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Roadkill Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Hugh Laurie, Iain De Caestecker, Helen McCrory
Opening Shot: The doors to a courthouse are opened, and a tall man walks out to a waiting throng of press.
The Gist: Peter Laurence (Hugh Laurie), the UK Transportation Secretary, just won a libel lawsuit he filed against a business reporter Charmian Pepper (Sarah Greene) and the paper she worked for, who wrote that he accepted payments to privatize the NHS. Even his barrister, Rochelle Madeley (Pippa Bennett-Warner), doubts he actually won on evidence alone, but Charmian had to change her testimony when evidence of a personal calendar that showed Laurence in Washington on a certain date was modified.
Laurence gets word from his special advisor Duncan Knock (Iain de Caestecker) that someone claiming to be his daughter wants to meet him at a local prison. He questions the decision, but when they go, a woman who claims to speak for the daughter shows up. Given the fact that he’s got two daughters who either aren’t speaking to him or are out on drug binges and the fact that he slept with a lot of women in the ’90s, Duncan wanted to get out in front of this situation.
He then meets with prime minister Dawn Ellison (Helen McCrory), who’s happy that he got past this ill-advised lawsuit, wants the populist conservative to shift to one of the Great Offices of State (Laurence suspects it’s the Foreign Minister position), but wanted to know if there were more skeletons that she needed to know about. He’s reluctant to say anything in front of her “eyes and ears,” Julia Blythe (Olivia Vinall), but the PM insisted that Julia be present. But Julia knows things about Peter that can sink his career, and she finds something out that allows Ellison to knock Laurence over to Justice… just in time for a riot at the same prison he visited a few days prior.
After losing the case, Charmian gets fired by the paper she works for, but threatens a gender bias suit if she’s not allowed to travel to D.C. and finally nail Laurence’s hide once and for all.
Our Take: We haven’t even covered all of the avenues of intrigue that David Hare, who wrote Roadkill, goes down in the first 52-minute episode. We’ve got the fact that the married minister Laurence has had a mistress for years, and the fact that his driver has been spilling secrets to her girlfriend, who go gets in touch with Madeley about those details, even after the barrister won Laurence’s case. There’s the fact that Julia and Duncan are sleeping together, the young prison inmate who could submarine Laurence’s career for good. And then we have the PM, who feels threatened by Laurence’s popularity and charm, but wants to keep him in her cabinet and under her watchful eye.
Keep in mind that Roadkill is only four episodes. How Hare services all of these stories is going to be anybody’s guess. The elements are there, starting with Laurie’s smoothly confident performance as Laurence. To be sure, he gets exasperated by all the hoops Duncan makes him jump through to deal with all the skeletons in his closet, but he’s also playing a man who is supremely confident in his charisma and his ability to implement his populist agenda while denying to the public (he has a weekly radio show, for instance) that he is doing just that.
Greene is sharp as Charmian, who is determined to show that Laurence changed evidence in order to exonerate himself, and de Caestecker is also great as Duncan, the man who knows Laurence best and can talk to him with the most honesty, but is also compromised in the worst way.
What we want is for all of this intrigue to come together at some point. Which of these dangling threads will eventually take Laurence down? Or will he keep on keeping on despite the messiness? One thing is for certain: There aren’t many actors who can pull off the charming asshole quite like Laurie can. Despite the fact that Laurence is a jerk by just about any measure, you still come away rooting for him to get past all that. But if he does, will he do so just on the sheer strength of his personality or will he pull something that’s morally or legally bereft in order to come out on top?
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