Killing Eve is a British spy thriller television series, produced in the United Kingdom by Sid Gentle Films for BBC America, starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. It is based on the Codename Villanelle novella series by Luke Jennings and was developed for television by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
|Based on||Codename Villanelle novella series|
by Luke Jennings
|Developed by||Phoebe Waller-Bridge|
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||15 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||41–55 minutes|
|Original network||BBC America|
|Original release||April 8, 2018 –|
The first season of eight episodes was ordered on November 15, 2016, and premiered on April 8, 2018. The first season had unbroken weekly ratings growth among young adults especially, which no other television show had accomplished in more than a decade. Shortly before its premiere, BBC America renewed Killing Eve for a second season, which premiered on April 7, 2019. The following day, BBC America renewed the series for a third season.
The show has been highly successful in both the United States and the United Kingdom, receiving critical acclaim for both the first and second seasons. In 2019, it was awarded a Peabody Award, and the first season won the BAFTA award for Best Drama Series. Sandra Oh was awarded the Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Critics' Choice Award for her performance in the first season. She also received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards. Jodie Comer won the BAFTA award for Best Leading Actress.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, an agent with MI5 (the UK's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency) who becomes obsessed with a notorious assassin and is recruited on an off-the-books basis to the foreign intelligence agency MI6.
- Jodie Comer as Villanelle / Oksana Astankova, a psychopathic, skilled assassin who becomes obsessed with the MI5 officer who is tracking her
- Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens, head of the Russia Section at MI6
- Darren Boyd as Frank Haleton, Eve's supervisor at MI5 (season 1)
- Owen McDonnell as Niko Polastri, Eve's Polish husband, a teacher
- Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Elena Felton, Eve's assistant (season 1)
- Sean Delaney as Kenny Stowton, an ex-hacker who has been recruited by MI6
- David Haig as Bill Pargrave, Eve's MI5 associate who comes with her to MI6 (season 1)
- Kim Bodnia as Konstantin Vasiliev, Villanelle's handler
- Nina Sosanya as Jess, an MI6 agent working with Eve. (season 2)
- Edward Bluemel as Hugo, an MI6 agent working with Eve. (season 2)
- Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Aaron Peel, son of deceased Alistair Peel who is in charge of the Pharaday Company after his father's murder.
Sally Woodward Gentle, of Sid Gentle Films, optioned Luke Jennings's Codename Villanelle, which began as a four-part novella published between 2014 and 2016. Following the stage success of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge was recruited to write the show, which was then commissioned by BBC America in November 2016. Sandra Oh was the first to be cast in June 2017, and IMG boarded for distribution rights later that month. Jodie Comer was announced as main character Villanelle about a month later. Kirby Howell-Baptiste was cast as Elena in August 2017. Filming began in Tuscany on July 17, 2017, extending to further locations in Paris, Berlin, Romania, Cheshunt, Turville, London and West London Film Studios. The Viennese Cafe opening scenes were shot at Bar Garibaldi in Colle di Val d'Elsa, a small hilltop town north west of Siena, Tuscany. The building used as Eve's base is in Warwick House Street, just off Trafalgar Square. In the London pub scene, the external shot shows The Albert pub in Victoria Street, while the dark panelled wall interiors of The Old Nick in Sandford Street were optioned for the interior scene. In episode three, Villanelle lures David Haig's character Bill Pargrave into tailing her out of Berlin Friedrichstraße station and along a neighbouring Berlin tramway street before entering a busy nightclub, the location of which was Fabric, opposite London's Smithfield Market. Bucharest's neoclassical Romanian Athenaeum concert hall was converted into a decadent cafe for the penultimate Moscow scene. Filming also took place at Nell's Café, a popular roadside café off the A2 near Gravesend in Kent, as well as at the nearby M2 motorway.
