Vigil is a six-part British crime drama television miniseries created by Tom Edge and streaming on Peacock TV. The miniseries is set in Scotland and much of the action takes place on a fictional ballistic missile submarine of the Royal Navy viz. Vigil.
Vigil is without doubt one of the best TV miniseries of 2021. It is a murder mystery wrapped up in politics and international espionage with emotionally resonant sub-plots interwoven with strong, relatable characters. As with most murder mysteries, the story of Vigil begins with a death – but the scenario is unusual – on board HMS Vigil a Royal Navy nuclear submarine!
Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) of the Scottish Police Service (the fictionalised Police Scotland) is sent to investigate said death on board, which takes place shortly after the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler. While Silva is undersea, she is assisted on land by colleague Detective Sergeant Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) and the investigation takes place on two fronts. In doing so, Silva and Longacre face opposition from the Royal Navy.
There is the added dramatic tension created by the relationship between Silva and Longacre as well as the former’s traumatic past which continues to impact her present greatly. The writing on Vigil is top notch and is able to keep the audience guessing at every twist and turn. Nothing is as it seems and characters’ motivations are hard to read but add to the conflict inherent in a murder mystery.
The submarine setting is also perfect for introducing obstacles in Silva’s quest to solve the murder mystery and along the way she picks up allies, whom Silva needs to convince in order to achieve her task – despite her initial proclamation that she is not on the submarine to ‘make friends’.
The writing, direction and performances on Vigil all contributed well to the overall audience engagement in the taut dramatic miniseries. Definitely not to be missed for any lover of first class artistic entertainment.
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