Maggie Gyllenhaal has started filming seven-part BBC spy thriller The Honourable Woman in London.

The White House Down star began work this week on the show, which also star Stephen Rea and Janet McTeer.

Oscar nominee Maggie plays the daughter of an arms dealer who enters the House of Lords after years of charity work in the Middle East, only to become caught up in an international conspiracy with the secret service at her heels.

Filming will continue in London for three months.

The series, which will be screened by BBC Two next year, features Janet as the head of MI6, in a production written and directed by Hugo Blick, who created tense conspiracy drama The Shadow Line.

The stellar cast also includes Lindsay Duncan, Andrew Buchan – who has been seen in Garrow’s Law and Broadchurch – and Katherine Parkinson, who featured in The IT Crowd.

Eve Best – who, like Stephen, appeared in The Shadow Line – stars as a key MI6 agent in the Washington Bureau who is at loggerheads with her UK counterparts.

The series will also be screened in the US by the Sundance Channel, which is co-producing the drama.