Benedict Cumberbatch To Play Patrick Melrose

Sky Atlantic and Showtime have commissioned five-part drama Melrose, adapted by David Nicholls (Far From the Madding Crowd) from Edward St. Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) will play Melrose, an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy, who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by an abusive father and a mother who tacitly condoned the behaviour.

The series will skewer the upper class as it tracks the protagonist’s harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood through adult substance abuse, and ultimately, towards recovery.

Devoting an hour to each of the five Melrose novels, each episode is set over the course of a few intense days in the life of the protagonist, including the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000s.

Head of Drama for Sky, Anne Mensah, said: “Through anti-hero Patrick Melrose, we will be offering viewers a compelling window into a world of privilege, cruelty and greed – crucially both a disturbing and a funny tale.”

Melrose begins filming in London, the South of France and New York in July.