"Killing Eve" stars Kim Bodnia as Villanelle’s handler, Konstantin; Jodie Comer as Villanelle, Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri and  Fiona Shaw, as the MI6 boss Carolyn Martens. Picture: BBC America
"Killing Eve" stars Kim Bodnia as Villanelle’s handler, Konstantin; Jodie Comer as Villanelle, Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri and Fiona Shaw, as the MI6 boss Carolyn Martens. Picture: BBC America

'Killing Eve': Wickedly wonderful spy drama

By Buhle Mbonambi Time of article published May 6, 2020

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We were probably flying over East Africa when I woke up with a jolt. 

The toddler in front of my seat had decided she needed attention and screeched at the father. 

The apologetic look I received from whom I assume was the grandmother, made me remember how difficult it was for them to be travelling with a child younger than 3.

We were still a few hours away from Dubai, and I was clearly not going to fall asleep again. So, I perused the in-flight entertainment and came across Killing Eve.

I had heard good things about the show. “You would love it”, was what some of my TV snob friends had told me about it. “It has everything you love - strong women, great locations and amazing fashion.”

That all came flooding back as I pressed “Yes” and went lost in the world of Eve Polastri and the killing machine that is Villanelle.

I was irritated that we had a four-hour layover before we could board the connecting flight to Beijing. I was tired, irritated by the ridiculous price of coffee at the airport and needing one thing - to finish the episodes of "Killing Eve" before we reached our destination.

There are a few shows like "Killing Eve". It’s a drama, a comedy, a suspenseful thriller and also a whodunnit.

It takes you on a journey of international espionage, the interaction between spy agencies and the criminals they sometimes have to keep on their side to help fight the more dangerous criminals.

And it’s all put together, perfectly, by TV and film’s most in-demand creator and writer - Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Adapted from the "Codename Villanelle" book series by British journalist and author Luke Jennings, "Killing Eve" stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in roles that have brought attention to their acting chops.

Sandra stars as Eve Polastri, a bored MI5 security operative, who is stuck on desk duty and is not able to use her razor-sharp mind as best as she wants. 

Until she gets sucked into the world of Villanelle (Jodie), an assassin who is obsessed with fashion.

The first episode opens with Villanelle eating gelato in Vienna. A few hours later, a Russian sex-trafficking politician is murdered. Which is how Eve eventually gets involved in what becomes a cat-and-mouse game all over Europe, when she is given an opportunity to join a secret MI6 unit tracking Villanelle and the organisation she works for.

It should go without saying that there will be blood, gore and even murder on the dance floor. Oh, but it’s all fun to watch. That’s the thrill with Villanelle - she’s an artist.

The writing is excellent. It’s Waller-Bridge at her best and shows just how much she loves writing about the complexities of women.

As different as Eve and Villanelle are, but they are also very similar in how they do their jobs. Oh, and you will appreciate how Villanelle is sweet enough to try to improve Eve’s style; all while still trying to kill her.

The support cast includes Fiona Shaw, as the MI6 boss Carolyn Martens; Kim Bodnia as Villanelle’s handler, Konstantin; and Eve’s husband - Niko, who is portrayed by Owen McDonnell.

This show is perfect as it can possibly be. You will want to watch it all immediately - that’s how good it is.

*"Killing Eve" will premiere on Fox (DSTV 125 and StarSat 131), for the first time in South Africa, on Wednesdays at 8.45pm from May 6.

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