Rules of the Game release date: cast, plot and trailer for BBC thriller

Maxine Peake and Rakhee Thakrar star in this drama about workplace sexual politics.

Rules of the Game Maxine Peake

If you can’t get enough of Maxine Peake after her performance in ITV’s Anne, then BBC One’s upcoming thriller will be one you won’t want to miss.


Rules of the Game stars Peake as Sam, the manager of a family-run sportswear company in the North of England who becomes embroiled in the brutal death of someone at her place of work.

With a dead body in the company’s reception area, Sam is forced to look back at the events that led up to the death, starting with the arrival of the company’s new HR director Maya (Sex Education‘s Rakhee Thakrar), who tries to shake up the lad culture at the workplace.

The series, which features the likes of Alison Steadman and Susan Wokoma, is set to be dark, thrilling and humorous in parts, with Peake recently saying that witty female characters are usually hard to come by in dramas.

Read on for everything you need to know about Rules of the Game.

Rules of the Game release date

Confirmed: Rules of the Game begins airing on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday 11th January.

The whole four-part boxset will be available on BBC iPlayer from Tuesday onwards.

Rules of the Game plot

Rules of the Game

Written by Ruth Fowler, Rules of the Game is four-part thriller about sexual politics in the modern workplace, following Sam (Maxine Peake), the chief operating officer at a family-run sportswear business in the North West who arrives at work one morning to find a dead body in the foyer.

As detectives try to get to the bottom of what exactly happened, Sam is forced to reflect on the company’s shady past as we flashback to the day new HR Director Maya (Rakhee Thakrar) arrived on the scene.

“She and Sam clash from their very first meeting, and when Maya begins to unpick the toxic culture of the workplace, dark secrets begin to emerge,” the BBC has teased.

“Soon both she and Sam are asking questions about a young female employee, Amy, who died in mysterious circumstances after a company party some years ago.”

If you want more details, you can read our Rules of the Game review.

Rules of the Game cast

Callie Cooke in Rules of the Game

Maxine Peake (Black Mirror, Anne) stars as Sam in the Rules of the Game cast, the hard-headed COO at a family-run sportswear company, while Sex Education’s Rakhee Thakrar plays Maya – the new HR Director who clashes with Sam.

Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum, Enola Holmes) plays Detective Inspector Eve Preston, while Kieran Bew (Liar, Silent Witness) and Ben Batt (Scott & Bailey, The Village) play Gareth Jenkins and Owen Jenkins, the heads of the family business.

Rounding out the cast are Callie Cooke (The Stranger, Britannia) as Tess, Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey) as Anita, Zoe Tapper (The One, Survivors) as Vanessa Jenkins and Katherine Pearce (My Cousin Rachel, Three Girls) as Carys Jenkins.

Rules of the Game trailer

The BBC released a trailer for Rules of the Game at the end of December, teasing the workplace drama to come from the four-parter.


Rules of the Game arrives on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Tuesday 11th January at 9pm. Visit our Drama hub for more news, interviews and features, or find something to watch with our TV Guide.