If you’ve ever watched Sherlock and thought, “Benedict Cumberbatch is great in this, but I want less crime-solving and more of him being really drunk and messed up on drugs, swearing a lot and battling through childhood trauma”, there’s a new show coming soon that you’ll absolutely love.
In Patrick Melrose, Cumberbatch plays the titular character, a drunken, foul-mouthed screw-up from the autobiographical novels by Edward St Aubyn.
St Aubyn had an incredibly traumatic childhood, which led him down a path of various drug addictions and suicide attempts, but he made it through, penning five novels about the very-similar-to-him Patrick Melrose and his attempts to move on from his hideous past.
The five novels each form an episode of Showtime’s adaptation, starring Cumberbatch along with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving, Blythe Danner and Allison Williams.
It looks like, despite the grimness of a reasonable amount of the subject matter, they’re having fun with the more debauched side of Melrose’s life. Plus really posh people swearing is fun, and everyone loves an eye patch.
Interestingly (’interestingly’) one of the books, Mother’s Milk, was made into a film in 2012 starring Jack Davenport as Melrose. Davenport and Cumberbatch are both pals of Steven Moffatt (creator of both Coupling, starring Davenport, and Sherlock), so that’s, like, interesting (?).
Broadcast dates for Patrick Melrose are yet to be finalised other than being sometime this year, so fans of hearing the F-word pronounced more beautifully than it’s ever been pronounced have a maximum of 357 days to wait.