Killing Eve

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Killing Eve
Based onCodename Villanelle novella series
by Luke Jennings
Developed byPhoebe Waller-Bridge
Country of originUnited States
United Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Sally Woodward Gentle
  • Lee Morris
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time42 minutes
Production company(s)Sid Gentle Films Ltd Endeavour Content
Original networkBBC America
Original releaseApril 8, 2018 (2018-04-08) – present (present)
External links

Killing Eve is a British-made drama television series produced by Sid Gentle Films for BBC America. It is based on Luke Jennings's Codename Villanelle novella series, and developed for television by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The first season of eight episodes was ordered on 15 November 2016, and premiered on 8 April 2018. Shortly before its premiere, BBC America renewed Killing Eve for a second season.


Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), a desk-bound MI5 officer, begins to track down talented psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), while both women become obsessed with each other.[1]

Cast and characters[edit]


Sally Woodward Gentle, of Sid Gentle Films, optioned Luke Jennings's Codename Villanelle, which began as a four-part novella series published from 2014–2016. Phoebe Waller-Bridge, after the success of Fleabag on stage, was recruited to write the show, which was then commissioned by BBC America in November 2016.[10] Sandra Oh was the first to be cast in June 2017.[11] IMG boarded for distribution rights later the same month.[12] Jodie Comer was announced as main character Villanelle about a month later.[13] Kirby Howell-Baptiste was cast as Elena in August 2017.[7] Production also commenced in August 2017, with filming on locations including Paris, Tuscany, Berlin, Romania,[14] Cheshunt, Turville, London[15] and West London Film Studios. The building used as Eve's base of operations is in Warwick House Street, just off Trafalgar Square.[citation needed] Filming also took place at Nell’s Café, a popular roadside café off the A2 near Gravesend in Kent, as well as the M2 motorway nearby.[16]

Shortly before its premiere, Killing Eve was renewed for a second season.[17][18] Filming for the second season started on July 16, 2018.[19] It is set to premiere in Spring 2019.[20]


No.Title [21]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [21]U.S. viewers
1"Nice Face"Harry BradbeerPhoebe Waller-BridgeApril 8, 2018 (2018-04-08)[12][22]0.423[23]
Psychopathic Villanelle—a young, beautiful, 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 on her own time. Though 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. 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"I'll Deal With Him Later"Harry BradbeerPhoebe Waller-BridgeApril 15, 2018 (2018-04-15)0.371[24]
Following her assignment in Budapest, Villanelle's handler Konstantin is concerned about her increasing recklessness on the job. He also 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 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"Don't I Know You?"Jon EastVicky JonesApril 22, 2018 (2018-04-22)0.388[25]
Villanelle lures Eve to Berlin by using Eve's name while committing another murder, and trails Eve as she investigates it. Eve's associate Bill Pargrave spots Villanelle and follows her to a nightclub. Before Eve can get to him, Villanelle stabs Bill repeatedly, killing him.
4"Sorry Baby"Jon EastGeorge KayApril 29, 2018 (2018-04-29)0.503[26]
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"I Have a Thing About Bathrooms"Jon EastPhoebe Waller-BridgeMay 6, 2018 (2018-05-06)0.518[29]

Eve and Carolyn get Frank to a safe house, and he tells them that he is being paid by a shadow organization "The Twelve", who use Villanelle for purposeful destabilization. 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 by anyone.

The New York Times named Episode 5 the #4 best TV Episode of 2018,[27] and Time magazine named it #8 best TV episode of 2018.[28]
6"Take Me to the Hole!"Damon ThomasGeorge KayMay 13, 2018 (2018-05-13)0.537[30]
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's killed by Villanelle, whom Konstantin had transferred into the prison for that purpose.
7"I Don't Want to Be Free"Damon ThomasRob WilliamsMay 20, 2018 (2018-05-20)0.485[31]
Eve investigates Anna, Villanelle's former teacher with whom she had a deep relationship before Villanelle 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"God, I'm Tired"Damon ThomasPhoebe Waller-BridgeMay 27, 2018 (2018-05-27)0.701[32]
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 mutual obsession with each other, following which Eve stabs Villanelle and Villanelle flees.

International broadcast[edit]

In the United Kingdom the series was shown on BBC One in September 2018, and also on the stream-only BBC Three.[33] The first episode was broadcast on September 15, 2018[34] and seen by 8.25 million viewers within twenty eight days of the first broadcast.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ2 was the first broadcaster in Europe to premiere the show,[35] and the first episode was broadcast August 27, 2018.[36]


Critical response[edit]

The series received critical acclaim. It has a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 58 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."[37] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 83 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[38]

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".[39] 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".[39] 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".[40] Along the same lines, 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".[41] 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".[42] 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.[43]

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".[39] 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".[44] 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".[45] Paskin added that the "disfigured, beating heart" of the program is "the way that Villanelle's gender and manner, her very femininity, keep our acculturated brains from being appropriately terrified of her".[45]

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".[46] 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".[46] 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".[46]

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".[47]

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".[48]

"Best of" lists[edit]

Review aggregator Metacritic reported in early December, 2018, that individual television critics included Killing Eve in their 2018 year-end Top Ten lists more than any other show. [49]

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".[50] It was #3 on The New York Post's "Best TV Shows of 2018", being praised for "brilliant writing" and "nuanced performances".[51] 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".[52]

In December 2018, The New York Times included Killing Eve in its "Best TV Shows of 2018", stating that the series was "infused ... with the brio of a dark comedy, though its hour length marked it as crime drama".[53] The New York Times also included Oh's and Comer's performances in its "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".[54] USA Today listed the show as #5 on its Best TV Shows of 2018, remarking that it "completely surprises you, from its writing to its performances to its direction to the names on the poster".[55] New York magazine's pop culture website included the series as #7 on Jen Chaney’s 10 Best TV Shows of 2018, remarking on its immediate and escalating "sense of propulsive daring" and its infusion of "feminine energy".[56] TV Guide named Oh's and Comer's performances as the #2 Best TV Performances of 2018, and said that the show "ended up on pretty much everyone's Best of 2018 lists".[57] Vanity Fair listed the show as #2 of its Best TV Shows of 2018, 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".[58] Rolling Stone named the show #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".[59] 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".[60] Livingly Media listed the series as 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".[61] Mashable rated the show #4 on its Best New TV Shows of 2018, praising the two lead actors and commenting that the show was "exactly the weird, psychosexual romp (that) 2018 needed".[62]


The show's first season had unbroken increases of weekly ratings growth among adults aged 25–54 and 18–49, which no other television show had accomplished in more than a decade.[63] The final episode's 1.25 million viewers (Nielsen live+3) was 86 percent greater than for the premiere episode.[63]

No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Nice Face" April 8, 2018 0.10 0.423[23] 0.348 0.771[64]
2 "I'll Deal With Him Later" April 15, 2018 0.07 0.371[24] 0.397 0.769[65]
3 "Don't I Know You?" April 22, 2018 0.08 0.388[25] N/A N/A
4 "Sorry Baby" April 29, 2018 0.11 0.503[26] 0.475 0.978[66]
5 "I Have a Thing About Bathrooms" May 6, 2018 0.13 0.518[29] N/A N/A
6 "Take Me to the Hole!" May 13, 2018 0.14 0.537[30] 0.536 1.073[67]
7 "I Don't Want to Be Free" May 20, 2018 0.11 0.485[31] N/A N/A
8 "God, I'm Tired" May 27, 2018 0.13 0.701[32] 0.633 1.335[68]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Gold Derby Awards Best Drama Series Killing Eve Nominated [69]
Best Dramatic Actress Jodie Comer Nominated
Sandra Oh Nominated
Gotham Awards Breakthrough Series – Long Form Killing Eve Won [70]
People's Choice Awards The Bingeworthy Show of 2018 Killing Eve Nominated [71]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Sandra Oh Nominated [72]
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Phoebe Waller-Bridge (for "Nice Face") Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Individual Achievement in Drama Jodie Comer Nominated [73]
Sandra Oh Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Drama Killing Eve Nominated
Outstanding New Program Killing Eve Won
Program of the Year Killing Eve Nominated
2019 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Series Killing Eve Pending [74]
Best Actress in a Drama Series Jodie Comer Pending
Sandra Oh Pending
Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Drama Killing Eve Pending [75]
Best Actress – Television Series Drama Sandra Oh Pending
Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Sandra Oh Pending [76]
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Drama / Genre Series Sandra Oh Pending [77]


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External links[edit]