Last night saw the debut episode of new BBC drama Hard Sun, a story from Luther creator Neil Cross that follows a pair of detectives (Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn) as they discover the human race will go extinct in just five years.
And it’s fair to say that opinion online was slightly mixed, with many viewers initially caught off guard by the shocking scenes of violence that opened the episode (where Deyn’s DI Elaine Renko was stabbed and nearly burned to death in her kitchen).
— HARD SUN (@hardsuntv) January 6, 2018
— _ThatGuy_ (@_InkFreak_) January 6, 2018
— Prowls (@haribolectah) January 6, 2018
That's the first time you can actually say 'don't stick a fork in it, she isn't done.' #HardSun
— David Murphy (@D1Smurphy) January 6, 2018
— Scarlett Archer (@ScarlettArcher) January 6, 2018
Still, once the story proper began to unfold, things calmed down a bit – and then some viewers began to get VERY confused about what was going on as Renko and her new boss DCI Charlie Hicks (Sturgess) began investigating a murder and visiting secret lovers, while simultaneously trying to find out each others’ secret intentions.
— Meg (@MRipley13) January 6, 2018
— claire b (@tellyaddict100) January 6, 2018
I don’t really like dramas where you have no idea what’s going on in the first 15 minutes, but I’ll persist. #HardSun
— Roz Laws (@rozlaws) January 6, 2018
Still, one of the episode’s biggest twists – that Elaine’s attacker at the beginning the episode was actually her SON – was much more popular with those who had managed to follow the story.
— Ciaran (YouTuber) (@Ciaran_Brewer25) January 6, 2018
— Aodín NíGallchobhair (@aodin_g) January 6, 2018
'Hello Mum'… Wasn't expecting that. #HardSun
— DIANE SAMUEL (@dilly_dot) January 6, 2018
— Tony (@TonyVoller) January 6, 2018
So by the episode’s end, when Hicks and Renko had eluded shadowy government types and discovered the apocalypse was imminent, what was the verdict? To some viewers, the story was just too clichéd, while others didn’t enjoy it for other reasons.
Dodgy cop (having affair) ✔️
Tortured genius cop (w/ secret) ✔️
Photo/post-it mood board ✔️
Moodily lit office ✔️
Computer hacker patsy ✔️
Hacker is loner w/ aspergers ✔️✔️
Aimless mention of GCHQ (as boogeymen) ✔️#HardSun
— Nick Selby (@Nick_Selby1) January 6, 2018
— Munglejerry ? (@Mungle) January 6, 2018
#HardSun 45 cliches n counting….
— Beverley (@bevvyboo22) January 6, 2018
It goes from bad to worse. Give me line of duty any day #HardSun
— Daniel Jenkins (@DanielHJenkins) January 6, 2018
Well this #hardsun after the hype is a bag of shite. Poor acting and crap plot all rolled into one. Main characters are terrible. A
— Garzinio (@garzinio) January 6, 2018
About as tense as the Magic Roundabout but not as realistic. #HardSun
— Steve Cooper (@scoom90) January 6, 2018
So this new #HardSun is a "pre-apocalypse detective drama"? Well, so is Midsomer Murders, technically. They just contemplate it less.
— Derooftrouser (@Derooftrouser) January 7, 2018
However, many others absolutely loved it, and couldn’t wait for the next episode.
Hard Sun is insane and crazy in all the right ways. This is A M A Z I N G. I wish this was on every Saturday for the next year #HardSun
— Josh Boffin (@iamjoshboffin) January 6, 2018
— Abi Fowler (@AbiFowler) January 6, 2018
— keegan (@KeeganNufc09) January 6, 2018
Wow people are so quick to just condemn a show half way through the first episode without even giving it time to introduce the characters, set up the story and bed in a little. At least watch the first epi through #HardSun
— Sian Rodgers (@sianrodgers) January 6, 2018
Fantastic new drama, can’t wait for next episode,?☄️☄️☄️☄️☄️☄️☄️??????
— Jazzy???? (@unicorns88_jazz) January 7, 2018
— Chloe Stothers (@CSRizzoli23) January 6, 2018
(Side note: Chris Pratt seems to be the go-to gif reaction man these days, eh?)
For now, it’s fair to say that Hard Sun is an acquired taste – but for those who love it there’s good news, as the whole series is now available to watch on the BBC iPlayer website. A fact that SOME fans have been quick to pick up on…
just starting the second episode of #HardSun already one of the most interesting dramas i've seen in a long time!
— Lucia (@awinternumber) January 7, 2018
Started watching it and got so absorbed in it,up to part 4 ???? #HardSun
— Steve (@Stephen63277973) January 7, 2018
— tina elstob (@telstob) January 7, 2018
I really enjoyed Hard Sun last night. So much so, I popped straight over to iPlayer and watched the second episode early. It’s great to see another fantastic drama on Saturday night, rather than more reality TV stuff. #HardSun @BBCOne @hardsuntv
— Sean O'Sullivan (@seanosullivanuk) January 7, 2018
— Rob (@robertcarrick27) January 7, 2018
— BECCA (@fashiontrain) January 6, 2018
I’m on episode 4 of #HardSun and I need to stop after this one because it’s actually getting really scary and I won’t sleep. I am a child.
— Scarlett Archer (@ScarlettArcher) January 7, 2018
Sounds like it might be worth giving a few more episodes a watch before we all make our final decision.
Hard Sun continues on BBC1 next Saturday, and all episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer now