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Roadkill is a highly anticipated political series which is due to air on BBC every Sunday as of tonight. The series stars Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence, a charismatic Conservative Transport Secretary who is tangled in a web of lies and deceit. Fans are keen to know of the series is based on a true story and Express.co.uk has investigated.
Is Roadkill based on a true story?
Roadkill is a new four-part series which tells the story of government minister Peter Laurence and how he balances is his personal and professional life.
In the first epsiode fans will see how he is on the verge of promotion, and the highs continue as he celebrates winning a libel case against a newspaper.
But a woman who claims she used to know Peter reveals a secret about his past that could turn his world upside down.
The series touches on themes including crime and corruption within the government, and it dives into the world of Conservative leadership.
Both the creators and cast have explained how although the series touches on subject matter we read about every day, it may not be based on true events.
The BBC calls the series a “fictional thriller” which indicates it was not inspired by a real-life event or character.
The show was written by David Hare and he gave an introduction to the series, explaining how there is very little fiction about the Conservative-led government.
He explained: “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’. In Roadkill, neither Covid nor Brexit consume every politician’s waking hour.”
He said writing about the Conservatives gave him an “immense amount of fun” and it pushed him towards conclusions that fans will not expect.
Fans meet Peter Laurence as he works his way up from mid-cabinet level to a top position within the government, no matter what the cost.
He is not one to show any level of guilt or remorse, and he sometimes puts the price of success above the feelings of those who really care about him.
Actress Helen McCrory plays prime minister Dawn Ellison in the series, and she said the bluntness of writing about right-wing politics attracted her to the role.
In the series, the political climate is similar to the one Britain has seen over the past 30 years.
McCrory added: “These aren’t real people and this is not a revelatory piece about something that David Hare discovered, this is a discussion in his mind about how to go about politics, and what politicians are really like.”
With this in mind the series aims to give a fictional fly-on-the-wall look at what happens behind closed doors.
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The main themes of the series include ambition and the fight we are willing to put up in order to win something.
The episodes will explain the risks politicians are willing to take to get to where they want to be on the political ladder, and what price they have to pay to get there.
Pippa Bennett-Warner plays high-flying barrister Rochelle Madeley in the series and she explained a little more about when the series is set. She said: “I think the show does a good job in representing what’s going on in our political climate at the moment, but David himself has said it’s not based on anything and it’s set in a fictional universe.”
Fans and critics who have already been given a first look at the series have said they have high hopes for the show. One said on Twitter: “David Hare’s ‘Roadkill’ is quite promising. It feels like an attempt at a House of Cards (BBC version) for this thrilling modern age. Hugh Laurie’s character is basically a Johnson/Farage hybrid. A self-styled right-wing maverick populist whose primary concern is himself.”
Viewers are looking forward to seeing Laurie take on a new role, as he is best known for his role as the titular character in House – the medical drama series.
He is also known for his roles in The Night Manager and Blackadder, and was the dad in the 1999 film, Stuart Little.
Fans have already expressed their excitement for the new series on Twitter, with one saying: “I am very much looking forward to #Roadkill. Hugh Laurie…a slippery MP. Yes please!”
The series also stars The Last Kingdom actress Millie Brady as Peter’s daughter Lily, and Saskia Reeves as his wife Helen.
Dublin Murders and Normal People actress Sarah Greene plays Charmain Pepper, a journalist who plans to take Peter down a notch.
Roadkill starts on BBC One tonight, October 18, at 9pm
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