New drama Years & Years reminds star of Black Mirror

Rory Kinnear plays Stephen Lyons in the series penned by Russell T Davies.
Rory Kinnear plays Stephen Lyons in the series penned by Russell T Davies. Rory Kinnear plays Stephen Lyons in the series penned by Russell T Davies.

A new series set to air on BBC One has parallels to Charlie Brooker’s popular dystopian drama Black Mirror, Rory Kinnear has said.

The actor stars in Russell T Davies’s Years & Years, a six-part season which follows a family over a period of 15 years.

He played the prime minister in the first episode of Black Mirror, The National Anthem, and said he could see similarities between the two.

Kinnear told the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival: “As soon as I started reading it, the first thing that came to my mind was Our Friends In The North, but then the stuff with the filter mask as well, it reminded me of Charlie’s kind of visions of the future.

Years and Years cast
Years and Years cast The cast of Years & Years at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“I guess this is less dystopian, this is very much based in our now and our world.”

Kinnear plays the role of Stephen Lyons, a financial adviser and the family’s peacekeeper in the series, starring opposite Anne Reid and Russell Tovey.

The topical series sees the lives of the Manchester-based Lyons family affected by political, economic and technological advances.

Davies revealed he had the idea for the series more than 10 years ago – but planned to write the script if Donald Trump became president.

“The world is getting madder and stranger and bubbling up, we’re getting more politicised or more fed up with politics all the time,” he said.

Russell Tovey
Russell Tovey Russell Tovey also stars in the topical series (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“It was the night of Trump’s election when I emailed if he gets into power tomorrow I shall write this now.

“I’ve never been more sorry.”

Davies, a former series show-runner for Doctor Who, said they were “racing” to transmit the show due to the current news agenda – adding that material he had written had happened in real life.

Davies told the festival: “Real life is far madder than anything you can imagine.

“I could have sat there with a laptop typing for a million years and I would never have come up with Donald Trump standing in a gold room with a thousand hamburgers. Life is far more insane.”

Russell T Davies
Russell T Davies Russell T Davies said the world is madder than anything he could make up (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The show is co-produced with American network HBO and is set to also be broadcast in the US.

Referring to Mr Trump potentially tweeting about the show, Davies said: “I don’t think he’ll particularly pay much attention to this – if only. I’d write more, I’d have him hung in it.

“But I don’t think he’s worried about us.”

The first episode airs on BBC One on May 14.