Roadkill is a showcase for Hugh Laurie as long-in-the-tooth Tory (albeit, not stated as such) MP Peter Laurence, who states he comes from the same background as the people he represents, is also one of the most popular MPs around and, at one point, a couple of fans want a selfie with him. Remember those days when that was possible?
Anyhoo, about the plot, and as we meet him, a court case has been found in his favour after the press claimed he had exploited his positon in government for financial gain… but all politicians are respectful of the law and don’t bend the truth in any way, right? Erm…
Even though I’m posting this after the first episode has been broadcast (with all episodes on the iPlayer after the first one has aired), I won’t detail everything because I don’t want to give spoilers for those still to catch up, so it’s safe to say, in order to set the scene, that Laurence has dodgy dealings involved with the ‘British American Development Forum’, which was meant to be a charity, but instead was more a tax-dodging case that was referred to as a ‘transatlantic understanding’.
He also has a radio phone-in show. I’ve never understood why MPs do that for a job. Why not give it to someone who actually NEEDS a job?!
However, events are about to change his life when he gets a call from someone who claims he has a daughter he’s never heard of before – and it comes from an inmate who has even more news with which to surprise him. So, is his daughter in the prison as well? Whether or not it’s true, he believes he’s untouchable because the public love him so much.
Despite denying things, will he still be in the government cabinet if he is as squeaky clean as he claims? The person at the top in charge is Helen McCrory, who plays a Theresa May-style Prime Minister, who’s more concerned about speaking in Received Pronunciation than actually having a clue how to do the job.
Before I learned of the outcome – and because I watch a lot of TV drama – I figured if he was wholly truthful, then we’d all be done and dusted in less time than a full single episode, but this is a four-part series, and with Laurie making a fantastic job of The Night Manager, it’s time for some new Hugh.
Additionally, throw in journalist Charmaine (Sarah Greene) and disgruntled waitress Margaret (Katie Leung) who also have dirt to dish on him, plus Borgen’s Sidse Babett Knudsen as his significant other, Madeleine, and we have a lot going on in this series based on the first two episodes which I’ve seen so far, and I’ll be checking out the other two to see how it all comes together.
As an aside, oddly, some scenes – such as one between Peter and Dawn in episode 2 – are shot at a weird angle, like a ’60s Batman episode.
However, I won’t give any additional details about the series. You’ll just have to watch it all.
Roadkill continues next Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm. The series is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its released on November 9th.
All episodes are now on the BBC iPlayer.
Overall Series Score: 7.5/10
Director: Michael Keillor
Producers: Michael Keillor, Andrew Litvin
Writer: David Hare
Peter Laurence: Hugh Laurie
Dawn Ellison: Helen McCrory
Duncan Knock: Iain De Caestecker
Charmian Pepper: Sarah Greene
Luke Strand: Danny Ashok
Lily Laurence: Millie Brady
Madeleine Halle: Sidse Babett Knudsen
Steff Frost: Gbemisola Ikumelo
Rochelle Madeley: Pippa Bennett-Warner
Rose Dietl: Shalom Brune-Franklin
Margaret Moore: Katie Leung
Sydney: Emma Cunniffe
Alisha Burman: Natalie Dew
HJ Keane: Anna Francolini
Mick ‘the Mouth’ Murray: Tony Pitts
Lady Roche: Patricia Hodge
Adam De Banzie: Nicholas Rowe
Joe Lapidus: Pip Torrens
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.