Roadkill cast pbs

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#HelenMcCrory(Peaky Blinders) has joined the cast of #Roadkill, a political thriller written by David Hare for #BBCOneand in the US on Masterpiece on PBS.

She will play the Prime Minister, Dawn Ellison, with other actors joining including Sidse Babett Knudsen (The Accident), Saskia Reeves (Us), Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders), Patricia Hodge (A Very English Scandal), Ophelia Lovibond (W1A), Iain De Caestecker (Us), Katie Leung (Chimerica), Olivia Vinall (The Woman in White), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Harlots), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Our Girl), Pip Torrens (Poldark), Millie Brady (The Last Kingdom) and Danny Ashok (Deep Water, Capital).

Roadkill is a four-part fictional thriller about Peter Laurence (Hugh Laurie), a self-made, forceful and charismatic politician. Peter’s public and private life seems to be falling apart - or rather is being picked apart by his enemies.

As the personal revelations spiral, he is shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse, expertly walking a high wire between glory and catastrophe as he seeks to further his own agenda whilst others plot to bring him down.

However, events show just how hard it is, for both an individual and a country, to leave the past behind. With enemies so close to home, can Peter Laurence ever out-run his own secrets to win the ultimate prize?

Roadkill is executive produced by creator David Hare, George Faber and Mark Pybus for The Forge, Lucy Richer for the BBC and Michael Keillor, and Rebecca Eaton for Masterpiece.

It is directed by Michael Keillor (Line Of Duty) and produced by Andy Litvin (The Trial).

All3Media International is distributing.

Filming has begun in London.

Meet the cast of the BBC’s political thriller Roadkill

In playwright and screenwriter David Hare’s new BBC drama Roadkill, Hugh Laurie leads an impressive cast including Helen McCrory, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Pip Torrens and Sarah Greene.

The four-part political thriller features a ton of big-name stars, as well as a handful of up-and-coming actors.

Here are all the characters you’ll meet in the drama, as well as the actors who play them.

Hugh Laurie plays Peter Laurence MP

Who is Peter Laurence? A Conservative cabinet minister. As Hugh Laurie describes him: “He begins the story at mid-cabinet level as Transport Secretary and has ambitions to move up the greasy pole. The story is in some regards about the price he is prepared to pay to get to the top position and the price that he forces everyone else to pay, principally his family but also those who pledge their loyalty to him. He is a man who is relatively free of the gravity of guilt and whose life mission is to keep moving forward and not to look back.”

What else has Hugh Laurie been in? Quite a lot of things. With Stephen Fry, he was part of the comedy double act Fry and Laurie; he’s also starred in Jeeves and Wooster, Blackadder, Sense and Sensibility, Avenue 5, The Personal History of David Copperfield (as Mr Dick), Catch-22 (as Major de Coverley), Veep, and of course the long-running American medical drama House – which won him two Golden Globes and a handful of Emmy nominations. He also won a Golden Globe for playing Richard Roper in the John le Carré series The Night Manager, and he has a musical career as a blues musician.

Helen McCrory plays PM Dawn Ellison

Who is Dawn Ellison? The Conservative Prime Minister, who is therefore Peter Laurence’s boss. But as Helen McCrory puts it, “she doesn’t realise how dangerous he is. I think she realises that he is popular and that he is highly ambitious, as she is, and he is without scruples, as she is. But what she doesn’t realise is how many supporters he has.”

What else has Helen McCrory been in? While Helen McCrory plays the Prime Minister in Roadkill, we’ve previously seen her playing the PM’s spouse – specifically, Cherie Blair in 2006’s The Queen and 2010’s The Special Relationship. Many will know her best as Polly Gray from Peaky Blinders; others will know her as Narcissa Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies. Other roles have included Sonia Woodley QC in Quiz, the voice of Stelmaria in His Dark Materials, Kathryn in MotherFatherSon, Madame Kali in Penny Dreadful, and Clair Dowar in James Bond movie Skyfall.

