BBC Rules Of The Game

Rules Of The Game: Maxine Peake’s subversive new BBC drama is inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal

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Maxine Peake will star in Rules Of The Game, a BBC One workplace drama inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which now has a powerful new trailer and exciting first look images. Here’s everything we know about the series so far.

Working from home might have saved us from the delicate office politics at our own jobs, but that doesn’t mean we get to escape workplace dramas altogether. Just when we thought 2022 television couldn’t get better, the BBC are releasing yet another thought-provoking series in the new year and we cannot wait.

BBC One’s Rules of the Game is a new thriller set to explore sexual politics in the workplace. Inspired by the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal that sparked the #MeToo movement, this four-part series stars Maxine Peake as Sam, the head of a family-run company in the North West of England who bristles at criticism and is resistant to change.

The BBC has revealed that we don’t have long to wait for this captivating new show to air as it will be coming to our screens on 11 January. Now, we finally have some first look images and a powerful new trailer that has notched our excitement for this series up tenfold.

Here’s everything we know about the series so far.

BBC Rules Of The Game
BBC's Rules Of The Game will air on 11 January.

What’s the plot of Rules Of The Game?

The show opens with the introduction of Maya (Rakhee Thakrar), a new HR director who’s intent on dismantling the “old-fashioned lad culture” within the company. As she begins investigating historic cases of misconduct in the organisation, she’s met with resistance from the boss, Sam (Maxine Peake), who refutes the suggestion of institutional bias against women because “that was all in the past, and things are different now that she’s in charge.”

The drama really gets going, though, when one morning, Sam arrives at work and is met with a dead body in the office reception.

As the story unravels, hard-headed Sam is forced to “reckon with not only the murky behaviour in the present, but murderous secrets from the past as well.”

BBC Rules Of The Game
Alison Steadman stars as Anita in BBC's Rules Of The Game.

Who stars in the cast of Rules Of The Game?

The BBC series will see Maxine Peake (Three Girls, Silk) play the lead role of Sam.

Speaking to BBC about the series, Peake says: “What a glorious cast. Working alongside my fellow sisters each day, with their commitment and understanding towards Ruth Fowler’s script about sexual politics in the workplace, with Jennifer Sheridan directing, has reminded me once again why we need to keep fighting for more women to have a voice in the filmmaking process.”

Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education) plays Maya, the new HR Director who begins investigating historic cases of misconduct. On joining the cast, Thakrar says: “It’s been pure joy working with this cast, who all bring such authenticity, heart and humour to any scene. Maxine Peake in particular has been an absolute highlight as our lead.” 

Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacy) plays Anita, a member of the board and the “cold, hardened” widower of company founder Harry.  Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes) also stars as DI Eve Preston, the no-nonsense detective who is investigating a case centred around the company.

Further cast members include Kieran Bew (Warrior), Ben Batt (Scott & Bailey), Callie Cooke (The Stranger), Katherine Pearce (Three Girls) and Zoë Tapper (Liar).

BBC Rules Of The Game
Rakhee Thakrar stars as Maya in BBC's Rules Of The Game.

Is there a trailer for Rules Of The Game?

Yes, there most certainly is. Like any good trailer, it leaves just enough to the imagination – but with tense flashback scenes, sarcastic comments on the patriarchy and a bloody crime scene, the 43 second trailer has already got our minds whirring.

Watch the trailer here:

What inspired Rules Of The Game?

Writer Ruth Fowler says: “Many women’s experiences, including my own, inspired this fictional show – with the added benefit that in the retelling no women were harmed, maimed or exposed to Harvey.”

Despite the initial exposé of Weinstein –which sparked the #MeToo movement in 2017 and led to his conviction and imprisonment – workplace harassment is still an issue many women continue to deal with. Fowler says, “When we conceived this show it was during the Weinstein scandal, and I was concerned it might have dated in the interim. How sadly wrong I was, and I’m honoured the BBC and everyone else championing this story did not let it fade away as its relevance has become even more acute.”

BBC Rules Of The Game
Zoë Tapper and Ben Batt star as Vanessa and Owen in the new BBC drama.

When and where will Rules Of The Game be available to watch?

Rules Of The Game will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on 11 January.

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Images: BBC

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