David Hare has proven to be a solid talent when crafting scripts for TV or stage, and with Roadkill, Hare has delved into the realm of politics, telling the story of Peter Laurence, a Conservative minister whose able to charm his way out of sticky situations whether it’s through powerful connections or plain disloyalty. However, his private life starts to become shaken when he receives news that he has a daughter from a past affair, which affects the lives of his family and his mistress.
None of this seems particularly new, however, as we’ve come to expect dramas about powerful but somewhat corrupt politicians that have destructive private lives (e.g. The Politician’s Husband). Hare does his best at making it sound exciting and engaging, but because we’ve seen this type of drama in the past, none of this seems particularly groundbreaking or provides bold political commentary with real bite.
It does go at a solid pace, however, and there was never a moment where it was dragging or became dull to watch, plus it does have some stunning cinematography which helps give it a certain style (kudos to Wojciech Szepel). But what truly helps elevate the drama is through the performances, especially from central player Hugh Laurie who helps provide some level of humanity to the crafty politician, and like his excellent performance in The Night Manager, it just shows how much range Laurie has as an actor.
Overall, Roadkill is a perfectly watchable piece of TV that will pass the time perfectly fine, but it’s not something that is going to leave a huge, lasting impact on the viewer, especially when compared to other major BBC dramas like The Night Manager, Bodyguard or Hare’s previous drama series Collateral. However, it is definitely worth it for the performances though, especially from Laurie, who once again proves why he’s one of the best actors of our generation.
Dir: Michael Keillor
Scr: David Hare
Cast: Hugh Laurie, Millie Brady, Helen McCrory, Saskia Reeves, Patricia Hodge, Olivia Vinall, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Sarah Greene, Iain De Caestecker, Danny Ashok
DOP: Wojciech Szepel
Music: Harry Escott
Number of Episodes: 4
Episode Runtime: 57mins
Dazzler Media presents Roadkill on Blu-ray & DVD now