Two Weeks To Live review: Fleabag's Sian Clifford steals show in Maisie Williams black comedy
Sian Clifford is her Fleabag character Claire gone rogue as a posh survivalist, Tina - while Games of Thrones' Maisie Williams plays her adventurous daughter Kim.
I think I was sold on Two Weeks To Live the first time I saw the trailer. Although the series is ostensibly about Kim, played by Maisie Williams (of Arya Stark in Game of Thrones fame), Fleabag star Sian Clifford steals every frame as Kim’s crossbow-wielding, no-nonsense mum, Tina.
In episode one (each episode is a neat half-hour), there wasn’t much of Tina - but I wasn’t disappointed with what there was, as we watched her calmly abandon her tranquil watercolour painting to shoot a deer, before dragging it home to her rickety house in the remote Scottish countryside.
“Kim? It’s your turn to disembowel dinner when you’ve got a sec,” she shouts, as though she were asking her daughter to lay the table.
However, Kim (Williams) isn’t at home - she’s escaped, driving the Jeep off to the North of England, where she’s making a pilgrimage for her late father.
It soon becomes clear that Kim is ‘ill-equipped’ for the real world: she has no idea about money, or - shock horror - make-up and heels. And she’s only seen four films in her life, one of which was Home Alone 2; not even the original. In a show about murder and mobsters, this is surely the most heinous crime.
It also seems like Kim's mum Tina may have bent the truth a little about the world's imminent ending (although, post-pandemic, some of those jokes might not land in quite the same way). Kim is armed with a packet of ‘pollution pills’ that look suspiciously like TicTacs, and she quotes the lyrics to ‘I Will Survive’ in full faith that they’re in fact an original poem written by Tina.
However, Kim is also armed with a unique skill set that makes her the perfect young assassin - perhaps the show is Sky’s comedic answer to the more serious teen-assassin series, Hanna (Amazon Prime Video).
In Two Weeks To Live, Kim rocks up at a pub armed with a wooden box (apparently full of her dad’s ashes), and meets the socially-inept Nicky and his brother Jay.
Kim reveals that she has a 'list' of everything she wants to do while out in the 'real world' - although we don't learn until later that that list bears more than a few similarities to another fictional list: Arya Stark's kill-list in Game of Thrones.
Jay is determined to get his nerdy brother and misfit Kim together - even if it takes a rather ill-judged prank.
But when Jay tricks Kim into thinking that there are only two more weeks left for the human population, she sets out to fulfil her most important mission of all: avenging her father’s murder.
Despite Kim's antics, it's Clifford who's the real standout though – her turn here is like watching the Fleabag star's character Claire, an uptight, upper-middle-class businesswoman, finally snap and go rogue - while still keeping a firm grip on her consonants.
“How many times have I told you? Gloves and a gun if you want to have fun,” she says. Tina’s whole air just smacks of those Enid Blyton school ma’ams - albeit one armed with knives and pistols instead of spare thermometers.
The first episode of Two Weeks To Live will air on Sky One on Wednesday 2nd September 2020. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.