“It’s a fucking nightmare being lucid,” says Benedict Cumberbatch in Showtime’s upcoming limited series “Patrick Melrose.” That statement encapsulates the blunt, yet entirely self-aware attitude of the title character, played by Cumberbatch, who’s been through hell and back — worse for wear from his ongoing substance abuse.
The series follows Melrose, who has survived a harrowing childhood of abuse by his father and tacitly condoned by his own mother. As an adult, he’s now a husband and father who is struggling to gets his substance abuse under control on the way to recovery. While the subject matter is certainly grim, the series’ tone is darkly comic, in the vein of Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie.” The series also skewers the upper classes in 1960s France, 1980s New York, and Britain in the early 2000s.
The series also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving, Blythe Danner, Allison Williams, Jessica Raines, Celia Imrie, Indira Varma, Anna Madly, Pip Torrens, Prasanna Puwanarajah, and Holliday Grainger.
Based on British author Edward St. Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical series of five novels – “Never Mind,” “Bad News,” “Some Hope,” “Mother’s Milk,” and “At Last,” a.k.a. the Patrick Melrose novels – the five-part limited series will dedicate one episode to each novel. “One Day’s” David Nicholls has adapted the novels, and Edward Berger (“Deutschland 83”) directs.
Take a look at the first trailer for the series below: