison, a conservative leader who's barely clinging to power. Wolf Hall's Saskia Reed plays Laurence's wife, while Normal People's Sarah Green and Poldark's Pip Torrens portray a reporter and an editor at the newspaper fighting a libel suit by Laurence for covering his disastrous personal life.
FIRST LOOK: @hughlaurie stars as scheming politician Peter Laurence in #RoadkillPBS. The political thriller, created by David Hare, premieres November 1 on MASTERPIECE @PBS. pic.twitter.com/RLBLuEC8Xf— MASTERPIECE | PBS (@masterpiecepbs) July 21, 2020
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Hare insists that Roadkill isn't meant to be about any particular real-life politician at the moment, but rather the idea that politics itself has become shameless and grasping in the 21st century, and what Conservative party in Britain will necessarily look like as a result. Though this is clearly the intent of the work, it's really difficult not to look at Roadkill and draw some uncomfortable parallels between the fictional Laurence and several real-life world leaders, who seem to thrive on scandal.
The series will premiere on Masterpiece here in the U.S. this November. Does it sound like something you'll watch? Let's discuss in the comments.