Killing Eve

Jodie Comer: The woman behind TV's most ruthless villain

With a wardrobe to die for and a closet of weapons that would impress an international arms dealer, Comer’s refreshing portrayal of the free-spirited assassin threw all of television’s gendered troupes out the window. Cold, ruthless and carefree, Villanelle is not your typical female character in a spy drama.

“This role should be stereotypically one-dimensional and probably played by a man, but Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] has completely turned all those stereotypes on their head,” says Comer.

Lydia Noakes’s TV Diary

Lydia Noakes (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

My week starts the way it has done most Mondays for the past three years – sitting in a university library. There’s one big difference. At this time of year, there is a veil of calm. The underlying current of stress has dissipated. It’s a big change from the tensions of exam season a month ago.

Chairs stand unoccupied and academic books are tossed aside. I am finally on my last chapter. This one is entitled “The real world of television”.

Top 10 best female villains on TV

Villanelle (Jodie Comer) Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) (Credit: BBC/HBO/Netflix)

To celebrate the return of Killing Eve's Villanelle, one of the best Machiavellian figures on TV right now, we have compiled a list of some of the best female TV villains to hit our screens.

These anti-heroes have the confidence to pursue their goals no matter what the cost. Their ruthlessness and dedication is often what makes them so captivating to watch.

These are the women you don’t want to get on the wrong side of.

Killing Eve release air date for series two

Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) and  Villanelle (Jodie Comer) (Credit: BBC/BBC America/Sid Gentle Films)

RTS award-winner Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh return to lead the series as assassin on the run, Villanelle (Comer), and MI5 officer in pursuit, Eve Polastri (Oh).

“Eve’s journey in season two takes her to a psychologically dark place,” said Oh.

“Her personality starts to change because she foregoes a lot of her friendships to solve a new mystery and ultimately succeed in her job.”

How Sally Wainwright brought her heroine to life in Gentleman Jack

Suranne Jones as Anne Lister and Sally Wainwright (Credit: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

Some 20 years in the making, Sally’s Wainwright’s new television drama, Gentleman Jack, was originally rejected by every broadcaster she took it to. The story of an openly gay woman who farmed in 19th-century rural Yorkshire was considered a non-starter by TV networks. Starting this month, the topic is getting eight hours of BBC One Sunday-night primetime.

It’s common for writers to describe their latest work as a “passion project” – often industry-accepted shorthand for what they hope is infectious enthusiasm for their new offering.

BBC renews Killing Eve for a third series

The announcement comes just days after the US premiere of series two, which aired on BBC America and AMC on Sunday 7th April.

Killing Eve, which follows MI5 agent Eve (Sandra Oh ) on the hunt for assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), was a break out hit in 2018, with BBC iPlayer receiving over 46 million requests for series one of the drama so far.

Launch date announced for second series of Fleabag

Fleabag's Godmother/Stepmother(Olivia Colman) (Credit: BBC)

The new series picks up with protagonist Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) trying to made amends with her dysfunctional family by attending an uncomfortable dinner to celebrate her Dad’s (Bill Paterson) engagement to her villainous Godmother (Olivia Coleman).

The evening takes a dramatic turn when old tensions rise to the surface after an unexpected attack.

Joined by familiar faces, Fleabag shares the awkwardness with successful sister Claire (Sian Clifford) and alcoholic brother-in-law Martin (Brett Gelman).

Watch the trailer for Killing Eve series two

Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh (Credit: BBC)

Based on novellas by Luke Jennings, the first series followed MI5 officer Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) as she pursued international assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) across Europe.

The new trailer shows Polastri on the hunt for Villanelle once again, after the psychopathic killer goes on the run from hospital.

The first series was adapted by RTS award-winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who acts as an executive producer on series two with writer-actor Emerald Fennel taking over as lead writer.