The as-yet-untitled show previously held the working title of Roll On Death, but the comedian dropped that name after deciding it sounded too comical.
Gervais told the Evening Standard his lead role was a “middle-aged, grumpy” man. He added: “It’s a guy whose wife has died and he is in the depths of depression and he nearly kills himself. But the reason he doesn’t is that the dog is hungry, so that saves him for a while. He thinks about his crappy job, he works for a free newspaper.”
He also explained that he wasn’t entirely sure of how to describe the show, saying: “I don’t know whether it’s a comedy or more of a six-part story. It’s like a series that’s adapted from a novel, I just haven’t written the novel.”
Gervais added that “the only thing” that gets his character through his depression is the idea that he will take his own life one day. “He’s not scared of a mugger because they can’t kill his wife, he doesn’t give a fuck, they can’t hurt him any more,” he said. “This new-found thing liberates him. It’s dark but it’s funny and he gets embroiled with people he would never mix with in the underworld. It’s like he lives two lives.”
Joining Gervais in the series will by Tony Way, who played Dontos Hollard on Game Of Thrones, and Tom Basden, who starred alongside Gervais in David Brent: Life On The Road. No further casting details have been revealed at present.
For help and advice on mental health issues, check out the below organisations:
- Order Ruby Tandoh’s ‘Do What You Want’ zine here
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day