Pip Torrens plays Joe Lapidus

Who is Joe Lapidus? A newspaper editor. Peter Laurence MP made the unusual move of bringing a court case against his newspaper.

What else has Pip Torrens been in? What hasn’t Pip Torrens been in. His 187 screen credits to date include The Crown (as Tommy Lascelles), Preacher (as Herr Starr), Poldark (as Cary Warleggan), Deep State (as William Kingsley), Patrick Melrose (as Nicholas Pratt), Versailles (Cassel), Doctor Who (as Rocastle) and Grantchester (as Edward Kendall). On the big screen, he’s been in The Danish Girl, The Iron Lady, War Horse, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Pride & Prejudice, Tomorrow Never Dies, The Remains of the Day, and Darkest Hour.

Sarah Greene plays Charmian Pepper

Who is Charmian Pepper? A newspaper reporter, who wrote a story about Peter Laurence. He took the newspaper to court and won the case after Charmian changed her story on the witness stand. But why did she do it? And Is Peter Laurence really innocent?

What else has Sarah Greene been in? You may have recently seen her as Lorraine in Normal People, or as Cassie Maddox (and Lexie Mangan) in Dublin Murders; she also starred as Hecate Poole in Penny Dreadful, while other credits include Vikings, Rebellion, Ransom, and upcoming comedy drama Frank of Ireland. On stage, she’s earned an Olivier and a Tony nomination for her role in the West End and Broadway productions of The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Sidse Babett Knudsen plays Madeleine Halle

Who is Madeleine Halle? As Hugh Laurie describes her, she is a woman “whose life was in a state of desperation” until Peter Laurence “extended a hand of friendship and support which turned into something romantic”.

What else has Sidse Babett Knudsen been in? The Danish actress is best known internationally for playing Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in Borgen, and for playing Theresa Cullen in Westworld. Other credits include Vitello, The Accident, and the TV mini-series 1864.

Pippa Bennett-Warner plays Rochelle

Who is Rochelle? “Rochelle is a high flying Barrister,” says Pippa Bennett-Warner. “We meet her at the beginning of the series when she has just won the Peter Laurence case… At the beginning we meet her doing what regularly she does which is win cases. She is very competent and very good at her job. Over the course of the four episodes she goes on a journey of discovering what’s more important in terms of morality.”

What else has Pippa Bennett-Warner been in? It has been a busy few years for Pippa Bennett-Warner. The actress played Shannon Dumani in Gangs of London, Tamzin in Maxxx, Harriet Lennox in Harlots, and Lauren Elgood in MotherFatherSon (in which she appeared alongside her Roadkill co-star Helen McCrory). She recently appeared in the ITV short film series Unsaid Stories, and has also been in Silent Witness, Doctor who (as Saibra in Time Heist), and The Smoke.

Danny Ashok plays Luke Strand

Who is Luke Strand? A junior barrister who works closely with Rochelle.

What else has Danny Ashok been in? You may have seen him as Aamir Malik in Strike: Lethal White, or as Manish Patel in the disaster drama Cobra. Other credits include Deep Water, Capital, The Five, Finding Fatimah, and The Dumping Ground.

Patricia Hodge plays Lady Roche

Who is Lady Roche? The newspaper proprietor.

What else has Patricia Hodge been in? Oh, so many things! Aside from being an Olivier Award-winning stage actress, Patricia Hodge has had a long TV and movie career. She starred in Rumpole of the Bailey, and is also known for roles including Penny in the comedy series Miranda, Ursula Thorpe in A Very English Scandal, and Geraldine Hackstraw in The Legacy of Reginald Perrin.

Iain de Caestecker plays Duncan Knock

Who is Duncan Knock? Peter Laurence’s special advisor. Iain de Caestecker says: “Duncan is ambitious and he’s married to his job; it definitely occupies a lot of space in his mind, so I think a huge part of his identity is what he does. Being a special advisor is kind of a bit of a controversial role as they work within a governing party and although they aren’t actually voted in by the public, they are politically motivated and do have a political agenda. So he’s probably worked his way up with Peter the past few years and he knows where the bodies are buried, but he’s also complicit in that. He sees Peter as his ticket to the top as well. As much as I think he admires Peter in a big way and looks up to him, he’s got his eyes on his own prize as well.”

