Sky has launched the first look trailer for new series Patrick Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch – who has a soft spot with eccentric characters – with a brief introduction into the character.

The Sky Atlantic and Showtime five-part comedy/drama series has been adapted from the acclaimed semi-autobiographical novels by Edward St Aubyn and will focus on Melrose (Cumberbatch) from a deeply traumatic childhood through to adult substance abuse and, ultimately, towards recovery. The series will skip through the south of France in the 60s, New York in the 80s and Britain in the early 2000s.

Each episode is devoted to one of the five Patrick Melrose novels. From abuse to addiction, episode one opens as the twenty-something Patrick flies to New York to collect his father’s ashes, and goes on to spend a drug-crazed 24 hours. Episode two, set in the South of France in the 60s, takes place in the family’s chateau where the sadistic and terrifying David Melrose (Hugo Weaving) dominates the lives of his son Patrick and his rich and unhappy American mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Episode three offers a sober and clean Patrick the possibility of recovery, and episode four shows the now-married Patrick as a father, struggling with child rearing, adultery and his mother’s desire for assisted suicide. Finally, in episode five Patrick tries to solve the puzzle of his parents and gropes towards tentative recovery.

Directed by Edward Berger (Deutschland 83, Jack), the series also stars Anna Madeley (The Crown), Blythe Danner (Meet the Fockers), Allison Williams (Girls), Pip Torrens (The Crown), Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife), Prasanna Puwanarajah (Doctor Foster), Holliday Grainger (Strike), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones) and Celia Imrie (Bridget Jones’s Baby).

The series will be available in the UK and Ireland on Sky Atlantic and TV streaming service NOW TV later this year.