Eve always dreamed of working as a spy but instead, she was desk-bound, assigning protection to foreign people of interest during their trips to London. Struggling to find meaning in her work, her ennui began to get the better of Eve. She didn’t have a drug dependence problem or an unhappy domestic situation – Niko was the perfect husband. So why couldn’t she shake a creeping sense of dissatisfaction?
Then Eve’s fantasy crossed her path: Villanelle. Here was an assassin with flare, charisma and danger. Appointed head of a secret MI6 unit by Carolyn Martins, Eve could now exercise not only her gifts, but also her obsessions. As Eve investigated the string of assassinations across Europe, her fascination with Villanelle grew. Soon it was no longer just a job. It was personal. So personal she gets blood on her hands: she stabs Villanelle. Eve is far from the desk job now, but what has she sacrificed? And how does her ego react to being caught in the seemingly irresistible gaze of Villanelle.
Villanelle had nothing before she was trained to become a purpose-built killer. Her instruction was to, without enquiry, assassinate individuals around the world, and it brought her the lifestyle she loves.
Villanelle outwardly appears charismatic and charming, funny, polite and engaging, yet she has a look in her eye that seems to go on forever...something dark that we can’t put our finger on. It’s impossible to know what she is thinking or feeling...because something is missing.
She has an impulsive side that lets her down. Her ego requires her to feel invincible and essential, and then there’s a certain kind of woman… early 40s, dark full-bodied hair, no make up, ill-fitting clothes: Eve. In Season 1, Villanelle lets Eve get far too close. Close enough that Eve stabs her. Villanelle had become so reckless that her precariously curated existence started to unravel.
Villanelle may be a masterful assassin with her own inimitable style but now she’s injured by her obsession, Eve. Villanelle is alone, bleeding out and hunted.
Eve’s husband Niko is strong, moral and appreciates the simple things in life. He was born in England to Polish immigrant parents and grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. He has an aversion to violence, and can’t understand Eve’s fascination with darkness and criminality. He’s smart, wildly compassionate and though he perhaps can’t admit it to himself, prefers his wife in a boring desk job than in close proximity to danger.
In Season 1 Niko and Eve moved from a practical, loving and close couple to two people heading for separation. Eve stops communicating and worse, she starts lying. Once the reliable, sympathetic husband, now Niko starts rethinking their relationship. And he wonders if Eve is the person he thought she was.
Konstantin is not afraid of anything or anyone. He has seen more broken bones and shattered spirits in his life than anyone would dare to imagine. He recruits and runs assassins, but none more complex and demanding than Villanelle. He understands that her ego is a beast, and he is constantly walking the tightrope of being able to manage it. He doesn’t always know who she is going to kill, he just tells her she has to.
Bill is weary. His independently-wealthy wife Keiko and their newborn have run him into the ground. He never sleeps and he sees work as a haven from home. He doesn’t want trouble or excitement or controversy at work – he just wants life to be quiet. He ducked out of being the maverick field agent years ago. But it flickers…
A working class girl who studied computer studies at Sheffield, Elena could easily be mistaken for a career office worker for MI5, but in truth, she is strategically climbing the ladder until she can move sideways and become a spy. She knows she’d be brilliant at it and is moved by Eve’s faith in her. She hasn’t had many champions in her life.
Charismatic, erudite, fiercely well read, and irreverent, Carolyn is a principled yet ruthless leader in her field. As a young agent on the ground in Moscow in the 80s she cultivated one of MI6’s most valuable assets and has since saved the world at least three times. In Season 1 Carolyn set up a secret unit and put Eve in charge of it. She needed a group that could be invisible and work without the restraints of typical MI6 protocol – but is Carolyn more entwined with the Russians than she lets on. Whose side is she really on? And is Eve fooling herself that she’s the only one Carolyn has ever singled out for special treatment?
Kenny is a bonafide computer whizz, gamer, naïve, smelly, bit repellent and low on social skills but brilliant at what he does. He’d be at the top of his game if it weren’t for his impossible eccentricities. Desperate for the attention of the opposite sex but existing mainly online, he rarely gets a chance to socialise. The thought of actually dating a real woman is terrifying, better to keep his head down, survive on peanut butter and crisps and live with his mum despite their differences.
In Season 1 Kenny observes first hand his mother’s shady operations, and he watches his boss and colleague, Eve, head into dangerous territory.
An experienced Intelligence Officer, Jess is unbelievably clever and hilarious. Having studied Arabic at SOAS, she was basically asking to be recruited. A calm, experienced presence in MI6, she has absolutely no time for the posh, white men who have failed upwards within the organization and makes it known. The reason she hasn’t been highly promoted is because she refuses to suck up or play the game.
No one has ever said “no” to Hugo in his entire life. This is a man-boy so used to getting what he wants that people automatically just give it to him. Hugo wafted through Eton and Oxford, and was absolutely delighted to get the tap on the shoulder (from an old friend of Daddy’s). He’s not remotely surprised or grateful that, in his twenties, he is in a major Counter-Terrorism department in MI6. He’s totally disrespectful to his elders and betters entitlement personified, but unfortunately, he is also completely irresistible. Kenny absolutely hates him.
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