REVIEW Vigil (S1 E6/6)

I’m always interested in how big series choose to end series, and with Vigil we had a really divisive ending.

After all the hairum-scarum thrills at the end of episode five, the scene was set for some truly good stuff. Except it never quite panned out that way, instead choosing to go down a road that didn’t agree with many. You could argue that the subdued ending was brave and bold, but many would counter that argument by calling it a bit of damp squib.

Amy was trapped inside the missile chute, looking for all the world that she would perish in the same way she almost did with her partner in that sinking car several years ago. It was thanks to Prentice that she didn’t. He paid for it with his life.

A shame, because Prentice was a genuinely interesting character – and redemption was ultimate in the end.

However, we had no time to brood because Vigil looked to be heading towards a watery grave, sinking as she was thanks to more of Doward’s sabotage (something to do with valves apparently). Burke and co were desperately trying to get the comms online, Dr Tiffany was trying to save Glover’s life, and Doward was chasing Amy around the sub like a crazed character from a slasher movie. And, of course, Newsome was barking orders and looking tense.

And it was brilliant. Once again, fantastically directed and edited, ramping up the tension. For 20 minutes or so it was genuinely breathtaking in its relentlessness.

And then it stopped.

For the final act, there was no real tension at all. A lucklustre interview scene with Doward back on dry-land, some touching make-up scenes with Amy and Kirsten, and then… a then some rather sombre, portentious and leaden posturing between MP Patrick Cruden and Admiral Shaw. The former wanted to ban Trident and saw this incident with the out-dated Vigil as a prime way to do it while Shaw thought this incident showed exactky why the UK’s nuclear deterrent should be kept. His final press conference blamed the Russians for the trawler accident, tensions were maintained as was the status quo.

I maintain that it was a brave ending. Character arcs needed to be tied up and it devoted that final act to do so. In many cases, we’d get a final scene. Here we got a whole act.

But it was such a juxtaposition between the visceral scenes onboard the panic-stricken sub and the character drama at the end I can understand why people were angry.

But you have to admit that flaws aside, Vigil really did aim for the jugular and provided those visceral thrills with aplomb. Add in some good performances (especially from Rose Leslie as Kirsten Longacre), some clever use of suspense devices and plot structure, and there was a lot to like in this series.

It didn’t quite catch fire for me, but it was a very entertaining six hours of television.

Paul Hirons


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.






REVIEW Vigil (S1 E5/6)

Well I’m a bit late on this but seeing as though I’ve reviewed four episodes of this submarine drama, I might as well stay the course. (I have been watching, just haven’t had time to write up.)

Aaanyway, where were we?

At the end of episode four, we saw DCI Amy Silva rugby tackled by what looked like Coxwain Glover, wearing a gas mask. Whatever turns you on.

And so it played out. Chef Jackie had been killed but by a deadly nerve agent, which she had unwittingly exposed to the rest of the sub. After the scrum-down, it was panic station aboard the ship with comms suspended with the outside world.

Back on dry land, the Navy team had determined that Russian subs were beginning to circle the stricken sub like vultures. It was, you could call it, a situation.

Back onboard Amy volunteered to go in with Glover to isolate the tin of food the agent was hidden in. And it was this sequence that this episode will be remembered for – a super-tense, disorienting procedure ending with a terrifying cliffhanger.

Both wearing protective suits, Amy and Glover edged through dark corridors often only lit by the glare of their face masks. Their heavy breathing gave the scene an almost horror-like feel.

Say what you like about Vigil, it has done set pieces really very well. And so it was with this one, too. Expertly choreographed and directed, there was jeopardy (Glover ripped his trousers on a sharp object and exposed himself to the agent) while Amy gingerly completed the mission.

While in the kitchen area had found a note from the saboteur onboard, telling Jackie that she had to do what she had to do to ensure her son’s release from jail.

Carrying the bagged up nerve agent and the note, she entered the missile bay, ready to jettison the agent. However, waiting for her was Doward – who revealed himself to be the baddie. He knocked Amy unconscious and shoved her into one of the missile chutes and locked her on. With water streaming in from all sides, it looked as though Amy was done.

