Vigil is a British police procedural television miniseries created by Tom Edge and produced by World Productions.
The six-part series commenced on BBC One in August 2021. It stars Suranne Jones, Rose Leslie, Shaun Evans, Paterson Joseph and Martin Compston. The series is set in Scotland and much of the action takes place on a fictional nuclear-powered submarine.
Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva of the Scottish Police Service (the fictionalised Police Scotland) is sent to HMS Vigil, a fictional Vanguard class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, to investigate a death on board, which takes place shortly after the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler. Her investigations, and those of her colleagues ashore, bring the police into conflict with the Royal Navy and MI5, the British Security Service.
- Suranne Jones as Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva, Scottish Police Service.
- Rose Leslie as Detective Sergeant Kirsten Longacre, Scottish Police Service.
- Shaun Evans as Chief Petty Officer Elliot Glover, the coxswain of HMS Vigil.
- Martin Compston as Chief Petty Officer Craig Burke, a sonar mapping expert on HMS Vigil.
- Paterson Joseph as Commander Neil Newsome, the Captain of HMS Vigil.
- Adam James as Lieutenant Commander Mark Prentice, the Executive Officer and second in command of HMS Vigil.
- Gary Lewis as Detective Superintendent Colin Robertson, Scottish Police Service.
- Lauren Lyle as Jade Antoniak, a peace activist.
- Lolita Chakrabarti as Lieutenant Commander Erin Branning.
- Dan Li as Lieutenant Commander Hennessy.
- Lorne MacFadyen as Lieutenant Matthew Doward, a sonar mapping expert transferred from HMS Virtue.
- Connor Swindells as Lieutenant Simon Hadlow, an engineering officer on HMS Vigil.
- Lois Chimimba as Chief Petty Officer Tara Kierly, a sonar mapping expert of HMS Vigil.
- Daniel Portman as Chief Petty Officer Gary Walsh, an engineer on HMS Vigil.
- Anjli Mohindra as Surgeon Lieutenant Tiffany Docherty, the medical officer on HMS Vigil.
- Anita Vettesse as Petty Officer Jackie Hamilton, chef on HMS Vigil.
- Stephen Dillane as Rear Admiral Shaw.
The show is based on the success of recent programmes in a similar style, including Line of Duty and Bodyguard, which were released by the same production company, World Productions. The show was filmed in Scotland and is set there, with the events of the show taking place on HMS Vigil, a fictional Vanguard-class submarine of the Royal Navy.
The programme’s theme music is the song “Fuel to the Fire” from the 2013 album Aventine by Danish singer, songwriter and musician Agnes Obel. Other music included in the series is composed by Afterhere (Berenice Scott and Glenn Gregory). Episode 4 includes the song “Anchor” by Welsh singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Novo Amor, released as a single in 2015 and included on his 2017 EP Bathing Beach.
Episode 1 attracted an audience of 10.2 million viewers across its first seven days, making Vigil the BBC’s most watched new drama of the year.
The loss of the fictional trawler Mhairi Finnea in the series bears similarities to the sinking of the FV Antares by Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine HMS Trenchant in the Firth of Clyde in 1990. Families of the Antares’ crew expressed upset at scenes of the Mhairi Finnea foundering; however, the BBC denied that the drama was inspired by or based on a specific real-life event.
- There are 4 Vanguard class boats in the Royal Navy; Vanguard (S28), Victorious (S29), Vigilant (S30) and Vengeance (S31).
- Newsome’s rank slides (for no apparent reason) change from Commander (three stripes) to Captain (four stripes) and back several times throughout the series.
- This is the second time actor Adam James (Prentice) has appeared in a submarine thriller with him also having starred in Hunter Killer (2018).
Production & Filming Details
- Isabelle Sieb … (3 episodes, 2021).
- James Strong … (3 episodes, 2021).
- Angie Daniell … producer (6 episodes, 2021).
- Tom Edge … executive producer (6 episodes, 2021).
- Jake Lushington … executive producer (6 episodes, 2021).
- Donald MacKinnon … line producer (6 episodes, 2021).
- James Strong … executive producer (6 episodes, 2021).
- George Aza-Selinger … associate producer (1 episode, 2021).
- Leslie Finlay … executive producer: Creative Scotland (1 episode, 2021).
- Simon Heath … executive producer (1 episode, 2021).
- Gaynor Holmes … executive producer: BBC (1 episode, 2021).
- Roderick Seligman … executive producer: World Productions (1 episode, 2021).
- Tom Edge … (creator) (6 episodes, 2021).
- Tom Edge … (written by) (6 episodes, 2021).
- George Aza-Selinger … (original idea) (5 episodes, 2021).
- Chandni Lakhani … (written by) (1 episode, 2021).
- Ed Macdonald … (written by) (1 episode, 2021).
- Glenn Gregory … (6 episodes, 2021).
- Berenice Scott … (6 episodes, 2021).
- Matt Gray … (3 episodes, 2021).
- Ruairí O’Brien … (3 episodes, 2021).
- Chris Buckland … (2 episodes, 2021).
- Nikki McChristie … (2 episodes, 2021).
- Steven Worsley … (2 episodes, 2021).
- World Productions.
- BBC One (UK) (TV).
- Release Date: 29 August 2021 to 26 September 2021.
- Running Time: 60 minutes.
- Rating: G.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.