Sarah Lancashire, best known for her role as Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley, has officially joined Keira Knightley in new Netflix spy series Black Doves.


The series, which comes from The Lazarus Project creator Joe Barton, stars Knightley as Helen Webb, a quick-witted, down-to-earth, dedicated wife and mother, who is also a professional spy.

Set during the Christmas period in London, the show follows Helen, who for years has been passing her politician husband’s secrets to the shadowy organisation she works for, the Black Doves.

However, when her secret lover Jason is assassinated, her spymaster Reed (Lancashire) calls in Helen’s old friend Sam Young to keep her safe.

Sam is played by Ben Whishaw (This Is Going to Hurt), and is described as a suave, Champagne-drinking assassin, who sets off with Helen on a mission that will lead them to uncover a vast, interconnected conspiracy, linking the murky underworld of London to a looming geopolitical crisis.

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Ben Whishaw wearing a light blue shirt
Ben Whishaw. Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images

Barton said: "I started writing the scripts for this show over last year’s Christmas holidays, fuelled by turkey sandwiches and discarded bottles of cream liquor.

"To be now going into production with a cast and crew full of people whose work I admire so much is unbelievably exciting, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to get to see this show come to life."

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The six part series is currently filming in London, and also stars Andrew Buchan (Better), Andrew Koji (Warrior), Kathryn Hunter (Andor), Sam Troughton (Litvinenko), Ella Lily Hyland (Fifteen Love), Adam Silver (The Diplomat), Ken Nwosu (Look the Other Way and Run) and Gabrielle Creevy (In My Skin).

The release date for the second season of Barton's series The Lazarus Project was announced earlier this week, along with a trailer and synopsis revealing the latest mission for George and the team.

Barton previously told of the new season: "It's so complicated. It's the most complicated thing I've ever had to have to write. I've got f**king whiteboards full of time-travel loops... never again! I'm never doing time travel again!"

Black Doves will stream on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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