reviewed by Eric Ellis
Created by: Tom Edge
Run Date: 2021 – present
Vigil is a 2021 British thriller series of six hour-long episodes, with Surrane Jones portraying the main character, Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva.
The series and its plots are all over the place (but in a very good way), which makes it difficult to aptly describe the main story without revealing parts of the program prematurely, instead of allowing them to be slowly revealed over the entirety of the series. It is best to just sit back and allow the tale to be uncovered in its own time and enjoy the twists and turns and questionable characters.
In the opening sequence of the series, an occupied fishing trawler is somehow pulled down into the sea by unclear means. At the same time, also in the depths of the sea, is a top-secret Royal Navy submarine. The submarine and its sailors are on a covert mission, and to provide assistance to the pulled-down trawler would cause the mission to end, with the result being the revealing of a submarine no one is supposed to know even exists.
Within the submarine and related to the sunken trawler, a mysterious death occurs which for jurisdictional reasons, unflappable Scottish DI Amy Silva (Jones) is then flown out to the submarine to determine the cause of death of the sailor. Her presence is fiercely opposed with open hostility by Royal Navy administrators, sailors, and even unknown others. Silva is then faced with investigating a potential crime among a hostile group of uncooperative submerged sailors, which includes possible murderers.
Silva’s efforts are further thwarted by being held in a modified version of incommunicado where she and her own department are unable to directly contact each other. All communication must pass through the eyes of military censors making any sort of confidential contact impossible. In an attempt to pass vital information, Silva and her partner then use sparsely worded messages with a personally created code.
Vigil is a show full of red herrings, malleable characters, shifting plotlines, and plenty of characters that could be villains or allies and with others possessing secrets that may or may not be related to Silva’s inquiry.
Vigil also stars Paterson Joseph (Timeless), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Martin Compston (Line of Duty), and Stephan Dillane (Game of Thrones).
Vigil is highly recommended to fans of all versions of thrillers involving complex plots, compelling characters, and reliably good actors.