Roadkill - everything you need to know about the huge new Hugh Laurie BBC1 thriller

Roadkill Hugh Laurie waving to the crowds in the BBC1 thriller
(Image credit: BBC/The Forge/Robert Viglasky)

Hugh plays forceful politician Peter

Roadkill is a major new political thriller coming to BBC1 on Sunday 18th October starring Hugh Laurie.

Hugh can be seen waving to the crowds in a first look picture from the drama, which promises to be huge event television.

Roadkill Hugh Laurie drama start date: When will it be screened on BBC1?

Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence in Roadkill

Can Peter Laurence (Hugh Laurie) out run his enemies to climb to the top?

It will begin on Sunday 18th October at 9pm on BBC1.

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What’s the plot?

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Hugh enjoyed a huge hit with The Night Manager (Image credit: BBC/The Ink Factory/Des Willie)

The Night Manager actor stars as Peter Laurence, a self-made, forceful and charismatic politician.

But his life is falling apart as his enemies start to tear it to shreds. A string of personal revelations threaten to spiral out of control, but Peter is untroubled by guilt or remorse. But can Peter outrun his past? Can he land the ultimate job, Prime Minister? Or will his enemies in the party finally get him?

The Hugh Laurie piece is penned by David Hare, who most recently brought us the 2018 drama Collateral starring Carey Mulligan. David also wrote Page Eight, which starred Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz.

David Hare says: “I first worked with Hugh Laurie in 1987 when he set off on his riveting change of direction from adroit comedian to commanding dramatic actor. I can’t wait to see him embody the fictional future of the Conservative party in Roadkill.”

Hugh says: "Roadkill is a political drama about the price of success in the political realm and what it demands of the people who do it, and those around the person who does it. It’s pretty unforgiving.”

Who’s in it?

Roadkill boasts an impressive cast. As well as Hugh, other big stars include Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory and Miranda’s Patricia Hodge.

Helen McRory as the Prime Minister in Roadkill

Peter Laurence is after the job of Prime Minister Dawn Ellison (Helen McRory)

Plus Sidse Babett Knudsen (The Accident, Westworld), Saskia Reeves (Us, The Child in Time), Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders, Normal People), Ophelia Lovibond (W1A, Hooten & the Lady), Iain De Caestecker (Us, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D), Katie Leung (Chimerica, Strangers), Olivia Vinall (The Woman in White, Apple Tree Yard), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Harlots, MotherFatherSon), Shalom Brune-Franklin (Our Girl, Bad Mothers), Pip Torrens (Poldark, Preacher), Millie Brady (The Last Kingdom) and Danny Ashok (Deep Water, Capital).

Patricia Hodge

Miranda star Patricia Hodge is one of the stars of Roadkill

Is there a trailer for the Hugh Laurie Roadkill thriller?

Yep! It's finally arrived...

The trailer paints the thriller as being a gripping behind the scenes portrayal of power. Hugh’s character Peter is seen dismissing the PM as “petty”. We also witness a bulky MI5 file on Peter - what has he been up to? “I have always been a rule breaker - that’s my usp,” he declares.

Is it any good?

Well our previewer has given the opening epiosde a four star rating. They said: "It’s a political thriller that deals with hot topics like unelected special advisors, and writer David Hare has also woven press and legal threads into this slow-burning, state-of-the-nation saga – it’s one to watch."

Which channel is Roadkill being shown on in America?

It will premiere on Masterpiece on PBS on Sunday, November 1.

Roadkill begins on BBC1 on Sunday 18th October at 9pm.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!