Shortly before its premiere, Killing Eve was renewed for a second season. Filming started on July 16 and finished on December 14, 2018. It premiered on April 7, 2019, and was broadcast concurrently in the United States by BBC America and AMC. In July 2018, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Waller-Bridge delegated some responsibility for the second series, hiring Emerald Fennell as head writer, and Lisa Bruhlmann and Francesca Gregorini as directors.
Luke Jennings's sequel, Killing Eve: No Tomorrow, was published in March 2019, shortly before the second season premiere. Although the book diverges from the television series, they were said to "share common DNA" because of Jennings's continued collaboration with the creators.
Less than twelve hours after the premiere of the second season, BBC America renewed the series for its third season. Suzanne Heathcote will serve as showrunner.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||8||April 8, 2018||May 27, 2018|
|2||8||April 7, 2019||May 26, 2019|
Season 1 (2018)Edit
|Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||U.S. viewers|
|1||1||"Nice Face"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||April 8, 2018||0.423|
|Psychopathic Villanelle—a young and prolific assassin—leaves a trail of high-profile murders across several countries including Italy. MI5 officer Eve Polastri connects a new assassination in Vienna to a series of such killings which she has been researching in her own time. Although her theory that the assassin is a woman is dismissed by her superiors, Eve's unauthorised interview with the only witness confirms it. The witness is murdered while in a hospital in London, along with a nurse and two guards, causing MI5 to fire Eve and Bill, her associate. Impressed by Eve, Carolyn Martens, head of the Russia Section of MI6, recruits her for an off-the-books assignment to track the killer.|
|2||2||"I'll Deal With Him Later"||Harry Bradbeer||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||April 15, 2018||0.371|
|Following her assignment in Bulgaria, Villanelle's handler Konstantin is concerned about her increasing recklessness. He informs her that a covert MI6 task force, led by Eve, is investigating her string of assassinations. Eve realises that a nurse she saw at the hospital before the murders may be the killer, and she recruits Elena and Bill as her assistants. Villanelle forms a relationship with her neighbour Sebastien and carries out another murder, of a successful parfumier, at a dinner party in Paris.|
|3||3||"Don't I Know You?"||Jon East||Vicky Jones||April 22, 2018||0.388|
|Villanelle lures Eve to Berlin by using Eve's name while committing another murder, and trails Eve as she investigates it. Bill spots Villanelle and follows her to a nightclub. Before Eve can get to him, Villanelle stabs Bill repeatedly, killing him.|
|4||4||"Sorry Baby"||Jon East||George Kay||April 29, 2018||0.503|
|Konstantin punishes Villanelle for her recent unpredictable behaviour by making her work with two other operatives: Nadia and Diego. The three are to assassinate Frank Haleton, Eve's former MI5 boss, who Eve has discovered is a mole. Eve and Elena rush to Frank's rescue, while Villanelle manipulates Nadia into killing Diego, and runs Nadia over with her car.|
|5||5||"I Have a Thing About Bathrooms"||Jon East||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||May 6, 2018||0.518|
Eve and Carolyn get Frank to a safe house, and he tells them that he is being paid by a shadow organisation "The Twelve" that uses Villanelle for purposeful destabilisation. There are hints that Elena and Kenny may have a romantic relationship. Villanelle breaks into Eve's home to talk to her, and takes her phone, which Villanelle uses to track down Frank at the safe house and kill him. Konstantin tells Villanelle that Nadia is alive and has to be killed before she can be questioned.