What else has Iain de Caestecker been in? He is perhaps best known for playing Leo Fitz in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or for playing Adam Barlow in Coronation Street back in the early noughties. Most recently he played Young Douglas in the TV series Us; other credits across TV and film include Overlord, Not Another Happy Ending, The Fades, Lip Service, Shell, Lost River, and In Fear.

Olivia Vinall plays Julia Blythe

Who is Julia Blythe? Private Secretary to the Prime Minister. As Olivia Vinall puts it, Julia serves as PM Dawn Ellison’s “eyes and ears – nothing gets past her, and their relationship is close and trusting. They have a lot in common in that their careers are the most important thing in both their lives.”

What else has Olivia Vinall been in? Olivia Vinall memorably starred as Laura Fairlie (and also as Anne Catherick) in The Woman in White. Other credits include Apple Tree Yard, in which she played Carrie, and the TV series Queens of Mystery. In the 2013 Doctor Who episode The Crimson Horror, she appeared as the character Effie.

Katie Leung plays Margaret Moore

Who is Margaret Moore? We don’t know much about this character yet, but we do know that she passes on some important information to barrister Rochelle.

What else has Katie Leung been in? The actress first hit our screens as Cho Chang in the Harry Potter movies. Since then, she’s starred as Eleanor in The Nest, Liuli in Chimerica, and Lau Chen in Strangers; she also voiced Too-Ticky in the Moominvalley TV series.

Emma Cunniffe plays Sydney

Who is Sydney? Peter’s chauffeur. They have a friendly relationship, but she clearly has her own opinions.

What else has Emma Cunniffe been in? She’s appeared in quite a few TV series, including Silent Witness (as Jess Fisher), Doctors (as Dr Janet Fielding), Unforgotten series 2 (as Janet) and Coronation Street (as DS Hawthorn). Emma Cunniffe has also been in Doctor Who, playing Claire in the 2011 episode Night Terrors.

Natalie Dew plays Alisha Burman

Who is Alisha Burman? Alisha works for the newspaper.

What else has Natalie Dew been in? Credits include Sandylands, No Offence, The Great, Kiri, and the TV series Bodyguard – in which she played a reporter.

Shalom Brune-Franklin plays Rose Dietl

Who is Rose Dietl? A young woman who contacts Peter Lawrence from a women’s prison, using her friend Steff as a go-between. She has important information to share with him.

What else has Shalom Brune-Franklin been in? The English-born Australian actress starred as Private Maisie Richards in Our Girl, and as Sister Igraine/Morgana in Netflix’s Cursed. Other credits include Doctor Doctor, The State, and Bad Mothers – and she has a role in the upcoming sixth series of Line of Duty, playing a character called Chloe Bishop.

Saskia Reeves plays Helen Laurence

Who is Helen Laurence? Peter’s wife. They were childhood sweethearts and have been married for many, many years; they also have two children together. Helen spends most of her time in Hastings, Peter’s constituency, and conducts an amateur choir.

What else has Saskia Reeves been in? Most recently, she starred as Connie Petersen in David Nicholls drama Us. She’s also been Ellis in Belgravia, Deborah Clifford in David Hare’s previous drama Collateral, Freya Galdie in Shetland, DSU Rose Teller in Luther, and Johane Williamson in Wolf Hall. Her film credits include Our Kind of Traitor, Close My Eyes, and 2020 movie Shadows.

Millie Brady plays Lily Laurence

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If Hugh Laurie’s latest television role echoes his long run as Dr. Gregory House, he maintains he didn’t intend it.

