TV Review: Killing Eve Series 1

With its fourth and final season fast approaching, I return to Series 1 of Killing Eve for a rewatch

“Your killer is a small-breasted psycho apparently”

Based on the Villanelle novel series by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve hits TV screens in 2018 to a rightfully considerable amount of fanfare, showrunner and head writer Phoebe Waller Bridge riding her Fleabag high to further acclaim. And looking back at this first season, it’s not hard to see why.

As it depicts an almighty game of cat-and-mouse between formidable international assassin Villanelle and British intelligence agent Eve Polastri, it shatters preconceptions about spy dramas with its punkish energy, feminist bona fides and a distinctive slightly off-kilter tone which makes it feel oh so fresh.

It is helped immensely by some pitch-perfect casting. Sandra Oh gets the role of her lifetime (sorry Grey’s fans…) as Eve, a highly committed investigator taken aback at how deeply she is sinking into this case. And Jodie Comer likewise shines as the master of 1,000 accents and in showing the psychopathic glee of Villanelle’s own surprise at her growing connection with Eve.

Shifting all around Europe, the show is a treat for the eyes too, as the MI6 team (Fiona Shaw having the time of her life, poor David Haig and cutie Sean Delaney) chase murders, moles and the shadowy presence of The Twelve. Kim Bodnia as Villanelle’s handler Konstantin and Owen McDonnell as Eve’s long-suffering husband Niko offer sterling support throughout but the real joy is in how far Villanelle and Eve push each other towards a shocking finale.

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