CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night's TV: Blatant blasphemy of villainous Villanelle is criminal

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Killing Eve

Rating:

Emergency

Rating:

Blatant blasphemy of villainous Villanelle is positively criminal, Christopher Stevens says as he reviews Last Night’s TV. 

The spectacular hypocrisy of the Beeb defies belief.

Every night the schedules are crammed with shows falling over themselves to be more diverse, more inclusive and more multicultural.

Classic comedies are censored for a single offensive word or joke out of place. 

History is repainted. The only exception is Christianity . . . which, though it’s still the most widespread religion in the world, is regarded as a safe target.

The fourth and final season of Killing Eve, which launched on BBC iPlayer yesterday, builds to a blasphemy that is as tawdry and crass as it is pointless.

Though this episode aired on Sunday in the U.S. (where cable viewers saw the second instalment, too), it doesn’t screen on BBC1 until Saturday, March 5, at 9.15pm — the Beeb’s streaming platform is the best way to see it for now.

Jodie Comer’s assassin, Villanelle, has been born again. 

Jodie Comer’s assassin, Villanelle, pictured, has been born again in the latest series of Killing Eve

Jodie Comer’s assassin, Villanelle, pictured, has been born again in the latest series of Killing Eve

Villanelle, pictured, right, wants to stop murdering people, in the hope that former spy Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), left, will finally fall in love with her

Villanelle, pictured, right, wants to stop murdering people, in the hope that former spy Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), left, will finally fall in love with her

She wants to stop murdering people, in the hope that former spy Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) will finally fall in love with her.

‘Nelle’ is living with a vicar and his daughter. 

When Eve fails to show up at the Victorian chapel for  Nelle’s b­aptism service, she gets stroppy and harangues Christ on the cross, demanding a sign.   

The sign arrives that night. Jesus turns up in drag on the living-room sofa, eating popcorn, wearing a paper halo and a pair of gold lamé boots with s­tiletto heels.

Comer herself plays Jesus, with a patchy beard — it’s J.C. as J.C.

‘I lead you to salvation,’ she announces in her Russian accent, while Jesus by The Velvet Underground reverberates on the soundtrack, in case we’re not sure who this character is meant to be. 

Christian imagery is sent up all the way through the episode, but until this point it is more playful: in one scene Villanelle appears to have angel wings, in another her former boss Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) suffers a wound from a bullet in the hand rather like Christ in the Crucifixion.

The depiction of Jesus as a drag queen is far more deliberately offensive. 

Ask yourself if the BBC would be stupid enough to insult any other religion so flagrantly and scabrously. 

The answer is obvious.

Moments of dark humour were far better judged in Emergency (C4), an eyewitness film running over the next three nights, which follows the incredible work of trauma medics.

It opened at a car crash with one victim still trapped in avehicle, and continued with helicopter dashes to horrificvaccidents all over London. 

One man was crushed by a pallet of equipment weighing almost half a ton as it slid off the back of a lorry at his depot.

Peter, 58, told doctors: ‘I felt myself concertina.’ 

His pelvis was shattered.

‘It’s like a Polo mint,’ explained a s­urgeon cheerily. 

‘If it breaks in one place, it breaks in another.’

That mordant humour echoes the sarcastic insouciance of the doctors in BBC1’s black comedy This Is Going To Hurt.

But it was 78-year-old Wesley, a former Royal Marine, who was telling the jokes as he lay in a neck brace, awaiting assessment for a spinal injury after a fall at home.

The ex-commando had done nothing more than take a tumble from his sofa. 

He dropped off, literally. But now he was barely able to move his arms or legs.

Chatting to the nurses with a twinkle, he swore that in his prime he could do 700 press-ups and run ten miles — ‘the last mile backwards!’.

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