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Happy New Year! British TV production company RED is ringing in 2019 by sharing the first photo of Dame Emma Thompson in Years and Years, the upcoming BBC drama series from former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies.

Thompson stars in the six-part limited series as Vivienne Rook, a character described as “an outspoken celebrity turned political figure whose controversial opinions divide the nation.”

“She’s a new breed of politician, an entertainer, a rebel, a trickster, and her rise to power leads us into an unknown future,” a BBC press release teased in October, when the series began filming in Manchester, England.

The photo shows Thompson as Rook looking pretty imperious at a political rally.

Years and Years is set in the near future, in a Britain that “is rocked by unstable political, economic and technological advances.” It follows one family over an eventful 15-year period beginning one momentous night in 2019.

Thompson’s castmates include Russell Tovey (Looking), Rory Kinnear (Spectre), Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax), T’Nia Miller (Doctor Who), Jessica Hynes (Paddington) and Ruth Madeley (Cold Feet).

“This is a dream cast, put together by Andy Pryor, the man who found Jodie Whittaker to be Doctor Who. I’m very lucky, and very excited to start filming,” Davies said in October.

A co-production between BBC One, HBO and French network Canal+, it’s due to debut later this year.

In the meantime, Davies’ most recent drama series, political biopic A Very English Scandal, will compete for a trio of prizes at the 2019 Golden Globe Awards on January 6: Best Miniseries or Television Film, Best Actor for Hugh Grant and Best Supporting Actor for Ben Whishaw.

Are you excited to see Emma Thompson in Years and Years?

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By Nick Levine