Roadkill: Everything You Need to Know

Ambition knows no bounds in Roadkill, an all-new political thriller starring Hugh Laurie. Discover the origins of this taut, propulsive drama, find out which favorite familiar faces make up its cast, watch the trailer, and more! Or jump right in and binge the entire series with PBS Passport, an added member benefit.

  1. 1.

    What is Roadkill?

    Roadkill is a riveting four-episode political thriller written by David Hare and starring Hugh Laurie (House, Veep, The Night Manager) as Conservative government minister Peter Laurence. Laurie describes the show as “a political drama about the price of success in the political realm…It’s pretty unforgiving.” He should know, as his character—an utterly charismatic Conservative politician with working-class roots—is put through his paces by ambitious staffers, unscrupulous rivals, and the women of his family as he climbs what Laurie describes as “the greasy pole” of the administration. Throw in investigative journalists, talk radio, and a closet—now opening—full of skeletons, and you have a dynamic take on the messiness of politics and families that resonates immediately and through the ages.

    Roadkill begins as Transportation Minister Peter Laurence wins a libel suit by slightly bending the truth, exonerating himself from accusations of corruption. He gets away with it, but is immediately met by a new obstacle—one which could potentially upend his career…and destroy his family.

  2. 2.

    How to Watch Roadkill

    Stream all four episodes of Roadkill with PBS Passport, an added member benefit. Subscribe to the MASTERPIECE email newsletter for more Roadkill content and breaking news about other MASTERPIECE shows you’re sure to love!

  3. 3.

    Who's in Roadkill's Cast?

    Of Roadkill‘s deep well of talent, Hugh Laurie says, “It’s an amazing cast, and wonderful to watch them reveal themselves piece by piece rather than coming in with a trombone announcing themselves.” The impressive ensemble includes Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful, the Harry Potter films) as the savvy, calculating Prime Minister; Saskia Reeves (Wolf HallUs, The Child in Time) as Peter Laurence’s wife, Helen; Pip Torrens (Poldark‘s Cary Warleggan, The Crown, Patrick Melrose) as newspaper editor Joe Lapidus, and Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen, The Accident) as the other woman.

    Roadkill also boasts a slate of rising young talent who you may already recognize and you’re certain to see a lot of in the future! Sarah Greene (Normal People, Dublin Murders) is investigative journalist Charmian Pepper; Last Kingdom star Millie Brady is daughter Lily Laurence; Shalom Brune-Franklin (Cursed) is mysterious prisoner Rose Dietl; Iain De Caestecker (Us, Agents of S.H.I.EL.D.) is Laurence’s advisor, Duncan Knock; Pippa Bennett-Warner (Harlots) is high-flying barrister Rochelle Madeley; and Olivia Vinall (The Woman in White) is Julia Blythe, the Prime Minister’s right hand woman. And Sanditon fans, be on the lookout for Crystal Clarke, this time playing an American!

  4. 4.

    Who is Roadkill's Writer?

    Hugh Laurie stars in Roadkill on MASTERPIECE on PBS

    Acclaimed screenwriter, playwright and director David Hare (The Hours, The Reader, and on MASTERPIECE, the Worriker Trilogy) took on a surprising new subject matter in Roadkill: the appeal of genuine Conservative values. Hare explains, “I wanted to ask what happens when you put ideals of freedom and personal responsibility above all other virtues. I was also interested in the effect of believing that every one of us is alone responsible for the destiny and progress of our own lives.” Hare says, “writing about the Tories has given me an immense amount of fun, and pushed me towards conclusions which I hope are unexpected,” describing the great appeal of weaving taut plotlines that range from prison riots to the shady dealings in efforts to privatize the NHS. “I loved roaming freely throughout society,” he says, “last time among illegal refugees and dodgy boat-runners, this time behind the scenes in women’s prisons as well as in Downing Street.”

  5. 5.

    Is Roadkill Based on a True Story?

    Hare offers a definitive “no,” explaining, “So much television drama is now based on documentary events that it is hard to remember the primary trigger for fiction is meant to be the imagination. My hero, Peter Laurence, is not based on anyone. Nor are the other characters. 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.’”


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