It was a brilliant, terrifying scene.

Not quite so terrifying was the parallel investigation on-land. We finally uncovered a wrong ‘un within the activist’s camp – Ben Oakley – who had been skulking around since episode one. He had stolen Jade in order to make the photos she had uncovered of the Russian operative safe. At least, I think that was what happened. You assumed Oakley had been working for the Russians too, but at the end of the episode he scarpered to claim immunity at the Chinese embassy.

So yes, it was all a bit disjointed and all over the place. But blimey, that final cliffhanger will love long in the memory.

We need to find out if Amy Silva can survive her latest ordeal.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 4 out of 5.

NORDIC NOIR Trapped series three gets Icelandic transmission date

The highly-anticipated third and perhaps final series of Trapped has been confirmed to broadcast in its native Iceland on Sunday 17th October.

In addition, the show’s home channel, RÚV, showed two teaser trailers during the recent election coverage (grabbed for us by an eagle-eyed viewer and reader of the site).

The beloved Icelandic crime series will pick up two years after the ending of the second season. Police duo Andri and Hinrika, get drawn into a war in the remote highlands, where two rival groups fight over specific pieces of land, but for very different reasons.

The neopagan and peaceful sect, The Extended Family, led by its founder and spiritual leader Oddur (Egill Ólafsson) has raised camp on the land, see the land as sacred and want to be close to their heathen Gods. A group of Icelandic bikers, led by an angry young man, Gunnar (Haraldur Stefánsson), also claim the ‘sacred site’. In order to take ownership of the land, he calls for backup and soon a group of Danish bikers arrive by ferry, led by the Danish leader, Hopper (Bo Larsen). The clash of the two groups leads to the death of a young man, Ivar (Auðunn Lúthersson). It turns out that Ivar was not unknown to Andri, so he feels obliged to join Hinrika in the North to investigate the murder case.

As we now know, this series will not air on BBC Four like previous series. Instead it will appear on Netflix outside of Iceland and will be known as Entrapped.

However, the UK transmission date is still unknown and could be in 2022.


BBC reveals first look image from series six of Shetland

The BBC has released a first-look image from series of Shetland.

The BBC One hit returns to our screens in the autumn (soon, then!) and we now know more about the series.

The forthcoming new series centres on the doorstep murder of a prominent local figure, a case which strikes at the heart of the Shetland Isles and its people. As Perez and his team uncover a kaleidoscope of motives for the murder, their investigation soon takes a shockingly sinister turn.

All the main cast return, and star Douglas Henshall says: “After all we’ve been through over the last couple of years, it’s wonderful to be back filming on Shetland again. Davy Kane has, once again, created stunning storylines in these two new series for Perez and the team to uncover the truth. Being back on the Shetland Isles has been wonderful. There is no location quite like it.”

More news as we get it.


ITV annouonces news Jed Mercurio-produced crime drama DI Ray

Jed Mercurio’s production company HTM Television is to make a new crime for ITV.

DI Ray stars Parminder Nagra and is written by Line of Duty alumnus, Maya Sondhi.

A four-part series set in Birmingham, it introduces us to Leicester-born Rachita Ray, a police officer who takes on a case that forces her to confront a lifelong personal conflict between her British identity and her South Asian heritage.

Rachita achieves the promotion she’s been waiting for when she’s asked to join a homicide investigation. However, on her first day she’s told the murder to which she’s been assigned is a ‘Culturally Specific Homicide.’ Rachita’s heart sinks – she suspects she’s a ‘token appointment’, chosen for her ethnicity rather than her ability. 

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Rachita sticks to the case, determined to both find the killer and call out the obvious biases her colleagues are bringing to the investigation. And it’s far from easy. The case isn’t a run-of-the-mill murder; it involves delving deep into the dangerous world of organised crime. 

Rachita is more than up for the task, but what she didn’t count on is what this case stirs up inside her; the realisation that she’s been burying a personal identity crisis her whole life. Truth is, she’s had to work twice as hard as everyone else.  It’s not that she doesn’t want to be Indian, it’s just that it would have been easier if she were white.  

Expect this sometime in 2022.