A concentrate of British know-how in terms of thriller under high tension! Vigil, miniseries in 6 volumes broadcast this Thursday at 8:55 pm on Arte and available on Arte.tv by the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, follows Amy (Suranne Jones, ex-Doctor Fosterand Gentleman Jack), a Scottish inspector sent to investigate aboard a military submarine following the suicide of one of the crew members while on patrol. The starting point for a breathless and suffocating thriller, which seduced more than 10 million Britons when it premiered at the opening of Series Mania and was broadcast on the BBC this fall.
The opening scene shows a trawler being speared by something and sinking inexorably into the depths of the ocean with all its crew. A knot away, the golden ear of the HMS Vigil hears their distress call. Petty Officer Craig Burke (Martin Compston) argues that the ship should come to their rescue. He is opposed to an end of inadmissibility: the Vigil, which is part of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent force, must not reveal its position or put itself at the mercy of the building that sank the boat. Captain Newsome rushes Burke to his bunk to calm down. A moment later, a member of the crew discovers him dead, apparently the victim of a heroin overdose.
An investigation in a confined universe
Glasgow Police Commander Amy Silva is hoisted aboard the vessel to shed light on the death. A three-day mission in a confined, predominantly male universe, governed by iron discipline and hostile to the intervention of a female police officer in a military affair. An environment, moreover, which is not ideal for the one who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a tragedy which left her depressed and claustrophobic. Examination of Burke’s corpse quickly shows that the overdose has been staged and that she is dealing with a murder.
A parallel investigation in the Scottish fjords
On dry land, Lt. Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie, seen in Downton abbey and game of thrones), his teammate at the police station and in life, is leading investigations into a possible link between Burke’s murder and anti-nuclear activists. While Kirsten can send messages to the submarine, Amy does not have permission to communicate with the outside world so as not to jeopardize the position of the ship.
Since no one wants to cooperate, like Sherlock Holmes, Amy can only count on these capacities of deduction and observation to unmask the assassin. Like Doctor Watson, Kirsten Longacre will compete in ingenuity to send him useful information that only Amy can decipher. “For me, the biggest challenge in writing was to succeed in bringing these two worlds together, on land and under the sea, explains Tom Edge, the creator of the series in the file, by managing to hold a single and same story over the six episodes. “
Formally, a successful bias too: the Scottish fjords and the raw energy of Kirsten Longacre give oxygen to the claustrophobic promiscuity of the Vigil and the neurotic character of Amy Silva
A tangle of intrigues mixing intimate and geopolitical
From this mysterious murder in the manner of the novels of Agatha Christie the creator of the series Tom Edge (who notably contributed to the writing of Lovesick or even The Crown) will unfold over this two-part investigation a tangle of dense and captivating intrigues carried out at full speed.
Vigil intertwines intimate and geopolitical. Tom Edge explores humans’ unfathomable ability to complicate a situation. He was interested in the scandals that shook the British Navy in recent years: failing submarines, crew members tested positive for cocaine, the Bugaled Breizh affair. He weaves his web from real facts such as the invasive presence of Russian buildings in the English Channel and the North Sea. Despite some convoluted twists, Vigil is an underwater Cluedo that will hold you breathless for six episodes.