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Friday 17th August 2018

All you need to know about BBC thriller Killing Eve

From the writer and creator of comedy Fleabag

The multi-award winning writer and creator of 'hot mess' comedy series Fleabag is set to return to the BBC with Killing Eve, a new crime thriller currently captivating US audiences.

But viewers this side of the pond will have to be a little bit patient as the eight part spy drama - an original BBC America commission - has not yet been announced for UK TV schedules.

Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and starring Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh, the series is expected to air on both BBC One and BBC Three.

Sandra plays Eve, a bored and under-utilised MI5 security officer whose dull job ties her to her desk, rather than offering her James Bond-style opportunities to save the world in dramatic fashion.

Sandra Oh plays bored spy Eve (Credit: YouTube BBCAmericaTV)

Read more: Everything you need to know about BBC drama The Woman In White

Her nemesis is Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer, a volatile and terrifying expert assassin who must be stopped by Eve - but their slick back and forth pursuit of one another is far removed from the typical spy hunt caper.

It is the first scripted US TV programme to be picked up by BBC Three since the channel became online only in 2016. It is also a rare get for BBC One as most international TV series bought up by the Beeb are usually broadcast on BBC Two or BBC Four.

Villanelle ignites something in Eve.

However, Killing Eve will not be aired in the same way on both channels.

It is believed Killing Eve will be broadcast in the traditional, episode by episode and with a regularly-scheduled slot on BBC One while made simultaneously available to watch on iPlayer as a full series for box set-style binge viewing on BBC Three.

Jodie Comer is the mysterious Villanelle (Credit: YouTube BBCAmericaTV)

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BBC Three is where both Phoebe and Jodie rose to TV fame. It was the initial home for the acclaimed Fleabag, and also Thirteen - the first original drama to air on the channel after its switch to digital - which starred Comer as a young woman who escapes from a cellar where she has been imprisoned for 13 years.

While US viewers have quickly fallen in love with Killing Eve, TV bosses have been similarly impressed and have already renewed the show for a second series.

BBC America president Sarah Barnett commented on the swift extension: "This show has the thunder of women on both sides of the chase in Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer and, importantly, behind the camera with the lavishly brilliant Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Killing Eve has been created and written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the brains behind hit comedy Fleabag (Credit: BBC)

"The early response to Killing Eve has been incredible - for that reason, as well as the fact that we wholeheartedly love this original, funny, thrillingly entertaining series, we are delighted to move ahead with a second season before we even premiere."

Here’s a little bit more background info to whet your viewing appetite…

Who's in Killing Eve?

Sandra and Jodie are joined by a host of faces recognisable from TV and film.

They include Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens, David Haig as Eve’s colleague Bill, Kim Bodnia as Konstantin and Darren Boyd as Frank Haleton all among the cast.

What is Killing Eve about?

Based on novellas by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve is fairly unique in presenting a female character in early middle age who is stuck in a rut - despite her unconventional, high-stakes career.

But as Eve is stagnating behind her desk rather than fulfilling her fantasies of being an active spook, Villanelle pops up - unwilling to relinquish the benefits of her murderous lifestyle - to be the mouse to Eve’s cat.

However, as the story develops it becomes unclear whether it is Eve who is actually the mouse, as both lead characters  become locked in a battle of wits with deadly consequences.

"Eve hits a plateau in her marriage, in her job," Sandra explained to TIME magazine.

"Then Villanelle comes along with her finesse, her style, her lack of inhibition - everything Eve doesn’t have. Villanelle ignites something in Eve."

As their dance of death threatens to tip over into obsession, both discover aspects of their enemy which they come to admire.

Eve longs for Villanelle’s disregard for authority and rules. Villanelle respects Eve’s forensic precision and focus.

And even though they are mortally pitted against one another, there are also undercurrents of mutual fascination as gunshots ring out and they fantasise about being each other - and with each other.

Where else have you seen members of the Killing Eve cast?

Viewers know Sandra from Grey's Anatomy (Credit: YouTube BBCAmericaTV)

Canadian star Sandra is most associated with her Golden Globe-winning role as Cristina Yang on medical drama Grey's Anatomy.

She has also played memorable parts in Sideways, Arliss, The Princess Diaries, Hard Candy, Sesame Street and has voiced the character of Katie in American Dad!

Jodie has played many roles on British TV (Credit: YouTube BBCAmericaTV)

Liverpool-born Jodie, 25, has performed significant roles in miniseries Thirteen, My Mad Fat Diary and Doctor Foster (in which she played Kate Parks).

She has also made guest appearances in Holby City, Waterloo Road, Doctors, Silent Witness, Casualty, Inspector George Gently and Vera.

Fiona Shaw plays Carolyn Martens (Credit: YouTube BBCAmericaTV)

Theatrical great Fiona Shaw is best known on the silver screen for playing Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films and her role in season four of True Bloodas Marnie Stonebrook.

She also had a memorable cameo as Miss Lomax in Three Men and a Little Lady in the early 1990s.

David is a much-loved comedy star (Credit: YouTube)

Olivier award winner David Haig is known for his comedic roles in TV and film as DI Grim in The Thin Blue Line and a groom in Four Weddings and a Funeral. 

He has also appeared in The Thick of It and forgotten Ben Elton bomb The Wright Way.

Fans of The Bridge will know Kim's work well (Credit: YouTube Absolute Radio)

Danish actor Kim Bodnia came to international attention with his role as Detective Martin Rohde in The Bridge. He is also a director.

Darren is another star who has made his name with comedic roles (Credit: YouTube BBC)

Darren Boyd was in BAFTA-winning form for Sky 1 sitcom Spy and is also familiar from the likes of Luther, Lucky Man, playing John Cleese in Holy Flying Circus, Green Wing, Smack the Pony, Veep and Fortitude.

When will Killing Eve air in the UK?

An exact air date has not yet been announced, but Killing Eve is expected to be broadcast in the UK during 2018.

It is believed the series of eight episodes will be shown in a primetime slot on BBC One as it is made available to watch on BBC Three iPlayer.

How have US viewers reacted to Killing Eve?

Almost universally with two thumbs up.

Rotten Tomatoes, a site which brings together TV and film reviews to give an overall rating by critics currently gives Killing Eve a 100% 'fresh' rating.

More importantly, those watching at home have lavished the series with praise, hailing it as "fantastic", "brilliant" and one of the most engaging shows of the year.

Do you like the look of Killing Eve? Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix!

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