The British talent portrays an ethically sketchy politician in “Roadkill,” a BBC-produced drama debuting on the PBS anthology series ‘Masterpiece’ on Sunday. Written by the esteemed David Hare (“Plenty”), the four-part tale finds Laurie’s Peter Laurence barely keeping the approval of England’s prime minister (Helen McCrory, “Peaky Blinders”) after he wins a libel suit. He also must deal with his wife’s (Saskia Reeves) and daughters’ (Millie Brady and “Elementary’s” Ophelia Lovibond) discovery of his affair with a librarian (Sidse Babett Knudsen, “Borgen”). Iain De Caestecker (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) also stars.

The wry Laurie appreciates exposing Laurence’s nature slowly in “Roadkill.” He said, “It may actually be in my nature anyway to not reveal too much too soon. I think it has become a sort of necessity nowadays, in the selling of a story, that you have to declare to the audience what your story’s going to be. Sometimes in the form of a trailer, you have to say, ‘Good guy, bad guy, traitor, existential threat’ … whatever it is. You have to lay out your wares very quickly.

“It was a challenge, but also a luxury, to have the four hours in which to gradually reveal all of these characters,” Laurie said. “I think it is an amazing cast, and it was wonderful to watch all of them — under Michael’s (Keillor) direction, and with David’s wonderful script — reveal themselves piece by piece, rather than coming in with a trombone announcing themselves from the start.”

Playwright Hare said of developing the “Roadkill” plot, “There used to be something called disgrace. When a politician did something wrong and was caught doing something wrong, there was usually meant to be calamity. Something was meant to follow, and now, nothing follows. I wanted to write about that, the change in politics whereby it’s OK to do things and you have a fair chance of getting away with them on the likelihood that you resemble the people who vote for you.”

As for any comparisons between House and Laurence, Laurie reasoned, “There are some things I can’t do anything about. I am the same height as Gregory House, and I am a little bit older. (With) anything I do, there are going to be moments or expressions or certain inflections that will possibly cause someone to remember something. Every actor goes through that. That’s the nature of the thing. I feel as if I have had the opportunity to play what is, to me, a wonderful range of characters … all of whom I like and enjoy.”

Roadkill: Duncan \u0026 Peter

Roadkill (TV series)

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seriesTitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date Viewers
(millions) [12]11"Episode 1"Michael KeillorDavid Hare18 October 2020 (2020-10-18)8.68 Peter Laurence is a charismatic government minister on the verge of promotion to high office. He is also celebrating a win in a newspaper libel case. But an inmate at a women’s prison claims to have a secret about Peter’s past that could affect his future..22"Episode 2"Michael KeillorDavid Hare25 October 2020 (2020-10-25)6.47 As Charmian digs into Peter's political past in Washington DC, troubles arise at home as Peter's family discovers his affair.33"Episode 3"Michael KeillorDavid Hare1 November 2020 (2020-11-01)6.38 Confronted with his affair, Peter is the defendant at the family dinner table. Pressure mounts on Peter, as friends, family, employees, and even a dead person turn against him. Meanwhile, Rochelle questions whether to pick up where Charmian left off.44"Episode 4"Michael KeillorDavid Hare8 November 2020 (2020-11-08)6.29 With the Prime Minister in trouble, Peter makes a shocking announcement to the nation. But with his enemies circling, he is forced to risk one final roll of the dice.

Cast pbs roadkill

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Roadkill’ On PBS, Where Hugh Laurie Plays A UK Cabinet Member Whose Ambition And Messy Personal Life Collide

Hugh Laurie is one of those actors that pretty much excels in whatever he does, whether it’s comedy (Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster, VEEP, his collaboration with Stephen Fry) or drama (House of course). He even excels in multiple accents. So any show he’s in is intriguing just because of his presence. In A new Masterpiece miniseries, Roadkill, Laurie stars as a British cabinet minister who seems to be able to outrun and outmaneuver whatever messiness he has in his life.


Opening Shot: The doors to a courthouse are opened, and a tall man walks out to a waiting throng of press.