|6||6||"Take Me to the Hole!"||Damon Thomas||George Kay||May 13, 2018||0.537|
|Eve and Carolyn track down Nadia to a Moscow prison, and are allowed to speak to her due to Carolyn's camaraderie with two Russian Intelligence officers, one of whom is Konstantin. Eve and Carolyn offer Nadia a deal, but before she can accept, she is killed by Villanelle, whom Konstantin had transferred to the prison for that purpose.|
|7||7||"I Don't Want to Be Free"||Damon Thomas||Rob Williams||May 20, 2018||0.485|
|Eve investigates Anna, Villanelle's former teacher, with whom she had a deep relationship before Villanelle had killed her husband. Villanelle is broken out from prison, meets her new handler and is given her next target: Konstantin. Villanelle breaks into Konstantin's home but he escapes. Eve discovers that Carolyn secretly met Villanelle at the prison earlier that day, before she escaped.|
|8||8||"God, I'm Tired"||Damon Thomas||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||May 27, 2018||0.701|
|Konstantin goes to Carolyn and Eve for help, confessing that Villanelle is after him. Eve and Konstantin have a confrontation with Villanelle in a cafe; Villanelle shoots Konstantin and escapes. Carolyn fires Eve from MI6, but Eve independently tracks down Villanelle to her Paris apartment. The pair confess their obsession with each other, following which Eve stabs Villanelle and Villanelle flees.|
Season 2 (2019)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||U.S. viewers|
|9||1||"Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?"||Damon Thomas||Emerald Fennell||April 7, 2019||0.403|
|Continuing directly from the end of the first season, Eve searches for the wounded Villanelle. Without finding her, Eve is called back to London to investigate a murder case. Villanelle has a rough time as she makes her way from a Paris hospital to London.|
|10||2||"Nice and Neat"||Damon Thomas||Emerald Fennell||April 14, 2019||0.321|
|Eve meets her new team and deduces that the murderer is not Villanelle, but a new assassin whom she nicknames "The Ghost." Villanelle is close to London, but has difficulty charming the residents of Basildon into helping her. She tricks Julian into taking her home and helping her heal, but he tries to trap her at his house. After a few days she escapes, killing him.|
|11||3||"The Hungry Caterpillar"||Lisa Brühlmann||Emerald Fennell, Henrietta & Jessica Ashworth||April 21, 2019||0.361|
|Freed from Julian, Villanelle is ordered to perform a clean assassination like the Ghost. She kills her target in a lift and delivers lipstick to Eve with the name "Love in an Elevator" to ensure that Eve knows who performed the assassination. Eve is struggling with balancing her job and her relationship with her husband.|
|12||4||"Desperate Times"||Lisa Brühlmann||Emerald Fennell & D.C. Moore||April 28, 2019||0.459|
|The Ghost's body count is much larger than expected and appears to be centered around Aaron Peel. Villanelle tries to get Eve's attention with an assassination in Amsterdam, but is angered when Eve doesn't show up to investigate.|
|13||5||"Smell Ya Later"||Francesca Gregorini||Freddy Syborn||May 5, 2019||0.454|
|In a desperate attempt to get closer to Villanelle, Eve puts out a hit on herself, hiring Villanelle to do the job. The Ghost is coerced into giving up information about her boss. Villanelle meets Niko and tells him about her and Eve in Paris.|
|14||6||"I Hope You Like Missionary!"||Francesca Gregorini||Jeremy Dyson||May 12, 2019||0.402|
|Niko confronts Eve about what really happened in Paris. With new information about Aaron Peel, Eve and Villanelle work together to get Villanelle close to Peel and his company.|
|15||7||"Wide Awake"||Damon Thomas||Emerald Fennell||May 19, 2019||0.419|
|Eve may have worrying competition for Villanelle's affections.|
|16||8||"You're Mine"||Damon Thomas||Emerald Fennell||May 26, 2019||TBD|
|Eve's mission is disastrously compromised; Carolyn leaves Eve's future in her own hands.|
In the United Kingdom, the series was shown on BBC One in September 2018 and as stream-only on BBC Three. The first episode was broadcast on September 15, 2018, and seen by 5.42 million viewers within the first seven days. The second season will be released in its entirety on BBC iPlayer in June 2019.
In New Zealand, season two episodes also premiered two days before their US broadcast on TVNZ Ondemand. Episodes will air on TVNZ 2 the same day as the US broadcast. First season episodes aired in July 2018 on TVNZ Ondemand after having also aired the same day as the US.
