BBC One’s hit series Vigil left viewers on the edge of their seats during Sunday night’s finale, as lead actress Suranne Jones found herself in a perilous scenario while the identity of Craig Burke’s killer was finally revealed.
Suranne plays DCI Amy Silva in the series – a cop leading an investigation when a Scottish fishing trawler vanishes, while a murder takes place on-board a nuclear submarine elsewhere.
Less than 10 minutes into the first episode, Chief Petty Officer Craig Burke, played by Line of Duty’s Martin Compston was found dead in his bunk on HMS Vigil.
DCI Silva then comes aboard to solve the mystery, which appears to be a heroin overdose, but she soon discovered drugs had been planted on the submarine to cover up a murder instead.
Drama! BBC One’s hit series Vigil left viewers on the edge of their seats during Sunday night’s finale, as lead actress Suranne Jones found herself in a perilous scenario
Initially, DCI Silva thought CPO Burke had died after hitting his head during a fight with Lt Commander Mark Prentice (Adam James).
But she soon realised he’d been poisoned by chef Jackie Hamilton (Anita Vettesse), who was forced to puta nerve agent into his food as part of a deal to get her son of prison.
But in a dark twist of events, Jackie accidentally released the nerve agent, killing herself in the process.
Jackie was put up to it by Russian operatives who wanted Burke dead after discovering he was putting together a dossier on Navy corruption.
He had refused to help Russian intelligence operative Peter ‘Pietr’ Ingles (Sam Redford).
The six-part series follows the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board the submarine HMS Vigil – bringing the police into conflict with the Navy and British security service. Pictured: Martin Compston in the show
‘I was told what Jackie was going to do in exchange for getting her son out.
‘There is a guy at the peace camp – he told Russians to approach Burke however Burke turned them down flat,’ Pietr revealed.
The death meant a replacement sonar operator needed to be flown out, with evil CPO Matthew Doward (Lorne MacFadyen) replacing Burke.
The finale saw Burke continue with his plan to get Vigil to surface, so the Russians could carry out their plans.
Elsewhere in the episode, DCI Silva found herself trapped in a torpedo tube as it filled with water during the tense climax, with it slowly filling up with water. Kicking, screaming and struggling to breathe, Silva was seen slipping in and out of consciousness, blacking out.
Fans of the series were gripped, with many taking to Twitter to comment on the ‘tense’, ‘stressful’ and ‘claustrophobic’ sequence on screen.
‘Never felt as claustrophobic as I do watching #Vigil,’ one posted.
Another penned: ‘I don’t know why I do this to myself and watch #Vigil it gives me the worst anxiety.’
Tense! Suranne plays DCI Amy Silva in the series – a cop leading an investigation when a Scottish fishing trawler vanishes, while a murder takes place on-board a nuclear submarine elsewhere
‘This episode is making me hold my breath & it’s stressing me out! #vigil,’ another tweeted.
Viewers have been gripped by Vigil, with its clever plot twists and unexplained death, all set on a nuclear submarine.
The finale was watched by an average overnight audience of 7.1 million viewers, with a 39.4 per cent share and a peak of 7.3 million viewers, as reports the BBC on Monday.
The programme’s production designer Tom Sayer had his work cut out creating an authentic set for the drama.
Basic components of the set – based at the BBC’s Dumbarton studios in Scotland – were created using marine-grade MDF or plywood.
Behind-the-scenes: With very little information to go off due to the Royal Navy’s strict security protocols, the programme’s production designer Tom Sayer had his work cut out creating an authentic set for the drama
Process: Mr Sayer had begun by studying the design of former submariners to learn about their inner workings. His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310ft-long set in three-and-a-half months
There is another mystery at the heart of the BBC show – namely, what exactly a nuclear submarine is even supposed to look like
It was then coated in paint or clad with laminate sheets before being trimmed with aluminium strip to make it look as realistic as possible.
Sayer had begun by studying the design of former submariners to learn about their inner workings. His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310ft-long set in three-and-a-half months.
‘We got advice on the layout and detailing from ex-submariners,’ he told Radio Times.
‘We’d say to one, ‘Imagine if a guy left the missile deck, where does he walk to? What’s through that door?’ ‘Then we’d ask another one about where the bomb shop was in relation to the control room, so we could jigsaw it together.’
Vigil can be streamed on BBC iPlayer.
Submarine: Basic components of the set – based at the BBC’s Dumbarton studios in Scotland – were created using marine-grade MDF or plywood
CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews the weekend’s TV: Great cast, good action but Vigil is torpedoed by its dotty plotline
You wouldn’t want the headache Shaun Evans must have this morning. Not only was he falling-down drunk as DS Morse but, over on the other side in Vigil (BBC1), a dose of nerve gas left him frothing.
The gas seeped up his trouser leg, after he ripped his hazmat suit disposing of a canister of bio-warfare chemicals aboard his nuclear submarine. Luckily, heroic policewoman DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) was able to give him a quick washdown with bleach.
That seemed to cure the worst of his symptoms. Maybe Donald Trump, who advocated injections of bleach as an antidote for Covid, was on to something.
DCI Amy had less luck. Already tormented by claustrophobic nightmares of drowning in confined spaces, she was shoved into a torpedo tube by a Russian spy, who then started filling it with water.
Vigil, which began with a preposterously far-fetched premise, got more crackers by the week
She escaped by hammering on the walls of her iron coffin in Morse code. That’s Shaun Evans and Morse on BBC1, Shaun Evans as Morse on ITV.
What are the chances?
This wasn’t even the strangest coincidence of the evening. After an international incident that left U.S. warships sinking British trawlers, and all that business with the Kremlin’s secret agent, a Scottish peace campaigner tried to betray Vigil’s secrets to the Chinese. The UK was now in a stand-off with all three superpowers. I don’t fancy our chances in World War III.
Vigil, which began with a preposterously far-fetched premise, got more crackers by the week. It couldn’t decide whether to be a murder mystery, a police procedural, a political thriller, a war movie or a disaster epic.
Ludicrous though it all was, I’ll miss Vigil. The cast, co-starring Martin Compston, Paterson Joseph, Stephen Dillane and Adam James, has been outstanding
Woven into these conflicting genres was a double domestic drama. Amy was fighting a custody battle over her stepdaughter, while yearning for her lesbian lover, DS Kirsten (Rose Leslie), who also happened to be her police partner.
Most of this took place aboard the world’s most spacious sub. At one point, a crew member complained to her captain that it would take her at least five minutes to run the length of the ship. By my calculation, that means HMS Vigil is about half a mile long . . . bigger than most supertankers.
Ludicrous though it all was, I’ll miss Vigil. The cast, co-starring Martin Compston, Paterson Joseph, Stephen Dillane and Adam James, has been outstanding.
And while the control room of the sub looked more like the Starship Enterprise’s flight deck, it was good to see a lavish production with a big budget for CGI and a flair for Hollywood action set-pieces.