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BBC's Vigil Is Inspired By A Chilling True Story

BBC's Vigil Is Inspired By A Chilling True Story

The new BBC drama Vigil from the creators of Line of Duty is inspired by Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent programme.

The makers of Line of Duty have recently brought us the new drama Vigil, which began airing on Sunday (29 August), and is based on a true story about the UK’s nuclear deterrent programme Trident.

For those who haven’t yet tuned in to the show, it revolves around a suspicious death on a nuclear submarine.

You can watch the trailer below:

DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) investigates the death while the submarine remains on patrol so the nuclear deterrent is not broken.

Though the story itself is fictional, there are elements of the show that have been inspired by real-life events.

The opening scene of Vigil saw a Scottish fishing boat being dragged down into the sea after a submarine was caught in its nets, reminiscent of the tragedy that saw the fishing boat Antares sunk by a Royal Navy nuclear submarine in 1990. 

Martin Compston in Vigil (Photo: BBC)
Martin Compston in Vigil (Photo: BBC)

This incident occurred in the Arran Trench of the Isle of Arran, and four fishermen died as a result. 

Of course, many BBC dramas are researched extensively to make it feel as ‘real’ as possible but a BBC spokesperson told The National Scot that Vigil “is a fictional drama and is not inspired by or based on any specific real-life events”.

As for the rest of the show, the creators wanted Vigil to tell the story of what could happen to the UK’s nuclear deterrent programme should a suspicious death occur on board a submarine. 

Suranne Jones and director James Strong behind-the-scenes (Photo: BBC)
Suranne Jones and director James Strong behind-the-scenes (Photo: BBC)

During a press conference, creator Tom Edge previously said: “This world [the nuclear deterrent] has rarely been explored on screen. I can’t wait to take a BBC One audience down with us, into the pitch-black icy waters of the unseen Atlantic, where tomorrow’s geopolitical struggles are already being played out.”

HMS Vigil, the name of the submarine in the show, is not a real submarine but is based on the existing nuclear submarines in the Royal Navy and based in Scotland as part of the Trident programme: Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant and Vengeance.

After a shocking first episode, it will be intriguing to see how the series progresses in its exploration of Trident and whether any further real-life events will make an appearance in the show.

Vigil airs on BBC One every Sunday at 9pm.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Entertainment, TV And Film, BBC