BBC waits until end of 2023 to launch best thriller of the year
Posted by  badge Boss on Dec 10, 2023 - 11:54AM
Vigil is returning with a new season two years after the debut triumphed (Picture: BBC / World Productions LTD)

The has been pumping out a solid pipeline of over the past 12 months, from the to the .

But one of the broadcaster’s biggest hitters – – is making a comeback. And it could just beat the rest and become the BBC’s most gripping crime drama this year.

Brace yourselves, then, as. This time, though, it won’t be making a splash per se , and a Royal Air Force Base is in.

While the location is now a sun-drenched fictional Middle Eastern country, Wudyan, rather than a claustrophobic warship, the rest of the show’s winning format remains unchanged.

Suranne Jones’ determined cop DCI Amy Silva is back to her old tricks.riling up military personnel as she sticks her very much unwanted nose into their murky operations, while her girlfriend DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie), pregnant with their first child, reluctantly obliges to her barking orders.

The opening episode doesn’t hang about before diving straight into the action. At an RAF base in Scotland, a run-of-the-mill training exercise involving drones goes horribly wrong and it’s not long before fingers are being pointed at an insider.

The new season see Suranne’s character investigate a drone calamity (Picture: BBC / World Productions)
Rather than a submarine, she’s staying at an Air Force Base in another country (Picture: BBC / World Productions)

Soon the MI5 and other agencies are involved and Silva is being shipped off the Wudyan to snoop around another air base linked to the disaster, ruffling the feathers of acting squadron leader Eliza Russell, played with a frosty brilliance by Romola Garai.

Only the first three episodes were available for review, but much like the first season, there are plot twists aplenty, near-death experiences, tense relationships, and lots of scenes of Silva putting on and taking off her thick black glasses, raising the biggest mystery of them all: does she actually suffer with poor eyesight?

The highlight, as always, is bonafide national treasure Suranne who doesn’t play Silva, like every other detective in every other crime drama, as hard-nosed and emotionally distant. Instead, she’s empathetic and open but firm.

Like its predecessor the series is filled with plot twists (Picture: BBC / World Productions)
Romola is a new addition to the Vigil cast(Picture: BBC / World Productions)

TV drama writers are slowly learning but it’s still a relief that she’s not harbouring a secret alcohol problem. Everyone else: you can just, you know, act, rather than use a plotting device to imply emotional complexity.

Game of Thrones’ star Rose, meanwhile, plays Longacre with a warm and inviting earthiness. But when she turns on the ice – she does not suffer fools lightly – it’s delicious. Rose also portrays Longacre’s frustration at being maligned due to her ‘condition’ (aka pregnancy) beautifully. It’s nuanced and powerful. And it’s about time we saw more pregnant working women on screen.

New to the cast is Atonement actress Romola and it’s a welcome addition. She adds light relief with her palpable annoyance at Silva just existing, brilliantly casting her relentless inquisitiveness as like a Hermione Grainger on steroids with just a withering glance and deadpan putdown.

Come for the drama, but stay for the women. That’s where the real ass-kicking is anyway.

Vigil premieres tonight on BBC One and iPlayer at 9pm.