In the shocking new TV series from the makers of Killing Eve, Thalissa Teixeira plays a detective investigating a nauseating murder – while waking up to racism within the force. It was harrowing work, says the rising star

Thalissa Teixeira does not cope well with extreme gore, which made starring in the year’s most gruesome police drama something of an ordeal. Ragdoll revolves around a nauseating crime scene: a figure sewn together from the body parts of different victims, suspended from the ceiling of a London flat. When she was introduced to the eponymous monstrosity on set, Teixeira recalls: “It properly spun me out.” Thankfully, the cast and crew were on hand to “pick my limbs up off the floor and stitch me back together”.

Ragdoll – which is written by Freddy Syborn, best known for his comedy work with Jack Whitehall, and loosely based on the novel by Daniel Cole – is in its own way a similarly outlandish patchwork creation. Teixeira plays DI Emily Baxter, tasked with solving the case, alongside her already-traumatised colleague DS Nathan Rose (The Inbetweeners’ Henry Lloyd-Hughes) and newbie DC Lake Edmunds (Lucy Hale, of Pretty Little Liars fame). Blending the knotty plotlines of Line of Duty with a barrage of surreally bizarre deaths, the show, which launches tonight on Alibi, is a serious meditation on the institutional failings of the police with a very high gag rate, the joke kind and the other kind. This fusion of tones reminds Teixeira of Killing Eve (they share a production company) and she says the show’s creators took inspiration from South Korean films, such as Memories of Murder and Oldboy, that weave humour into their horror.

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