Sky Atlantic release official preview image for Patrick Melrose

He is set to star as troubled playboy Patrick Melrose in Sky Atlantic's new series of the same name. And now fans have been given a first look at Benedict Cumberbatch in character, as an official image of him playing the role of Melrose has been released. The actor, 41, is seen cutting a brooding figure in the still from the show while clad in dark shades and a tailored camel-hued coat.

Patrick Melrose follows the fictional and infamous playboy based on the novel series penned by Edward St. Aubyn. It details the character's deterioration into substance abuse after a difficult childhood.

And already sparking an air of mystery around his new role, Benedict gives little away in the shot that sees him smartly dressed with a checked scarf draped loosely around his neck. Each book will play out in one episode of the five-part series, set to air some time next year in 2018, and, framed around several intense days in Melrose's life, the series will jump from 1960s South France to 1980s New York to early 2000s Britain.

Earlier this month, filming had taken place for the show in Glasgow, with the city centre being transformed into 1980s New York, as the streets were littered with bright yellow cabs for an added American touch.

As well as starring in the series, Cumberbatch is also an executive producer and had previously expressed his desire to take on the role of Melrose. Speaking in a Reddit Q&A in 2013, he revealed that the literary character would be his choice of role to play.

He will be joined onscreen by fellow big screen stars Hugo Weaving and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Girls star Alison Williams is also set to take on a guest role in the series, as a woman Melrose encounters during his playboy years in New York, while Far From The Madding Crowd writer David Nicholls will pen all five episodes.

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