TV: The return of Armando Iannucci's sci-fi comedy Avenue 5

Hugh Laurie as Captain Ryan Clark in Avenue 5
Hugh Laurie as Captain Ryan Clark in Avenue 5

What’s the story?

Avenue 5.

Tell me more

The HBO sci-fi comedy – the brainchild of Veep and The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci – is back for a second run. Starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad, the action unfolds aboard the luxurious interplanetary cruise ship Avenue 5, operating in a near-future where space tourism is booming.

A momentary loss of artificial gravity and the accidental death of the chief engineer has sent the titular craft a few degrees off course. The upshot? What was meant to be an eight-week voyage through the solar system will now take three years.

As the debut series wrapped in 2020, a catalogue of errors in attempting to correct the course had only made things worse. Projected time to Earth: now eight years.

Anything else?

House star Laurie plays Captain Ryan Clark, the charismatic-yet-barely-competent figurehead of the automated spaceship who has no clue how to fly it, with Gad – who voiced Olaf in Frozen – as Herman Judd, the eccentric billionaire owner of Avenue 5.

The cast also includes Zach Woods (Silicon Valley), Lenora Crichlow (Goliath) and Suzy Nakamura (Dead To Me), as well as Rebecca Front, who played hapless MP Nicola Murray in The Thick of It.

When can I watch?

Avenue 5 begins on Sky Comedy and NOW, Wednesday, 10pm. All episodes available to stream that same day.