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Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence in ROADKILL On MASTERPIECE. Ambition knows no b...

Credit: Courtesy of (C) The Forge

Above: Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence in ROADKILL On MASTERPIECE. Ambition knows no bounds, nor does corruption in a political thriller written by David Hare and starring Laurie as a scheming UK government minister. Crime may not pay, but politics sure does.

Outwit the opposition—or get run over.

Hugh Laurie (HOUSE, VEEP) stars as a scheming politician in ROADKILL, a taut drama scripted by two-time Academy Award® nominee David Hare ("The Hours," "The Reader"), airing on MASTERPIECE in four action-packed episodes, Sundays, Nov. 1-22, 2020.

In 2011 and 2014, Hare had MASTERPIECE viewers on the edge of their seats with his Worricker Trilogy about a spy on the run. Now he’s back with another plot that is just as complex, thought-provoking and enlivened with satirical touches.

Laurie plays Peter Laurence, a self-made former furniture salesman who has risen to the heights of the British government thanks to a natural gift for populism, and a forceful nature, all while excelling at walking the tightrope of Machiavellian party politics.

Related: 5 Surprising Facts about Hugh Laurie

ROADKILL Official Preview

Ambition knows no bounds, nor does corruption in an all-new political thriller starring Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence, a self-made man who has risen to the heights of the British government in Roadkill premiering on November 1 at 9/8c. Aired: 10/02/20

As ROADKILL opens, he has just won a libel suit against reporter Charmian Pepper (played by Sarah Greene, NORMAL PEOPLE), who accused him of accepting payments to help privatize the National Health Service.

Saved from being “roadkill” by his legal team, Peter stays in the good graces of the devious prime minister Dawn Ellison (Helen McCrory, PEAKY BLINDERS), who fears his popularity but is aware of the abundant skeletons, both public and private, in his closet.

Photo credit: Courtesy of (C) The Forge - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Dawn Ellison (HELEN McCRORY)

ROADKILL’s storyline involves the rattling of some of those skeletons and Peter’s desperate attempts to deal with the consequences and outrun his own secrets.
In a chain of events where everyone seems to be conspiring against him, he faces a number of antagonists:

The Cast on Their Characters

Hugh Laurie, Helen McCrory, and the cast describe the characters they bring to life in ROADKILLl. Aired: 11/01/20

Helen (Saskia Reeves, WOLF HALL), his loyal wife for three decades, has lied in court on his behalf but is starting to have second thoughts about their marriage. She is dimly aware of Madeleine (Sidse Babett Knudsen, BORGEN), a manuscript librarian, who is Peter’s longtime mistress. For her part, Madeleine has grown fed up with their secret life. While Peter preaches “freedom,” Madeleine sees only a refusal to commit.

As the personal revelations spiral, Peter’s two grown daughters are no less angry with their father. Susan (Ophelia Lovibond, ELEMENTARY) has been out of touch for several years and only returns for a “family trial” arranged by her volatile younger sister, Lily (Millie Brady, THE LAST KINGDOM).

Among Peter’s professional connections, Rochelle Madeley (Pippa Bennett-Warner, HARLOTS) is the barrister who got Peter off. She likes to brag that she loves the cases “you win when you suspect your client is guilty as hell.” Despite the win, she can’t escape the urge to dig deeper into Peter’s past.

Photo credit: Courtesy of (C) The Forge - Photographer: Steffan Hill


Coming at Peter from the other direction is Joe Lapidus (Pip Torrens, POLDARK), the newspaper editor who originally unleashed Charmian on him. He hasn’t let go of the case either — even if his paper’s proprietor, Lady Roche (Patricia Hodge, A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL), hates “unpleasantness.”

No one knows Peter better than his special advisor, Duncan Knock (Iain de Caestecker, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), who wants to ride his boss’s coattails to the top. Unfortunately, he starts making decisions that may not be in Peter’s best interest.

Another subordinate, Dame Vanessa Pollard (Sylvestra le Touzel, THE CROWN), begins undermining Peter as soon as he lands in his new ministerial job. Will Peter find out to his cost that “life gets hard when you lose the staff?”

Then there is the prime minister’s eyes and ears, Julia Blythe (Olivia Vinall, THE WOMAN IN WHITE), a control freak who seems to know Peter’s secrets almost before he does — particularly about a female prisoner who could end his political career once and for all.

Photo credit: Courtesy of (C) The Forge - Photographer: Nick Wall

Julia Blythe (OLIVIA VINALL)

If nothing else, Peter is a survivor—at least so far. Untroubled by guilt or remorse, he seeks to further his own agenda even whilst others plot to bring him down. His motto: “You can get away with anything if you just brazen it out.”

Even a despairing prime minister has to concede, “High wire doesn’t do it. More like Houdini.”


Episode 1 airs Sunday, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - Having just seen off a libel case, U.K. government minister Peter Laurence faces a pair of family scandals. Could the embarrassment derail his political career?

ROADKILL: Clip: Episode 1

Duncan fills his boss Peter in on some shocking information he's just received. Aired: 11/01/20

Episode 2 airs Sunday, Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - Promoted to justice minister, Peter deals with a prison riot, an angry daughter and alarming contacts from a stranger. Meanwhile, an unknown threat looms abroad.

Episode 3 airs Sunday, Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - Peter is the defendant at the family dinner table. As friends, family, employees and even a dead person turn against him, he follows his motto: "keep moving forward."

Episode 4 airs Sunday, Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV - With the prime minister in trouble, Peter makes a shocking announcement to the nation. Is this the end for him or the start of something new?

Photo credit: Courtesy of (C) The Forge

Peter Laurence (HUGH LAURIE)

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ROADKILL: Peter and Dawn

Hugh Laurie and Helen McCrory discuss the complex relationship between Peter and Dawn, and the dangerous game they are playing. Aired: 11/01/20


A Forge Entertainment production for the BBC co-produced with MASTERPIECE. David Hare is the executive producer and screenwriter. Mark Pybus and George Faber are the executive producers for The Forge. Michael Keillor is the director and executive producer. The producer is Andrew Litvin. Lucy Richer is the executive producer for the BBC and Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer for MASTERPIECE.


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