When Fleabag__ made its low-key__ debut on BBC Three back in 2016, it confirmed Phoebe Waller-Bridge to be one of the most exciting new voices in television. Finally, we had a female protagonist who was truly messy - not the Bridget Jones, actually has a lovely house in Borough and is engaged to Colin Firth but likes her Chardonnay sort of messiness, but a genuinely three-dimensional, fourth-wall-breaking, woman on the verge. But how do you follow up a BAFTA-winning, Emmy nominated series? For Waller-Bridge, the answer has been multifarious, to say the least. There's a second season of Fleabag, slated for 2019, but before that there's a turn as a droid in the next Star Wars spin-off Solo and, perhaps most excitingly, Killing Eve, a new eight-part drama set to arrive on the BBC later this year.
Marrying the pitch-black humour of Fleabag with the pacy, high-octane thrills of a spy drama, Killing Eve sees Waller-Bridge stepping behind the camera to take on showrunner duties, directing and producing an adaptation of the Villanelle novels by Luke Jennings. Sandra Oh (who you'll either recognise from Grey's Anatomy, or fondly recall as President Gupta, the sycophantic headteacher in The Princess Diaries) plays Eve, an M15 analyst who is bored of the distinctly unglamorous realities of her job - until she is tasked with bringing down Villanelle, a vicious - but distinctly glamorous - Russian assassin played by Jodie Comer (best known for her role in Doctor Foster). Mutual obsession locks the pair together and, as the BBC puts it, 'the two women are thrown into a cat-and-mouse game that turns the traditional thriller on its head,' which can hardly be a bad thing, given how blokey (and often downright misogynistic) that genre can be. And for a final bravura swirl, a second season was commissioned before the first had even aired.
Though Killing Eve was set and filmed in London, US viewers have been the first to catch it, thanks to a premiere on BBC America. A UK date is yet to be revealed, but we do know it's coming later this year - and that the first of eight 45 minute episodes will premiere on BBC One, with the full series dropping on iPlayer as part of BBC Three at the same time. Until then, you'll find us re-watching Fleabag on infinite loop...
Killing Eve: watch the trailer...
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The prospect of a gender-flipped re-boot doesn't always fill us with anticipation, but that's not the case with Ocean's 8, which has managed to cast - deep breath - Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, rapper and comedian Awkwafina and Rihanna as a gang of con artists orchestrating a jewel heist at the Met Gala (Anne Hathaway plays their target). Given the star power involved, here's hoping they pull it off…Summer