Helen McCrory Joins Hugh Laurie in Upcoming Masterpiece Political Thriller ‘Roadkill’

Helen McCrory in "Peaky Blinders" Season 5 (Photo: Caryn Mandabach Productions)
Helen McCrory in "Peaky Blinders" Season 5 (Photo: Caryn Mandabach Productions)

Peaky Blinders star Helen McCrory has officially joined Hugh Laurie in the cast of Roadkill, a four-part political thriller penned by British playwright David Hare, who penned the 2018 miniseries Collateral and wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours.

PBS Masterpiece also announced that it was joining the series as a producing partner, with plans to launch the series in America next year. (To which, I say, huzzah, as I’m generally of the opinion that McCrory deserves a much higher profile as an actress than she currently has, because she’s straight up incredible. Aunt Polly forever!)

According to the official description we have so far, Roadkill follows the story of Peter Laurence, a self-made forceful and charismatic politician. Peter’s public and private life seems to be falling apart – or rather, getting picked apart by his enemies.  As the personal revelations spiral, he is shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse, expertly walking a high wire between glory and catastrophe as he seeks to further his own agenda while others plot to bring him down. However, events show just how hard it is, for both an individual and a country, to leave the past behind. With enemies so close to home, can Peter Laurence ever out-run his own secrets to win the ultimate prize?

Laurie’s involvement in the project was announced months ago, but the addition of the Peaky Blinders star to the cast roster was only revealed last week. Also joining the ensemble are Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld), Saskia Reeves (The Child in Time), Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders), Patricia Hodge (A Very English Scandal), Iain De Caestecker (UsAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D), and more.

McCrory will play Prime Minister Dawn Ellison, a conservative leader barely clinging to power.

According to Hare, McCrory’s PM isn’t meant to be a carbon copy of either Margaret Thatcher nor Teresa May.

"Unfortunately, we’re so short on role models of a woman prime minister that people will think it’s one of the two," he told The Daily Mail. “But I promise you it’s neither.”

That same Daily Mail interview also reveals that Roadkill isn’t meant to be about any particular real-life politician at the moment, but rather the idea that politics itself has become shameless and grasping in the 21st century, and what the Conservative party in Britain will necessarily look like as a result.  

Does Roadkill sound like something that you’d watch? Let’s discuss in the comments.