What’s it about?
“You should never tell a psychopath they’re a psychopath – it upsets them.” So begins the trailer for the BBC’s newest Saturday night blockbuster, Killing Eve.
The series follows the titular Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), an MI5 security officer who’s tired of her mundane desk job in London. Her role takes a turn for the better when she’s assigned a new case – she must track down glamorous, yet psychopathic serial killer Villanella (Jodie Comer), who’s been dropping bodies around Europe in a series of inventive murders. In time, the hunter and the hunted become equally obsessed with one another, even before they’ve met.
This twisted cat-and-mouse thriller is an adaptation of Codename Villanelle by novelist Luke Jennings, and its script is written by SL-favourite Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the brains and star of Fleabag. Having debuted in the US in April, Killing Eve has already developed a cult following, and been nominated for two Emmy Awards. Its second series is being filmed right now. We can’t believe we’ve had to wait so long to see all eight episodes of this subversive drama ourselves.
As per the Beeb’s current hit Bodyguard, this drama is focused on women in powerful positions. Sandra Oh, most famously of Grey’s Anatomy, plays Eve in a role that’s been described by many critics as the best of her career. Meanwhile her chic combatant Villanella is played by relative newcomer – to Americans at least – Jodie Comer, who impressed as Simon’s younger new girlfriend in Doctor Foster, and in 2016 BBC series Thirteen.
Elsewhere, the show stars Fiona Shaw (True Blood, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince) as intelligence boss Carolyn Martin and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Downward Dog) as Eve's ambitious assistant Elena – both roles that were written as men in the original book. Meanwhile David Haig (Four Weddings & a Funeral, Florence Foster Jenkins) plays Bill, Eve’s close colleague, who occasionally questions her motives.
What do critics think?
When it arrived on American screens earlier this year, the show was hit with a wave of positive reviews. The Guardian described it as a “slick miniseries” and a “dazzling thriller”. Rolling Stone said: “Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s hilarious, bloody, unclassifiable BBC America show is the find of 2018 – and a career high for Sandra Oh.”
Meanwhile the New York Times called the show “entertaining, clever and darkly comic, anchored by Ms Oh’s performance”, while Vox said “Waller-Bridge’s sharp observational skills that make Fleabag’s jokes so funny prove an invaluable asset for Killing Eve, filling out characters with just a few well-chosen lines and keeping a steady eye on its unraveling central mystery.”
We can’t wait for Monday morning’s water cooler chat to take hold.
Where can I watch it?
Killing Eve starts on Saturday 15th September at 9pm on BBC1. There will be eight episodes, airing weekly.