The Gist: Peter Laurence (Hugh Laurie), the UK Transportation Secretary, just won a libel lawsuit he filed against a business reporter Charmian Pepper (Sarah Greene) and the paper she worked for, who wrote that he accepted payments to privatize the NHS. Even his barrister, Rochelle Madeley (Pippa Bennett-Warner), doubts he actually won on evidence alone, but Charmian had to change her testimony when evidence of a personal calendar that showed Laurence in Washington on a certain date was modified.

Laurence gets word from his special advisor Duncan Knock (Iain de Caestecker) that someone claiming to be his daughter wants to meet him at a local prison. He questions the decision, but when they go, a woman who claims to speak for the daughter shows up. Given the fact that he’s got two daughters who either aren’t speaking to him or are out on drug binges and the fact that he slept with a lot of women in the ’90s, Duncan wanted to get out in front of this situation.

He then meets with prime minister Dawn Ellison (Helen McCrory), who’s happy that he got past this ill-advised lawsuit, wants the populist conservative to shift to one of the Great Offices of State (Laurence suspects it’s the Foreign Minister position), but wanted to know if there were more skeletons that she needed to know about. He’s reluctant to say anything in front of her “eyes and ears,” Julia Blythe (Olivia Vinall), but the PM insisted that Julia be present. But Julia knows things about Peter that can sink his career, and she finds something out that allows Ellison to knock Laurence over to Justice… just in time for a riot at the same prison he visited a few days prior.

After losing the case, Charmian gets fired by the paper she works for, but threatens a gender bias suit if she’s not allowed to travel to D.C. and finally nail Laurence’s hide once and for all.


What Shows Will It Remind You Of? In a lot of ways Roadkill feels like House of Cards, both the British original and the hit Netflix remake. Laurence isn’t quite as ruthless as Francis Urquarht or Frank Underwood, but he’s just as ambitious, and his personal life is just as messy.

Our Take: We haven’t even covered all of the avenues of intrigue that David Hare, who wrote Roadkill, goes down in the first 52-minute episode. We’ve got the fact that the married minister Laurence has had a mistress for years, and the fact that his driver has been spilling secrets to her girlfriend, who go gets in touch with Madeley about those details, even after the barrister won Laurence’s case. There’s the fact that Julia and Duncan are sleeping together, the young prison inmate who could submarine Laurence’s career for good. And then we have the PM, who feels threatened by Laurence’s popularity and charm, but wants to keep him in her cabinet and under her watchful eye.

Keep in mind that Roadkill is only four episodes. How Hare services all of these stories is going to be anybody’s guess. The elements are there, starting with Laurie’s smoothly confident performance as Laurence. To be sure, he gets exasperated by all the hoops Duncan makes him jump through to deal with all the skeletons in his closet, but he’s also playing a man who is supremely confident in his charisma and his ability to implement his populist agenda while denying to the public (he has a weekly radio show, for instance) that he is doing just that.

Greene is sharp as Charmian, who is determined to show that Laurence changed evidence in order to exonerate himself, and de Caestecker is also great as Duncan, the man who knows Laurence best and can talk to him with the most honesty, but is also compromised in the worst way.

What we want is for all of this intrigue to come together at some point. Which of these dangling threads will eventually take Laurence down? Or will he keep on keeping on despite the messiness? One thing is for certain: There aren’t many actors who can pull off the charming asshole quite like Laurie can. Despite the fact that Laurence is a jerk by just about any measure, you still come away rooting for him to get past all that. But if he does, will he do so just on the sheer strength of his personality or will he pull something that’s morally or legally bereft in order to come out on top?

Sex and Skin: Laurence sleeps with his mistress Madeleine (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and Julia and Duncan get it on, but it’s all network-TV clean. Oh yeah, Charmian sleeps with Luke Strand (Danny Ashok), a member of Laurence’s legal team, whom she meets at an AA meeting. See? Even more intrigue.

Parting Shot: Laurence tells the host of the radio show he takes part in, “Off the record? I am angrier than I’ve ever been in my bloody life.” Let’s just say he doesn’t like the idea of being head of Justice.

