Vigil - A review

BBC's new TV drama, Vigil has been on for a few weeks now, so is it any good?

vigil surrane jones

It started off pretty good with the first 2 episodes being available on iPlayer immediately - since then we've been spoonfed an episode a week just like the old days of linear TV.

Which frankly I'm OK with.

But the show itself?  Well, it's rather annoying.  Here's why:


Suranne Jones' character is a DCI who is "dropped" onto a nucelar submarine in the Atlantic.  Why would a DCI from the Scottish Police Force be winched onto a submarine when the Royal Navy have their own police?  She would have no jurisdiction there.

Secondly, it's a nuclear submarine but at one point was running on diesel!  What?  

At one point the sub was using a periscope to look for ships as it prepared to surface.  You're telling me a state of the art nuclear submarine doesn't have radar?!


Then of course there's the sheer uncooperative nature between the Navy and Police - I very much doubt they would be so surly and rude to each other in real life.  This is just like those American cop shows where an officer turns up at a suspects house and is met with such attitude that you wonder how the Police don't just take their ass in.  

"I'm not answering your questions" - shuts door... In reality would be followed up with "Oh yes you are motherfucker" followed by the door getting kicked in and guns drawn.


Suranne Jones' character is one of anguish.  Always glum looking, with her wonky nose.  Maybe she has good reason to.

You see, she had a boyfriend who she was about to marry along with a step daughter.  Things were going all tickety-boo when there was a car accident which Jones had caused.  In the accident their car careers off the road and plunges into a lake.  As a result she manages to save the kid, but husband-to-be perishes.

Cue lots of flashbacks to happier times.

And of course due to the anguish bestowed on her, she's on medication.  When her 3 day stint onboard is extended she naturally runs out (because clearly she only took enough for 3 days?) then cue lots of druggy type flashbacks like they do on American films to portray someone as being high... Lots of wavy lines and the sort.  I'm sure withdrawl from anti-depressents induces that kind of shit.


Anyway... If all that wasn't annoying enough then there's more.

Because the BBC have managed to tick some more boxes.

They've only gone and managed to tick the "Unlikely Lesbian" box.

I know, right!

Imagine, Suranne's life is all nice and perfect.  She's always been totally straight and then calamity happens.

Suddenly she's a lesbian, in a relationship with her colleague who is very much her junior.

In fact, it's her who used to shout "YOU NURR NOFFIN JOHN SNURR" on Game of Thrones.

Now, the couple aren't openly scissoring each other in the office in front of their colleagues but it hardly seems to be that secret either.

Strangely there's no outrage at all, because I'm pretty certain if it was an older male detective knobbing his female junior the feminazi's would be up in arms about it.  Must be the age we live in.

But the odd thing about it, and this is what annoys me, is that it actually does not offer anything to the story.

Apart from Jones and Leslie appearing in a flashback scene in the bath together or the odd kiss it really plays no real part.  It's just another needless relationship.

What does surprise me though is that this lesbian couple isn't inter-racial.  That's a first.

Finally, Jones' glasses are too big for her head.  When she puts them on she looks like a cross between Millhouse from The Simpsons and Edith Apfel.

The problem is, I'm 5 episodes in of 8 - I'm too far invested to stop now.  How many more plot holes will there be?

Who knows.

If you haven't seen it, don't bother - there's better stuff from the BBC or head straight over to the new series of Manhunt on ITV - for once they've done something worth watching.