The second season received its first European broadcast on RTÉ2 on April 10, 2019.
On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, Killing Eve holds a 96% approval rating with an average rating of 8.28/10 based on 92 reviews, the consensus stating: "Seductive and surprising, Killing Eve's twist on the spy vs. spy concept rewards viewers with an audaciously entertaining show that finally makes good use of Sandra Oh's talents." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 83 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Jenna Scherer, writing in Rolling Stone, described Killing Eve as "hilarious, bloody, unclassifiable" and idiosyncratic, "a stylish story of obsession and psychopathy that's disarmingly warm and lived-in". Scherer went on to write that the show "undermines every rule of TV", with what it does best being its "dry wit, razor-wire tension, sex appeal and the looming threat of violence". Hanh Nguyen wrote on IndieWire that one of the show's most appealing aspects is "how it subverts expectation", allowing it to "constantly surprise and delight". Troy Patterson wrote in The New Yorker that the story discloses "a life independent of genre conventions" and that the triumph of the show's style is its "reconciliation of the outlandish and the intimate", adding that the "Jason Bourne-style escapism of the bare premise, inflected by the assertively odd tone, yields fresh depictions of fear and grief". In the context of Vulture's selection of Sandra Oh as the best actress on television (June 2018), Matt Zoller Seitz wrote that there was "no precedent" for the "wild extremes" of the show's "comedy and thriller elements". While Mike Hale acknowledged in The New York Times that "scenes and characterizations play out differently than we're used to" and the comic style is distinctive, he also wrote – in contrast to most reviewers – of being "just as conscious of (the show's) congruences with standard examples of the genre ... as ... of the differences", citing Berlin Station, La Femme Nikita, Covert Affairs and Homeland.
Scherer described the show as a feminine take on a traditionally masculine genre—"more interested in giving space to character beats and the weird chaos that can leak into the best-laid plans". Similarly, Melanie McFarland wrote for Salon that Killing Eve has been dubbed a "feminist thriller", calling it a "perfect show for the #MeToo era", saying that it "slakes one's desire to see piggish misogynists get what's coming to them" but also delves into complex trust issues among women and shows "sisterhood's might and peril (as) powerful ... but ... also complicated and devoid of guarantees". Along the same lines, Willa Paskin wrote in Slate that Killing Eve is a story about "the literal dangers of underestimating women: of not seeing the woman who can kill you, underestimating the woman who can stop her". Paskin added that “The disfigured, beating heart of Killing Eve is the way that Villanelle’s gender and manner, her very femininity, keep our acculturated brains from being appropriately terrified of her".
Jia Tolentino acknowledged in The New Yorker how critics have noted that women characters are substituted for men "in every meaningful part", that the men are "formulaic" but the women are "deeply strange". However, Tolentino asserted that Killing Eve "isn't shaped around the concept of women; it's shaped around these women, who are unlike any others in their wild, unlikely interior weirdness and flux". She added that a defining feature of the show is its "constant reversals in tone and rhythm", with the show's thrill coming "from pattern rather than resolution".
Ben Goldberg wrote in Into that the series "never outright explains its characters' sexualities, but unlike shows that queerbait their audiences, Killing Eve does not need to name the relationship between Eve and Villanelle in order to recognize it", adding that the show "does not shy away from its characters' sexual attraction but also complicates this narrative at every turn".
Hannah Giorgis wrote in The Atlantic that the show's greatest success is "how alluring it makes its villain: to both Eve ... and audiences", and that Villanelle's character subverts feminine stereotypes so as to "carve a jagged space into the serial-killer canon".
