Hugh Laurie stars in the new political thriller Roadkill, scripted by David Hare on MASTERPIECE Sundays, November 1-22, at 8 pm on OETA.
Laurie plays Peter Laurence, a self-made former furniture salesman who has risen to the heights of the British government thanks to a natural gift for populism, and a forceful nature, all while excelling at walking the tightrope of Machiavellian party politics. As Roadkill opens, he has just won a libel suit against reporter Charmian Pepper (played by Sarah Greene, Normal People), who accused him of accepting payments to help privatize the National Health Service.
Saved from being “roadkill” by his legal team, Peter stays in the good graces of the devious prime minister Dawn Ellison (Helen McCrory, Peaky Blinders), who fears his popularity but is aware of the abundant skeletons, both public and private, in his closet.
Roadkill’s storyline involves the rattling of some of those skeletons and Peter’s desperate attempts to deal with the consequences and outrun his own secrets. In a chain of events where everyone seems to be conspiring against him, he faces a number of antagonists: Helen (Saskia Reeves, Wolf Hall), his loyal wife for three decades, has lied in court on his behalf but is starting to have second thoughts about their marriage. She is dimly aware of Madeleine (Sidse Babett Knudsen, Borgen), a manuscript librarian, who is Peter’s longtime mistress. For her part, Madeleine has grown fed up with their secret life. While Peter preaches “freedom,” Madeleine sees only a refusal to commit.
As the personal revelations spiral, Peter’s two grown daughters are no less angry with their father. Susan (Ophelia Lovibond, Elementary) has been out of touch for several years and only returns for a “family trial” arranged by her volatile younger sister, Lily (Millie Brady, The Last Kingdom).
Watch the premiere Sunday, November 1 at 8 pm.