The casting of Sian Clifford of Fleabag and Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as a mother and daughter gives this series the whiff of a franchise clash. While Clifford’s ballsy role works to banish memories of Fleabag’s uptight sister Claire, Williams imports a suitably goofy unworldliness direct from the fantasy epic.
After witnessing, aged six, the murder of her father, Kim and her paranoiac mother Tina fled to remotest Scotland to live under brutal survivalist principles. Finally escaping from her mother’s clutches at 21 (going on 12), Kim embarks on a mission to track down the killer. With no understanding of money, femininity or basic social interaction, she’s as adrift in the modern world as if she’d stumbled through a portal straight from Westeros.
This zippy little comedy-thriller feels unbalanced rather than enhanced by its top-flight leads. Fitting more snugly into the scenario are the quarrelling brothers, Nicky and Jay, that Kim swiftly stumbles upon and co-opts. Mopey Nicky is challenged by the overbearing Jay (“You’re my little brother”) to chat up the next female who walks into the bar. This turns out to be Kim, wobbling on stilettos and knocking over punters’ drinks, clearly the last person Nicky should tangle with, but a dare is a dare after all.
Despite his misgivings, Nicky (Mawaan Rizwan) is timidly beguiled by this strange innocent clutching a notebook entitled “Things to do in the real world”. However when Jay, a bit thick and more than a little annoying (Taheen Modak in a skilful comic performance), plays a childish joke on her, the brothers are quickly in over their heads. Kim might struggle with a spike heel, but she’s very familiar with guns, and the resulting misunderstanding — the clue’s in the title — means that she needs to get on with her revenge plot pronto.
Kim might only have seen four movies in her entire life, but she has an instinctive understanding that you don’t just rub out your enemy, you indulge in a few moments’ light banter first. She also knows that while fighting you must utilise every inch of space in the villain’s lair, with special attention to marble floors, glass balconies, ornate staircases, fragile screens and swimming pools.
Sean Pertwee as Jimmy Davies the cockney killer is a particular delight, browsing an arsenal and selecting the most modest weapon with the fateful words: “She’s only little.” Williams gets to show off her high-kicking martial arts moves along with the pouting crossness of a girl whose fiercest words of disapprobation are “How rude!” As a halfway house between GoT and the real world, Two Weeks to Live works just fine.
On Sky One from September 2 at 10pm
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