The second series received an average of 8.28 out of 10 on Rotten Tomatoes, with an overall 97% approval based on 37 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "With the titillating cat-and-mouse game still rooted at its core, Killing Eve returns for an enthralling second season of considerably higher stakes, hilariously dark humor and a captivating dynamic between characters, solidifying its position as one of the best spy thrillers out." Metacritic reported a score of 87 out of 100 based on 19 critics, signifying "universal acclaim".
Chitra Ramaswamy wrote in The Guardian that the show "uproots the tired old sexist tropes of spy thrillers then repots them as feminist in-jokes, patriarchal piss-takes, tasteless murders and blooms of sapphic chemistry".
Describing how Villanelle "does what she always does: exploit society’s misogyny by imitating a victim of it", Emily Nussbaum wrote in The New Yorker that the potent idea that undergirds the show is that "femininity is itself a sort of sociopathy, whose performance, if you truly nail it, might be the source of ultimate power".
"Best of" listsEdit
In November 2018, Killing Eve was chosen as Time magazine's #1 Best Show of 2018, the magazine's Judy Berman writing that "the characters were multidimensional but incomplete, their mutual obsession fueled by the sense that each woman had something crucial the other lacked". It was number three on The New York Post's Decider.com "Best TV Shows of 2018" list, being praised for "brilliant writing" and "nuanced performances". It was also #2 on the "25 Best TV Shows of 2018" list from Paste magazine, which labeled it as "the best new series of the year".
In December 2018, The Guardian named Killing Eve the best TV show of 2018, describing it as a "high-wire act of misdirection that subverted stale genre expectations" and saying that it "mix[es] genres – spy thriller, comedy, action film, workplace drama and... farce – without it collapsing into a tonal mess". The New York Times included Killing Eve in its "Best TV Shows of 2018" list, stating that the series was "infused ... with the brio of a dark comedy, though its hour length marked it as crime drama". The New York Times also included Oh's and Comer's performances in its list of "Best Performances of 2018", noting "these two women are inventive about how to be funny in a thriller" and "make run-of-the mill embarrassment seem more lethal than any bullet". NPR included the show on its list of "Favorite TV Shows of 2018", saying that it may be "the strangest—and most compelling—story of how opposites attract on TV this year". The Washington Post listed Killing Eve as the #3 best show, calling the "sleeper hit... splendidly paced". USA Today listed the show as #5 on its "Best TV Shows of 2018" list, remarking that it "completely surprises you, from its writing to its performances to its direction to the names on the poster". New York magazine's pop culture website Vulture included the series as number seven on Jen Chaney's "10 Best TV Shows of 2018" list, remarking on its immediate and escalating "sense of propulsive daring" and its infusion of "feminine energy". TV Guide named Oh's and Comer's performances as the second best TV performance of 2018, and said that the show "ended up on pretty much everyone's Best of 2018 lists". Vanity Fair listed the show as #2 on its "Best TV Shows of 2018" list, saying that "watching Killing Eve is like spraying a disinfectant for the musty tropes of prestige drama directly onto your brain" and inviting viewers to "come for the black comedy; stay for the fashion". Rolling Stone named the show as the #4 best TV show of 2018, describing it as "exciting and scary while making room for the quippy dialogue and smart observations about how women interact". IndieWire listed Killing Eve as the #4 best new TV show of 2018, saying that "exploring identity and dark desires, the series never met an impulse it didn't pursue to its extreme", and that "outrageous and often off-kilter dark humor only highlights the show's transgressive charms". Livingly Media listed the series as the third best TV show of 2018, saying it is "loaded with quippy dialogue and razor-sharp observations about how women interact in increasingly destructive environments". Mashable rated the show number four on its "Best New TV Shows of 2018" list, praising the two lead actors and commenting that the show was "exactly the weird, psychosexual romp (that) 2018 needed".
