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Benedict Cumberbatch is Patrick Melrose in 'Melrose'. (Image: Sky / Showtime)

The trailer for Benedict Cumberbatch‘s new drama Patrick Melrose was released in the U.K. last week (January 4), and it’s now available stateside. As personal introductions go, it’s a doozy.

He plays Patrick Melrose, the lead character in a series of semi-autobiographical novels by Edward St. Aubyn that’s been adapted for the small screen by Sky TV and Showtime.

Fans of the books know Patrick as a savagely funny, aristocratic bon viveur dealing with multiple addictions and a traumatic past, and, by the looks of things, Benedict will certainly live up to the role.

You can check out the not quite safe for work trailer over at Showtime’s YouTube page.

The five-part miniseries spans Patrick’s life, from the South of France in the 1960s, to some very debauched years in 1980s New York (although those scenes were actually filmed in Glasgow), and finally a sober Britain in the early 2000s.

The adaptation is written by One Day‘s David Nicholls, who previously worked with Benedict on 2006’s Starter for Ten, and also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving as Patrick’s parents.

Also visible in the trailer is Holliday Grainger as Patrick’s father’s girlfriend Bridget, and Get Out‘s Alison Williams as Marianne, a woman Patrick meets during his playboy years in New York.

The impressive cast also features Call the Midwife‘s Jessica Raine as Patrick’s ex-girlfriend Julia, Doctor Foster‘s Prasanna Puwanarajah as his close friend Johnny Hall, and The Crown‘s Anna Madeley as his wife Mary, as well as Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’s Baby), Pip Torrens (The Crown) and Blythe Danner (Meet the Fockers).

Phew. Get set for this one. Patrick Melrose will air on Showtime later this year.

What do you think of Benedict as Patrick?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.