Over the last year, the BBC has released a steady stream of new thrillers, ranging from the Wes Anderson-inspired Boat Story to the controversially gory Wolf.
However, one of the broadcaster’s biggest hits, viewed by more than 13 million people, is making a reappearance. And it may just edge out the competition to become the BBC’s most riveting crime drama this year.
So, brace yourselves for Vigil season 2. This time, however, there will be no splash since the submarine has left and a Royal Air Force Base has moved in.
While the setting has shifted to a sun-drenched imaginary Middle Eastern country, Wudyan, rather than a confined battleship, the rest of the show’s popular formula has not.
DCI Amy Silva, played by Suranne Jones, is back to her old antics.agitating military officials by poking her nose into their murky activities, while her fiancée, DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie), who is pregnant with their first child, unwillingly obeys her shouting commands.
The first episode doesn’t waste any time getting right into the action. A routine training exercise involving drones goes catastrophically wrong at an RAF facility in Scotland, and it’s not long before fingers are pointed at an insider.
Soon, the MI5 and other agencies get engaged, and Silva is dispatched from the Wudyan to snoop around another air station related to the catastrophe, ruffling the feathers of acting squadron leader Eliza Russell, played with icy brilliance by Romola Garai.
Only the first three episodes were available for review, but the plot twists, near-death experiences, tense relationships, and lots of scenes of Silva putting on and taking off her thick black glasses raise the biggest mystery of all: does she actually suffer from poor eyesight?
As is customary, the highlight is a genuine national treasure. Suranne, who does not portray Silva as hard-nosed and emotionally aloof as every other detective in every other crime drama. Instead, she is sympathetic, transparent, and firm.
TV drama writers are finally catching on, but it’s still a comfort that she doesn’t have a hidden drinking issue. Everyone else: you can just behave instead of using a story device to indicate emotional depth.
Meanwhile, Game of Thrones actor Rose portrays Longacre with a warm and appealing earthiness. But it’s lovely when she turns on the ice – and she doesn’t take idiots lightly. Rose also eloquently shows Longacre’s distress at being mocked because of her ‘condition’ (aka pregnancy). It’s subtle and effective. It’s also past time to see more pregnant working women on film.
Atonement actor Romola has joined the cast, which is a wonderful addition. She gives light relief with her apparent anger with Silva’s very existence, expertly depicting her obsessive inquisitiveness as Hermione Grainger on steroids with a withering look and deadpan putdown.
Come for the drama; stay for the ladies. In any case, that’s where the real asskicking takes place.
Vigil premieres tonight on BBC One and iPlayer at 9pm.
Source My Celebrity Life.