Roadkill is a British four-part television thriller written and created by David Hare, and directed by Michael Keillor.
Set in London, the tv mini series stars Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence, a charismatic government minister on the verge of promotion to high office.
We meet Peter shortly after he wins a libel case against a newspaper when the journalist who wrote the story cannot produce enough evidence to support the claim that he earned a lot of money through illegal means.
Almost as soon as he gets into the car, his assistant advises him that woman in the prison system is claiming to be his secret daughter – one he knows nothing about.
Trying to figure out who she is, Peter Laurence (Hugh Laurie) must also deal with the fallout when his other daughter makes headlines in the news for openly doing drugs at university.
So with his private life falling apart, his marriage to Helen (Saskia Reeves) on the rocks and his mistress Madeleine (Sidse Babett Knudsen, Borgen) getting tired of being a secret, Laurence must keep it all together at work.
But things get even trickier when the Prime Minister Dawn demands Peter's support when she finds herself in a political quagmire. Because after all, this is politics she is barely clinging on to power.
In exchange PM Dawn Ellison promises Peter a huge promotion to a great office (one of the top five positions in the British government) that will ensure he is a major player in the cabinet.
However, Peter Laurance is practically a sociopath. One who is shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse. So as PM Ellison's (Helen McCrory) career starts to slip as a result of a leaked email, he sees a way to further his own agenda.
With his eyes on the ultimate prize can he succeed or will those out to get him bring him down with his own secrets?
Is Roadkill Worth Watching?
With just four episodes, Roadkill has enough going on to keep you engaged for the entire story.
Hugh Laurie plays Peter Laurence brilliantly with a perfect mix of honesty and shadiness so that you can't even tell when the lies are tripping off his tongue.
Is he just being honest or is he so cold and calculating that he will literally say and do anything if it further's his agenda?
Is there nobody he isn't willing to sacrifice and throw under the bus if he thinks it will put him on the front page? Including his own family?
As political drama goes, Roadkill has it all. Great characters, stellar cast, intrigue, backstabbing, more secrets than you can swing a cat at with a behind-the-scenes look at a political system that mimics real life a little too well!
Is Roadkill Based On A True Story?
Roadkill was written and created by David Hare who insists that the show is completely fictitious and the character of Peter Laurence is completely made up.
Speaking to iNews back in 2020, Hare said “In Roadkill, I wanted to ask what happens when you put ideals of freedom and personal responsibility above all other virtues.
“I was also interested in the effect of believing that every one of us is alone responsible for the destiny and progress of our own lives.
“But to inquire into these questions, it was essential to me to invent. I wanted to imagine what it would be like if a Conservative politician, naturally gifted with a mix of charm, intelligence, charisma and high humour, managed to find his path from a working-class household in Croydon right into the heart of Westminster.”
Roadkill TV Series Cast
Heade up by Hugh Laurie, who is known for his comedy partnership with Stephen Fry and his major role in the tv series House, Roadkill boasts the best of British talent when it comes to the cast of the show.
Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence, a politician with his own agenda
Helen McCrory as Prime Minister Dawn Ellison
Olivia Vinall as Julia Blythe
Pippa Bennett-Warner as Rochelle Madeley, a barrister
Millie Brady as Lily Laurence, Peter's daughter
Ophelia Lovibond as Susan Laurence, Peter's oldest daughter
Shalom Brune-Franklin as Rose Dietl, the secret daughter
Iain De Caestecker as Duncan Knock
Sarah Greene as Charmian Pepper, journalist
Saskia Reeves (Slow Horses) as Helen Laurence, Peter's wife
Sylvestra Le Touzel as Dame Vanessa Pollard, Peter's Permanent Secretary
Sidse Babett Knudsen as Madeleine Halle, his mistress
Danny Ashok as Luke Strand, an eager lawyer that wants to pursue Peter
Nicholas Rowe as Adam De Banzie, the party chairman