Sleeper Star: Shalom Brune-Franklin plays Rose, the quiet inmate who claims to be Laurence’s daughter. We’re curious to see what happens with her after the riot, and how far she gets in her mission to get Laurence to acknowledge her.

Most Pilot-y Line: As he talks to Charmian about why the paper is letting her go, her boss, Joe Lapidus (Pip Torrens), lets loose that he had hoped that her “short skirts” would help get her reliable sources. Of course, that leaves the door open for Charmian to threaten a gender bias suit. It also feels like something a boss wouldn’t say in a post #MeToo world.

Our Call: STREAM IT. As soapy as Roadkill is, it has a great cast going for it, led by the always watchable Hugh Laurie. In fact, Laurie is the entire reason to watch this pulpy miniseries, just to see if his character can outrun everyone trying to bring him down.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and tech, but he doesn’t kid himself: he’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon,,, Fast Company and elsewhere.

Stream Roadkill On

ROADKILL Trailer (2020) Hugh Laurie Thriller Series

Roadkill cast: Who starts with Hugh Laurie in David Hare’s new drama series and when it starts on BBC One

A major new political drama by David Hare is starting on BBC One this weekend, set in a reality without Covid or Brexit to worry about.

Roadkill stars Hugh Laurie as fictional Conservative politician Peter Laurence, an ambitious and charismatic man striving for career success at all costs – but those around him are not going to make things easy for him.

Here’s when the show starts, who’s in the cast and what to expect.

When is it on?

Roadkill starts this Sunday (18 October) at 9pm on BBC One.

There are four, hour-long episodes which will continue on subsequent Sundays at the same time.

Episode will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer shortly after broadcast.

What is it about?

The drama follows a fictional conservative politician named Peter Laurence trying to save his career as his world gets picked apart by all those around him.

The show’s trailer sees him discussing lies, cover-ups and scandals, and claiming he is “squeaky” clean admitting he is a “rule-breaker”.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 13/10/2020 - Programme Name: Roadkill - TX: n/a - Episode: Roadkill - Ep 1 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 13TH OCTOBER, 2020* Supporting Artists, Charmian Pepper (SARAH GREENE) - (C) The Forge - Photographer: Steffan Hill

In an introduction to the series, screenwriter David Hare explained the show was partly about exploring Conservative values including “personal responsibility” in a fictional world.

“I wanted to imagine what it would be like if a Conservative politician, naturally gifted with a mix of charm, intelligence, charisma and high humour, managed to find his path from a working-class household in Croydon right into the heart of Westminster.”

He added that the work was entirely fictional and none of the characters are based on anyone real.

“Mine is a parallel world to the real one, and there is no secret passage between the two. You will be wasting your time if you think that the purpose of the series is to work out who everyone is ‘meant to be’. In Roadkill, neither Covid nor Brexit consume every politician’s waking hour,” he said.

Who’s in the cast?

Hugh Laurie

Programme Name: Roadkill - TX: n/a - Episode: Roadkill - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Peter Laurence (HUGH LAURIE) - (C) The Forge - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Hugh Laurie plays the starring role of Peter Laurence, the charismatic Conservative politician who the story is centred around.

Laurie has an impressive acting record behind him, which includes several big-name dramas such as The Night Manager, Veep and House. His earlier acting career was more focused on comedy, with appearances in several Blackadder shows as well as Jeeves and Wooster.

Helen McCrory

McCrory plays the fictional prime minister Dawn Ellison.

As well as roles in several high profile films, such as playing Narcissa Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise and a role as another politician in James Bond film, Skyfall, she has also appeared in TV shows including Peaky Blinders and Penny Dreadful.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 07/10/2020 - Programme Name: Roadkill - TX: n/a - Episode: Roadkill - Ep 1 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, WEDNESDAY 7TH OCTOBER, 2020* Dawn Ellison (HELEN McCRORY) - (C) The Forge - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

KnockIain De Caestecker

De Caestecker plays Duncan, who is Peter’s grammar-school educated political adviser.

The actor has previously appeared in Us, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Fades.

Olivia Vinall

Vinall, who plays Julia Blythe, private secretary to Prime Minister, Dawn Ellison, is also known for past appearances in A Woman in White, Holby City and Dr Who.

Pippa Bennett-Warner

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 07/10/2020 - Programme Name: Roadkill - TX: n/a - Episode: Roadkill - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Rochelle (PIPPA BENNETT-WARNER) - (C) The Forge - Photographer: Steffan Hill

Bennett-Warner plays Rochelle Madeley, a high-flying barrister who defended Peter when he took a newspaper to court.

Her TV acting credits include Silent Witness and Harlots, and she has also done a fair amount of stage and radio acting.

Other cast members include Sarah Greene (Normal People) who plays newspaper report Charmian Pepper, Patricia Hodge as newspaper proprietor Lady Roche, Pip Torrens (The Crown) as newspaper editor Joe Lapidus and Danny Ashok (Cobra) as Luke Strand.

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Hugh Laurie Delivers in Soapy British Political Drama ‘Roadkill’: TV Review

We’ve been conditioned — mostly thanks to corruption, greed and a steady abuse of power — to mistrust politicians. For many, skepticism is such a deep-rooted emotion when it comes to the government, even being too trustworthy becomes suspicious. But you need not worry, that isn’t that case for Hugh Laurie’s Peter Laurence, the center of PBS Masterpiece’s saucy political miniseries “Roadkill.” Go ahead and bank on those instincts. What begins as a straightforward story unravels into an interconnected evening soap, better paired with gin than tea and crumpets.

When introduced, well-known political figure Laurence has just won a libel lawsuit. A smug grin from ear to ear, he’s off to discuss it with Mick the Mouth on “Alltalk,” a trashy radio show on which he appears weekly. It seems par for the course these days that a once guarded political figure could go off the rails on the airwaves or social media. High off getting his way in the high court, Laurence says, “People like me because I break the rules,” foreshadowing what’s to come.

Writer-producer David Hare has placed Laurence in a post-Brexit, pre-coronavirus pandemic world. There are no big issues for him to face, other than the many he’s created for himself. He’s a timeless politician — perhaps the worst kind — whose charm, powerful connections and disloyalty will get him everywhere he needs to go. While the premise of the show is that Laurence’s private life is falling apart… it never quite does. Hare has written a character far too powerful and manipulative to let something like that happen. Though it’s suspected in the first 20 minutes, it’s later confirmed that Laurence lied under oath. And it’s naive to think that if he got away with this, he can’t fix anything else going wrong, be it his marriage or a brewing scandal.

Focused on Laurence as it is, the series’ value rests, in large part, in its multiple story lines and how they weave together. Who are the people Laurence wronged and how will they get vengeance?

There’s Laurence’s wife, Laurence’s girlfriend, Laurence’s former legal team, the prime minister, the investigative journalist who brought on the libel suit and so on. The fun lies in how the connections and vendettas continue to reveal themselves, as it’s learned not all of these criminal and ethical offenses happen within the four hours of “Roadkill.” Throughout the miniseries, Laurence does commit acts of betrayal, some of which revenge is served and some it’s merely plotted. However, it’s what Laurence’s done to these people in the past — and certainly what he’ll do in the future — that leaves so many possibilities.

Laurie, hugely popular to both Brits and Americans, might be the initial draw for audiences but can’t sustain on his own. The show simply isn’t written that way. Helen McCrory (“Penny Dreadful”), Sarah Greene (“Normal People”) and Iain De Caestecker (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), as well as the rest of the cast, give performances as well-acted and important as Laurie’s. Though Laurence, too, is part of a well-orchestrated ensemble — he couldn’t have gotten this far without the people he burned along the way — he’s far too self-centered to admit it.

“Roadkill” could go on for hours following Laurence’s immoral rise to the top. There’s no limit to what this man is capable of and what scorned friends and former colleagues are lurking in the distance. Best it ends where it does though. He’s done enough damage.

Roadkill premieres Sunday, November 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS Masterpiece.

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