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TV review: Suranne Jones feels pressure in sub-optimal thriller, Vigil

© BBC/World ProductionsSuranne Jones in Vigil
Suranne Jones in Vigil

If a zoology department sent an arachnophobe to the Amazon to study tarantulas or the local window cleaning firm hired someone with vertigo you’d wonder if their human resources department had been smoking crack.

Yet Suranne Jones’ DCI Silva, traumatised by her involvement in a fatal car crash which left her trapped at the bottom of a loch, was ordered by Police Scotland into a nuclear submarine to solve a crime.

It was a perplexing choice among many in Vigil, which returned for its third episode on Sunday after two messy opening hours.

The BBC’s slick nautical thriller had a neat hook: a whodunit on a nuclear submarine.

What perhaps should have been a tense and claustrophobic couple of first episodes hit choppy waters not long after the Line Of Duty-style shock death of a big name at the beginning.

What followed was a strangely disjointed investigation both on the boat, in which Silva struggled to investigate the murder, and on land, where Rose Leslie’s DC Longacre struggled with her own accent.

Between the murder on the boat, a conspiracy on land, unfortunate trawlermen, possible sabotage and a potential enemy submarine there’s just a bit too much going on.

Sonar, so good? After two episodes Vigil looks a bit like a sea minus.


Vigil BBC1, 9pm