The first season had unbroken weekly ratings growth among adults aged 25–54 and 18–49, which no other television show had accomplished in more than a decade. The final episode's 1.25 million viewers (Nielsen live+3) was 86 percent greater than for the premiere. The second season was simulcast on both AMC and BBC America, with its premiere drawing a combined total of 1.17 million viewers.
|1||"Nice Face"||April 8, 2018||0.10||0.423||0.348||0.771|
|2||"I'll Deal With Him Later"||April 15, 2018||0.07||0.371||0.397||0.769|
|3||"Don't I Know You?"||April 22, 2018||0.08||0.388||N/A||N/A|
|4||"Sorry Baby"||April 29, 2018||0.11||0.503||0.475||0.978|
|5||"I Have a Thing About Bathrooms"||May 6, 2018||0.13||0.518||N/A||N/A|
|6||"Take Me to the Hole!"||May 13, 2018||0.14||0.537||0.536||1.073|
|7||"I Don't Want to Be Free"||May 20, 2018||0.11||0.485||N/A||N/A|
|8||"God, I'm Tired"||May 27, 2018||0.13||0.701||0.633||1.335|
|1||"Do You Know How to Dispose of a Body?"||April 7, 2019||0.10||0.403||0.386||0.790|
|2||"Nice and Neat"||April 14, 2019||0.07||0.321||0.445||0.766|
|3||"The Hungry Caterpillar"||April 21, 2019||0.04||0.361||N/A||N/A|
|4||"Desperate Times"||April 28, 2019||0.12||0.459||0.441||0.900|
|5||"Smell Ya Later"||May 5, 2019||0.13||0.454||0.459||0.914|
|6||"I Hope You Like Missionary!"||May 12, 2019||0.07||0.402||TBD||TBD|
|7||"Wide Awake"||May 19, 2019||0.09||0.419||TBD||TBD|
|2018||Gold Derby Awards||Best Drama Series||Killing Eve||Nominated|||
|Best Dramatic Actress||Jodie Comer||Nominated|
|Gotham Awards||Breakthrough Series – Long Form||Killing Eve||Won|||
|People's Choice Awards||The Bingeworthy Show of 2018||Killing Eve||Nominated|||
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Sandra Oh (for "I Have a Thing About Bathrooms")||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series||Phoebe Waller-Bridge (for "Nice Face")||Nominated|
|Television Critics Association Awards||Individual Achievement in Drama||Jodie Comer||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Achievement in Drama||Killing Eve||Nominated|
|Outstanding New Program||Killing Eve||Won|
|Program of the Year||Killing Eve||Nominated|
|2019||British Academy Television Awards||Best Drama Series||Killing Eve||Won|||
|Best Leading Actress||Jodie Comer||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Kim Bodnia||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Fiona Shaw||Won|
|Must-See TV Moment||Eve stabs Villanelle||Nominated|
|British Academy Television Craft Awards||Best Writing||Phoebe Waller-Bridge||Nominated|||
|Costume Design||Phoebe De Gaye||Nominated|
|Director: Fiction||Harry Bradbeer (episode 1)||Nominated|
|Editing: Fiction||Garry Dollner (episode 1)||Nominated|
|Original Music||David Holmes, Keefus Ciancia||Won|
|Photography and Lighting: Fiction||Julian Court (episode 7)||Nominated|
|Production Design||Kristian Milsted||Nominated|
|Sound: Fiction||Sound Team||Won|
|Titles and Graphic Identity||Matt Willey||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Actress in a Drama Series||Jodie Comer||Nominated|||
|Best Drama Series||Killing Eve||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Sandra Oh||Won|||
|Best Television Series – Drama||Killing Eve||Nominated|
|Gracie Awards||Actress in a Leading Role – Drama||Sandra Oh||Won|||
|National Television Awards||Best New Drama Series||Killing Eve||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Drama Performance||Jodie Comer||Nominated|
|Peabody Award||Entertainment||Killing Eve||Won|||
|Satellite Awards||Best Actress in a Drama / Genre Series||Sandra Oh||Nominated|||
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Sandra Oh||Won|||
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