Vigil release date: Latest news on BBC One thriller from makers of Line of Duty

Everything you need to know about the star-studded submarine drama.

Vigil - BBC One

If you’ve been hooked by the gripping sixth series of Line of Duty, BBC One has another suspenseful thriller on the way from the makers of the smash-hit crime drama.


Suranne Jones (Gentleman Jack) and Martin Compston (Line of Duty) star in Vigil, which will unravel a dark conspiracy that goes right to the heart of the Britain’s national security.

The story kicks off with a suspicious death aboard the submarine HMS Vigil and the mysterious disappearance of a fishing trawler, with DCI Amy Silva (Jones) tasked with getting to the bottom of what’s really going on.

Vigil is written by BAFTA nominee Tom Edge (Judy, The Crown) and is set against the backdrop of Scotland’s nuclear deterrent, which has been a divisive talking point for some time.

Read on for everything you need to know about BBC One’s Vigil, including plot details, cast and much more.

When is Vigil on BBC One?

The drama was announced in January 2020 with a full cast in place, but the subsequent pandemic delayed production substantially.

Filming had to be temporarily halted as the television industry adapted to a new way of working, but picked up again in late August 2020 and has since been completed.

There’s no confirmed air date for Vigil just yet but as the series is currently in post-production, predicts a launch at some point in the summer or perhaps it could be held for the broadcaster’s autumn line-up.

Vigil trailer

The moody first trailer for Vigil dropped on Sunday, 2nd May – the same day that the sixth series of Line of Duty drew to a close on BBC One – and promises plenty of tense ocean-set exploits.

Vigil cast

The lead role, that of DCI Amy Silva, will be played by Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones, who said that the script feels “fresh and relevant.”

She said, “Tom Edge has created a thrill of a story, set in a world I knew nothing about. The cast and crew World Productions have put together to tell this story is so exciting.

Amy Silva is a brilliantly complex character, thrown into a highly charged situation where her authority is weakened. We watch as she navigates her own personal trauma and loss, all at a time when she’s questioning her relationships and life choices.”

Rose Leslie, best known for her turns as Ygritte on Game of Thrones and Gwen Dawson on Downton Abbey will also play a key role. She said of her involvement, “I was weaned on BBC drama and it is thrilling to be back working at a place that feels like home with Tom Edge’s complex and gripping script. It will be a real honour to work with Suranne and I am looking forward to be filming back in Scotland.”

And a host of other stars have also signed onto the project, including Bodygauard’s  Anjli Mohindra, Endeavour’s Shaun Evans, and Martin Compston – well known to BBC One audiences as Steve Arnott on Line of Duty.

Martin Compston in BBC One's Vigil
Martin Compston in BBC One’s Vigil

They are joined by Paterson Joseph (The Leftovers, Peep Show), Connor Swindells (Sex Education, Jamestown), Adam James (Doctor Foster, Deep State), and Gary Lewis (His Dark Materials, Billy Elliot).

What is Vigil about?

The series is set in Scotland and revolves around the events after the mysterious disappearance of a fishing trawler and a death on-board a Trident nuclear submarine. The two incidents see a conflict between local police and British security officers, with the Navy also involved.

DCI Amy Silva steps in to lead the investigation, which according to the plot synopsis, “leads an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that threatens the very heart of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.”

(And in case you’re confused, yes – ITV also has a nuclear submarine-based thriller on the way, but that one’s called Tenacity.)

Who is writing and directing Vigil?

The series was created by Tom Edge, whose previous writing credits include 2019 biopic Judy and episodes of The Crown, while  Ed Macdonald (The End of The F***ing World) and Chandni Lakhani (Dublin Murders) have also contributed episodes.

Edge said of the series: “I’m completely thrilled to be making this series with the talented people at World Productions and BBC Drama. The ‘Continuous At Sea Deterrent’, better known as ‘Trident’, has been a contentious part of national life for half a century now, a stock of nuclear missiles kept hundreds of feet below the sea surface.

“But this world 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.”

Behind the camera, directorial duties will be shared by BAFTA-winner James Strong (Broadchurch, Vanity Fair, Liar) and Isabelle Sieb (Shetland, The Athena).

Vigil first look image

You can get a glimpse of Suranne jones in character as DCI Amy Silva in the first look image below, which was released in August 2020.

The image was taken earlier in 2020 – before production was paused in line with COVID guidelines.


Vigil will premiere on BBC One later this year. While you’re waiting, check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight.