Skip to main content

'Rules of the Game' on BBC1 — cast, plot, and everything we know

Rules of the Game
Maxine Peake plays the manager of the family business in the four-part drama (Image credit: BBC)

Maxine Peake leads a top-notch cast in Rules of the Game, a new four-part thriller from BBC1 about sexual politics in the modern workplace. 

Writer Ruth Fowler says the drama was partly inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the ensuing #MeToo movement, and "many women's experiences". 

Here's everything we know about the upcoming show, which will be produced by The Forge, whose previous work includes hits such as Roadkill and BAFTA-winning National Treasure...

'Rules of the Game' release date

Bosses at the Beeb have hinted the show will be coming to BBC1 and the BBC iPlayer in early 2022. There is no news on when the show might be released in the US yet. 

What's the plot of 'Rules of the Game'? 

Rules of the Game is a four-part thriller about sexual politics in the modern workplace, starring Maxine Peake as Sam, a hard-headed manager at a family-run business in the North West. 

However, when Sam arrives at work one day to find a dead body in the office reception she is forced to reckon with not only murky behaviour in the present, but murderous secrets from the past as well.

Meanwhile, Maya, a new HR director who’s intent on dismantling the "old-fashioned lad culture" within the company, begins investigating historic cases of misconduct in the organisation, yet is met with resistance. Sam refutes the suggestion of institutional bias against women, believing such behaviour is all in the past... 

Rules of the Game

Alison Steadman plays Anita, a member of the firm's board. (Image credit: BBC)

'Rules of the Game' cast

Maxine Peake (Silk, Three Girls) plays Sam, while Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education, EastEnders) plays Maya, the new HR Director who tries to shake up the old-fashioned lad culture.

Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey, Life) plays Anita, a member of the board and the cold, hardened widower of narcissistic company founder Harry. Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes, Truth Seekers) plays DI Eve Preston, an immensely driven, thick-skinned, no-nonsense detective who is investigating a case centred around the company.

A stellar cast is completed by Kieran Bew (Warrior), Ben Batt (Scott & Bailey), Callie Cooke (The Stranger), Katherine Pearce (Three Girls), and Zoë Tapper (Liar).

Maxine Peake says: “What a glorious cast. Working alongside my fellow sisters each day, with their commitment and understanding towards Ruth Fowler’s script about sexual politics in the workplace, with Jennifer Sheridan directing, has reminded me once again why we need to keep fighting for more women to have a voice in the filmmaking process.”

Rakhee Thakrar adds: “It's been pure joy working with this cast, who all bring such authenticity, heart and humour to any scene. Maxine Peake in particular has been an absolute highlight as our lead.”

Rules of the Game

Rakhee Thakrar plays the firm's now HR director Maya. (Image credit: BBC)

What inspired 'Rules of the Game'? 

“Many women’s experiences, including my own, inspired this fictional show," says the show's writer, Ruth Fowler. "With the added benefit that in the retelling no women were harmed, maimed or exposed to Harvey.”

“When we conceived this show it was during the Weinstein scandal, and I was concerned it might have dated in the interim. How sadly wrong I was, and I’m honoured the BBC and everyone else championing this story did not let it fade away as its relevance has become even more acute.”

Is there a trailer for 'Rules of the Game'? 

There's no trailer yet, but as soon as one lands we'll be sure to post it here!