Ben Whishaw joins Keira Knightley in new Netflix spy thriller: ‘Extraordinary casting’

Ben Whishaw (left) and Kiera Knightley (Right)

This Is Going To Hurt star Ben Whishaw is set to join Keira Knightley and Sarah Lancashire in brand new British spy thriller series Black Doves on Netflix.

Pride & Prejudice star Kiera Knightley will lead the cast, playing a secret professional spy, mother, and politician’s wife named Helen Webb.

Unbeknownst to her husband, she’s been passing on his political secrets to the spy organisation she works for, the Black Doves, all the while having an affair with a man named Jason – who also has no idea that she’s a spy.

Helen’s world is upended when Jason is assassinated, and she has to rely on her close friend, the elegant and charming Sam Young (played by BAFTA winner Ben Whishaw, also known for Passages and Paddington) to protect her.

Ben Whishaw
Ben Whishaw. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Yet Sam is dealing with his own troubles. His last spy mission went disastrously wrong, and he’s been cast out of the profession since – but he’s now teaming up with Helen to find out who killed Jason and why.

Sarah Lanchashire, best known for her award-winning role as Sargeant Catherine Cawood on BBC drama Happy Valley, will play Helen’s spymaster, Reed.

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According to the official synopsis, Helen, Sam and Reed will “set off on a mission that will lead them to uncover a vast, interconnected conspiracy that links the murky underworld of London to a looming geopolitical crisis, and leads them to question the cost of the moral choices they’ve made”.

Black Doves is written by The Lazarus Project creator Joe Barton, who started writing the series last Christmas while “fuelled by turkey sandwiches and discarded bottles of cream liquor”.

As such, the series is set at Christmastime in London.

The spy series also stars It’s A Sin and A Little Life actor Omari Douglas, Carnival Row’s Andrew Buchan, Warrior star Andrew Koji, and Chernobyl’s Sam Troughton, in as-yet untitled roles.

While the series only began filming in London last week, avid TV viewers are already hyped up, thanks to the “extraordinary casting” alone.

“As a big Keira Knightley and Ben Whishaw fan and a new Sarah Lancashire fan (I just binged Happy Valley), this will probably be THE show of 2024 for me,” wrote one excited fan on social media.

“Sometimes a cast announcement just works. Sarah Lancashire is a powerhouse and it’s about time people who don’t watch BBC dramas are introduced to that,” a second shared.

A third declared it “an utterly delicious cast announcement,” while a fourth summarised: “Ben Whishaw and Andrew Koji in the same series?? My horny ass will be seated.”

Black Doves is expected to be released on Netflix in 2024.

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