The 'Sherlock' and 'Doctor Strange' actor will star in and executive produce the five-part series.

By Nick Romano
February 28, 2017 at 09:24 AM EST

Benedict Cumberbatch is moving from Marvel to Melrose. The Sherlock and Doctor Strange star will lead a five-part limited series for Showtime, based on Edward St. Aubyn’s series of Patrick Melrose novels.

According to a press release, the series “hilariously skewers the upper class” with the odyssey of Melrose (Cumberbatch), “an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned the behavior.”

Each of the five episodes will tackle one of Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother’s Milk, and At Last. The first book illustrated Melrose’s childhood abuse at the hands of his father, while the sequels tracked his life through drug abuse, recovery, and fatherhood.

It’s a character Cumberbatch mentioned when asked during a 2013 Reddit AMA about the literary character he’d like to embody. “We are delighted to be part of this incredible series,” Cumberbatch said in a joint statement with executive producer Adam Ackland. “We have been huge fans of these books for many years and David Nicholls adaptations are extraordinary.”

Melrose, which Cumberbatch will also executive produce, will begin shooting in New York, London, and the South of France this August.

Screenwriter David Nicholls (Far from the Madding Crowd) is penning all episodes of the adaptation. Michael Jackson and Rachael Horovitz will also produce.

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