A wealthy, unscrupulous yet charming politician with more than one love child and a few wronged women – we could be describing several members of parliament, but here we are talking about fictional Conservative minister, Peter Laurence.
Hugh Laurie plays Laurence in Roadkill, the latest from political-drama aficionado David Hare, who loves nothing more than a good TV Tory-bashing. However, this one is perhaps more flattering than his others. He presents us with a politician whose morals have gone down the toilet, and who gets away with it by being a charismatic and relatable leader, yet somehow, we don’t hate him. This is most likely a result of Hare’s ploy to explore the appeals of the conservatives, which he has said is his mission with the series. But does this merit the badge of ‘pioneering’, perhaps sought by the writer? We’ve all seen political dramas that make points about double standards, hypocrisy in government, and tabloids being evil. And with all these well-worn tropes being set in a Brexit and pandemic-free world, the show feels a little outdated.
Carol Midgley in The Times calls Roadkill “decent, if occasionally daft” drama which “throws in a couple of surprises.” The Independent’s Ed Cumming says the show is “competently put together and the plot draws you in,” though he agrees with us that it “feels like a drama from an earlier time.” However, The Guardian’s, Lucy Mangan disagrees, saying that the lack of Brexit creates a “pleasingly retro mood.”
First shown October 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.