Other than traipsing the streets of London solving crimes as Sherlock Holmes from time to time, Benedict Cumberbatch can mostly be found on the silver screen these days, earning himself an Oscar nomination for The Imitation Game as well as starring roles in the likes of Doctor Strange and Star Trek Into Darkness.

He is set to make his return to television shortly however in a new Sky Atlantic and Showtime series called 'Melrose', which Cumberbatch will also executive produce.

Written by David Nicholls, (the author behind bestsellers 'One Day' and 'Us') the five-part series is based on the acclaimed Patrick Melrose series of semi-autobiographical novels written by Edward St. Aubyn.

Cumberbatch will play the titular character, Melrose, an aristocratic and outrageously funny playboy, who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by an abusive father and a mother who tacitly condoned the behaviour.

It's a role no doubt the actor couldn't turn down, as he said in a Reddit Q&A back in 2013 that if he could play any literary character ever, it would be Patrick Melrose.

The series will devote an hour to each of the five novels, with an episode set over the course of a few intense days in the life of the protagonist. It will showcase many eras throughout, from the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000s.

David Nicholls said: "I've been a huge admirer of Edward St Aubyn's novels for years, and can't wait to bring these dark, witty, brilliant books to the screen. Benedict is the perfect Patrick Melrose."

Michael Jackson, a former Channel Four and IAC executive, and Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe-winning producer Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball, Grey Gardens) serve as executive producers through their recently formed Two Cities Television. Melrose will be the company’s first production.

The series will begin shooting in July and will air here on Sky Atlantic late 2017/early 2018.