'Vigil' is the BBC's most-watched new drama of 2021

Vigil - Suranne Jones
(Image credit: BBC/World Productions)

Vigil is officially the BBC's most-watched new drama this year. Following Sunday's third episode, the Beeb has revealed just how popular their new show has been so far. 

In a tweet from their press account, the BBC confirmed that episode one of Vigil, their new thriller starring Suranne Jones, has drawn in record viewing figures for 2021. 

Across its first seven days alone, the first episode drew in 10.2 million viewers. With fans enthralled by episode three, plenty of people who tuned in are now hooked by this twisty new drama. 

If you've not tried it out yet, Vigil is a tense thriller from World Productions (the company behind Line of Duty) and written by BAFTA-nominated writer Tom Edge (The Crown, Strike).  It centers on a missing Scottish fishing trawler and a death onboard HMS Vigil, a fictional Vanguard-class nuclear submarine.

DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) gets called in when a possible link between the two incidents is identified, leading to a clash between the Royal Navy and British security services. DCI Silva gets to work at sea, whilst her old colleague DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) searches for more info back on land. 

*Spoilers for Vigil episode 1 ahead*

The very first episode was full of twists. Tensions rose aboard the HMS Vigil when Captain Newsome refused to try and assist the crew of the Mhairi Finnea. Craig Burke (Martin Compston) spotted the incident on the submarine's sonar. 

Craig was found dead just a few hours later, apparently of a drug overdose. DCI Silva was sent for by Navy command and ordered to investigate. She identified a head injury on his body and found a USB drive that contained files where Burke promises to reveal the truth about the submarine. 

The shocks didn't end there! At the end of the episode, the submarine's reactor malfunctioned, leaving the ship without power and injuring CPO Gary Walsh (Daniel Portman) in the process. 

Vigil continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC1, and you can catch up with previous episodes on BBC iPlayer. For even more shows to enjoy, check out our TV Guide.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.