In 2004 Jane Root, then-controller of BBC Two, launched a new drama called Hawking that told the life story of the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. She declared that the young man in the lead role, Benedict Cumberbatch, "was going to be a very big star indeed. Watch this space!"


She wasn't wrong. Cumberbatch has become one of our best actors, who chooses projects that challenge and stretch him, so it's no surprise that he's starring in the quirky new Netflix drama Eric, which is written by the equally talented Abi Morgan.

In this week's issue of Radio Times magazine, Morgan tells us how her mother, actor Patricia England, made Shakespeare come to life for her while she helped cook the family supper, and how that set her on the path to become one of the UK's top screenwriters.

A spell living and working as a nanny in New York in the '80s also helped her create the setting for Eric, which on one level is a brilliantly observed crime thriller and yet also so much more.

The new issue of Radio Times magazine is out now – subscribe to Radio Times here.

Benedict Cumberbatch Radio Times cover

Also in this week's Radio Times:

  • Jessica Gunning discusses the new series of The Outlaws with Stephen Merchant, the intensity of playing a stalker in Baby Reindeer and her relationship with Richard Gadd
  • Mike Love and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys recall how they blew the minds of John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1966 when they played them an advanced pressing of Pet Sounds
  • Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his acting cousin Joseph Fiennes on their travels through the wilds of Canada and Sir Ranulph dealing with Parkinson's

Eric arrives on Netflix on Thursday 30th May 2024. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.


Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.