British near-future drama Years and Years, now available to binge on Showmax, is “2019’s most terrifying TV show,” and a “breathtakingly ambitious dystopian drama,” says The Guardian.
The six-part series kicks off in 2019 and follows the Lyons family – grown siblings Daniel, Stephen, Edith and Rosie, along with their partners, children and grandmother Muriel – over 15 fateful years in the fictional near-future of a Britain rocked by political, economic and technological upheaval.
A collaboration between the BBC and HBO, Years and Years’ stellar cast includes two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson, along with co-star Russel Tovey (Being Human, Quantico, Looking).
Thompson plays Vivienne Rook, who she describes as “an independent politician who speaks her mind and becomes incredibly popular because she’s very forthright.” Although Vivienne hovers at the periphery of the main characters’ lives, she’s an ever-present and growing menace, the voice of the powers that be as the country – and the world at large – spirals out of control, and faceless policies formulated in boardrooms and cabinet meetings have direct, and dire, consequences for the Lyons family.
“It’s so chilling, the inexorability in how Vivienne’s vision becomes a reality and the fact that in the beginning many members of the Lyons family think she’s great,” says Thompson. “They think that somehow there’s decency and humanity there, when actually it’s a will to power and someone who clearly has no moral fibre whatsoever. It’s terrifying.”
The series boasts an 8.4/10 score on IMDb and an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The show humanises the bad news cycle – one that sees the shocking morph into the status quo on a daily basis – … by creating rounded characters that draw empathy, outrage and horror from our increasingly hardened hearts,” The Guardian says.
Years and Years is created and scripted by Emmy-nominated writer Russell T Davies (who rebooted Dr Who) and directed by BAFTA winner Simon Cellan Jones.
“Over the past few years the world itself seems to have been boiling faster and hotter and wilder than ever,” says Davies. “The age, today, just seems fevered – we’re either more political, or more scornful of politics, than ever. I think, in the past, politics meant the economy to most people, but now we’re seeing that it’s our identity at stake. So I had to write this fast, before someone else did! And we’re transmitting it as fast as we can before the stuff in the script actually happens!”
Years and Years is available to stream now on Showmax.