Vigil launches Séries Mania 2021 and is already taking the festival’s breath away (review)

Vigil
ITV Studios

A breathless, claustrophobic dive in a Royal Navy submarine. A suffocating thriller.

It’s this weekend that Vigil will debut across the Channel, on the BBC. But the first episode of the English series was already at Series Mania last night. This British military thriller officially launched this 2021 edition, in the presence of an exceptional guest of honor, Audra McDonald, star of The Good Fight, honored for her lifetime.

Vigil, it is the story of a building on a secret defense mission, which disintegrates from the inside after the sudden murder of a crew member. HMS Vigil, a major element in British nuclear deterrence, was patrolling off the coast of Scotland, when a trawler above her was brutally dragged down by the bottom, drowned in a few seconds. While the Submarine Commander refuses to go to help the poor fishermen, Officer Craig Burke rebels and is sent back to his quarters. A few hours later, he was found dead in his bed …

If we had been in Hollywood, this is the NCIS who would have investigated. But the producers of the spectacular Bodyguard had a much more exciting idea: to send the local Scottish police! It is therefore a lambda inspector, Amy Silva, who finds herself propelled into this floating powder magazine, to try to find the culprit, 20,000 leagues under the sea. Thus is played at the heart of Vigil a most joyful struggle for influence and power. Who is in charge? Does the Royal Navy’s mission put its crew above the law?

Vigil
ITV Studios

Above all, director James Strong understood that this naval setting was the number 1 asset of his mini-series. We explore the building up and down, we walk through its cramped corridors, its low ceiling. We discover its every nook and cranny, how it works, and especially its anxiety-inducing side. The atmosphere quickly becomes unbreathable. Claustrophobic refrain!

The excellent Suranne Jones (Doctor foster) tries to stay afloat in this suffocating universe if there is one, while from dry land, Rose Leslie (Game Of Thrones) gives him a welcome helping hand. An unusual investigation for this military thriller mixed with geopolitical tensions, which has everything to be the cardboard of the re-entry across the Channel (and in the aftermath internationally) like a certain Bodyguard in 2018 …

Vigil, soon in France on Arte.

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