Airdate: Vigil

Submarine thriller with starring Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie gets a Free to Air premiere.

Acclaimed 2021 UK drama Vigil starring Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie will screen next month on SBS.

Unusually it is available at SBS on Demand a week before its linear broadcast.

The submarine thriller became the highest rated new drama launch in the UK since Bodyguard in 2018. It screened in Australia on Binge / Foxtel on Demand last year.

TVT review is here.

When a crew member is found dead on board the Trident nuclear submarine, HMS VIGIL, the Scottish Police are called on to investigate. The catch? The UK’s nuclear deterrent must remain unbroken. While the submarine stays on patrol, Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) must go on board to investigate. Although the death was written off as an accidental overdose, Amy suspects foul play. Soon, the crew close ranks in the face of Amy’s questioning, and a new threat overshadows her inquiry.

Thursday March 2 at SBS on Demand
Thursday March 9 at 9.30pm on SBS.

9 Responses

  1. I watched this on BBC First and the story was good, Surrane Jones is a fav going back to Corrie but I suffer from claustrophobia and I struggled to keep watching but I have to give the actors and creators credit for making it feel so real.

  2. Vigil did feature some familiar submarine drama tropes, but the biggest curiosity was the screenplay, HMS Vigil is supposed to be a major part of the UK’s 24/7 nuclear deterrent and as such would forbid non MOD personnel on board especially when at sea on active service, writer Tom Edge was taking the shows plot credibility to the limit with Police detective Amy Silva asserting herself within the Naval command structure so she could get her job done and get home to Rose. There was an embedded narrative in the show too, about Britain’s nuclear weapons and the RN’s sub base in Scotland, I believe the show could have had MOD Naval Intelligence officers of either sex doing the investigative legwork, and without the sideline issues, but that’s not what British TV drama is about now. The French movie The Wolf’s call (Le Chant du loup) is a good reference for this show. Season 2 of Vigil will not feature a sub so making the ‘Vigil’ title fit the story will be interesting.

    1. Vigil2: The Whatever, titles are just for name recognition now, they don’t mean anything. In the UK civilian police do have authority over bases on UK soil. Here the death was originally a suspected OD. The RNP would work with the police. Given the intelligence aspects that developed, the DIS would be involved along with MI5.

  3. Not particularly unusual for SBS to put stuff online first. And Vigil aired first on Binge, then later on BBC First. VIgil is a good thriller and worth watching; the plot is similar to NCIS #16.17 Silent Service.

      1. Certainly “unusual””, David. There isn’t any logic or consistency in the way SBS handles the release of new series on their streaming service. Why should Vigil get this treatment when (say) Bloodlands cops the dreaded weekly drop? Despite several attempts I’ve yet to get any satisfactory response from SBS. It’s an annoyance on an otherwise excellent service.

        That being said, Vigil is highly recommended and well worth anyone’s time.

      2. IIRC they’ve done it with season premieres of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Good Fight. Here the reason is just that The Walk-ins has been scheduled in that slot and finishes up on the 2nd of March, so Vigil starts on the 9th. As Binge had the streaming rights first SBS might be able to put all the eps up on the 2nd. Stuff being posted online ASAP and then fitted into an FTA or cable schedule later is very common these days. Streaming is where broadcasters are trying to grown and hold an audience, for targeted advertising. It’s growing rapidly off a small base but the total revenue is still small, how it works time will tell. Bloodlands being a UK crime drama they would have expected a larger broader audience, but that worked out badly for them with only 68k watching before 2am.

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