BBC One’s new British police procedural miniseries Vigil by Tom Edge under World Productions was released on August 2021 and has become BBC’s most-watched series of the year, with episode 1 having 10.2 million views and counting. The thriller series has received a massive amount of love and appreciation from its audience and received lauding from critics.
Vigil is World Production’s newest addition to the thriller group, Line of Duty and Bodyguard being its successful forerunners. The show was shot and is set in Scotland, revolving around some nail-biting incidents taking place at HMS Vigil, a fictional nuclear submarine of the Royal Navy.
The show premiered on August 29, 2021, and the following episode was aired on August 30, 2021; the remaining episodes were scheduled to air every Sunday. The final and sixth episodes will be available to the audience on September 26, 2021.
Amy Silva, Detective Chief Inspector of here fictionalized Scottish Police Service, was posted at HMS Vigil to investigate the death of Chief Petty Officer Craig Burke, who was a crew member at HMS Vigil who met with his tragic fate after reporting his concerns relating to unusual sonar readings during surveillance.
Silva and her colleagues’ investigation becomes a conflict point between the Royal Navy and British Security Service, Military Intelligence, Section 5, also known as MI5. The series continues to build the suspense element successfully with each passing episode. It is anticipated that the final episode will give us some answers regarding the suspicious death of Burke, which is likely to be a murder. The show also indicated the presence of an infiltrator from enemy troops which could also be the reason behind the alleged death.
Suranne Jones plays the role of Amy Silva, the Detective Chief Inspector of the Scottish Police Service. Rose Leslie was cast as Detective Sergeant Kristen Longacre, also of Scottish Police Service, and Martin Compston as Officer Craig Burke. Chief Petty Officer Elliot Glover’s character was portrayed on-screen by Shaun Evans. Paterson Joseph played the Captain of HMS Vigil, Commander Mark Prentice.
In other recurring characters, we have Adam James as Lieutenant Commander Mark Prentice of HMS Vigil. In the role of Jade Antoniak, a peace activist, we have Lauren Lyle. Lolita Chakrabarti was cast as Erin Branning Lieutenant Commander and a few more.
“Solid, old-fashioned entertainment” are the words used by The Guardian to describe the series. After the first episode, the series received four out of five stars from The Independent, lauding the cast and plot. The FinancialTimes also followed suit, after adding a quirky comment of “The submarine setting has the welcome effect of pressure-cooking some fairly standard ingredients into a tasty concoction.”
In another four-starred review from London’s Evening, Standard added, “Scenes set in the depths of the sub are visually striking, lit up in reds and blues. Add in some jump scares, a handful of near-catastrophes, and a couple of cliff-hangers, and you have all the makings of a taut mystery with intriguingly murky depths. Sunday nights are stressful again – I wouldn’t have it any other way.” This huge positive critical review added a cherry on the cake for the series.