What happens when reality turns out to be stranger than fiction?
It’s a question the House of Cards writers must have asked themselves as the still-scarely-believable story of Donald Trump’s rise from reality TV star to actual-real-life President of the United States of America played out in front of their eyes.
With fans having watched the scheming antics of Frank Underwood as he ruthlessly manoeuvred himself into the White House without the bother of needing to win an election (sound familiar, *cough*, Theresa May), Trump suddenly made Underwood’s remarkable story look almost tame in comparison.
So how to react? By going dark. Very dark.
This latest trailer is, literally and metaphorically, the darkest one yet. You’ll need to turn up the brightness on your screen to catch what’s going on as Kevin Spacey’s Frank delivers a truly chilling state address to the viewer, proclaiming that the American people “don’t know what’s best for them. I do. I know exactly what they need”, with an ominous drumbeat relentlessly banging along underneath as he describes an Underwood dictatorship to run… forever.
The show hits Netflix on 30 May 2017, which is three months later than the four previous series, and follows on from the end of season four, which saw Frank react to Tom Hammerschmidt’s expose of him in the Washington Herald by using a terrorist execution of an American hostage as an excuse to send the nation into ‘total war’, addressing the nation and ordering that the full force of the military be used to combat terror around the world.
Kevin Spacey will, of course, return as the dastardly President Frank Underwood along with Robin Wright as his First Lady Claire. Michael Kelly is expected to reappear as Doug Stamper, Paul Sparks as writer Thomas Yates, Neve Campbell as political consultant LeAnn Harvey.
Newly-crowned Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will not be back as Remy Danton, but there’ll be new additions to the cast in the form of Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott.
Meanwhile, this will be the first season without showrunner and originator of the modern day House of Cards Beau Willimon, who has been replaced by Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese. However, don’t worry too much – Willimon wrote only two of the episodes in season four, so hopefully his departure won’t be felt too keenly, particularly as the show has a large range of executive producers – including Michael Dobbs, who wrote the original books, which were then adapted into a 1990 BBC miniseries – to step into the breach.
House of Cards season five is on Netflix on 30 May 2017