Vigil starring Suranne Jones: release date, plot, cast, trailer and everything we know

Suranne Jones in Vigil
Suranne Jones stars as DCI Amy Silva in 'Vigil', which is now a Peacock miniseries. (Image credit: BBC/World Productions)

Vigil is a big thriller starring Gentleman Jack actress Suranne Jones.

Written and created by Bafta-nominated writer Tom Edge (Judy, The Crown, Strike), it's been one of the best BBC dramas of 2021 and is now on Peacock in the US.

Revolving around the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board a Trident nuclear submarine, it is sure to have American viewers gripped just like it did British viewers.

Indeed, Vigil won great reviews in the UK and has also done so in the US. The Wall Street Journal comments: "There’s a boatload of plotlines in Vigil, one of the better thriller series of the year and one in which a tangled web of intrigues is made as believable as the fathomless ability of humans to complicate a situation — at least long enough to last a satisfying six episodes."

Here's everything we know about the new Peacock miniseries...

Suranne Jones in Vigil

Suranne's new thriller, 'Vigil', is coming to Peacock. (Image credit: BBC)

Vigil US release date on Peacock

Vigil is now available on Peacock in the US. The Peacock original will be available on Peacock Premium.

UK viewers can still watch the whole series on BBC iPlayer.

Is there a trailer for Vigil?

Yes, Peacock has released the first trailer for Vigil.

What’s the plot of Vigil?

Doctor Foster's Suranne Jones, who’ll also be seen soon in Gentleman Jack Season 2, stars as DCI Amy Silva. Silva is called in when there appears to be a link between the mysterious disappearance of a fishing boat and a death on a nuclear submarine. 

The two incidents lead to a clash between the Navy and the British security services. Silva begins an investigation at sea, while back on land, Amy's old colleague and flame DS Kirsten Longacre (The Good Fight's Rose Leslie) hunts for more clues. And what she discovers is a conspiracy that threatens Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Is her life in danger? And can she crack the mystery before it’s too late?

Talking about playing Amy, Suranne says: "She's supposed to be on HMS Vigil for three days, but she uncovers lots of other things and ends up getting trapped down there for longer. Due to Navy protocols, she has no way of openly communicating with the land, and the only way Amy and Kirsten can contact each other is through heavily monitored telegrams.

"But Amy chooses Kirsten for this mission because they have a history and she asks Kirsten to hide messages about elements of the land investigation in her telegrams."

And we now know that there will be another series, Vigil season 2!

Suranne Jones in Vigil.

Suranne Jones as DCI Amy Silva in 'Vigil'. (Image credit: BBC)

Vigil cast...

Starring alongside Suranne Jones is Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie as DS Kirsten Longacre who helps Silva lead an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that goes to the very heart of Britain’s national security.

Line of Duty actor Martin Compston also stars while other cast includes Stephen Dillane (Game Of Thrones), Lolita Chakrabarti (Riviera), Daniel Portman (Game Of Thrones), Lorne MacFadyen (Grantchester), Stephen McCole (Save Me), Tom Gill (Peterloo), Lois Chimimba (Top Boy), Anita Vettesse (The Loch), Bobby Rainsbury (Call The Midwife), Cristian Ortega (Beats) and Lauren Lyle (Outlander).

Line of Duty's Martin Compston in upcoming BBC1 thriller Vigil.

'Line of Duty' star Martin Compston in 'Vigil'. (Image credit: BBC)

Rose Leslie in Vigil.

Rose Leslie as DS Kirsten Longacre in 'Vigil'. (Image credit: BBC)

Anjli Mohindra and Paterson Joseph in Vigil.

Anjli Mohindra and Paterson Joseph in 'Vigil'. (Image credit: BBC)

Connor Swindells in Vigil.

Connor Swindells in 'Vigil'. (Image credit: BBC)

How many parts is Vigil?

Six one-hour episodes. Filming had to be paused at one stage due to the pandemic, but it then resumed around Glasgow. Vigil is set and was filmed in Scotland, and is supported by the National Lottery through Screen Scotland.

Episode recaps — spoiler alert!

What happened in episode 1?

In Vigil episode 1, we saw Scottish fishing trawler Mhairi Finnea dragged under the water, leaving its crew members adrift in the water and in urgent need of help. That's where the HMS Vigil came in, where Craig Burke saw the trawler sinking on the submarine's sonar though he couldn't see what had caused the tragedy.

The shocks didn't end there either, as HMS Vigil's Captain Newsome refused to intervene and sent Craig back to his quarters to cool off, where he was found dead of an apparent drug overdose just hours later. Following his death, DCI Amy Silva was summoned to Navy command and asked to investigate, unconvinced that Craig died of an overdose. It's even more mysterious when Amy discovers a head injury on Craig's body, and a USB containing videos where Burke promises to reveal the truth about HMS Vigil.

Episode 1 came to a dramatic end when the vessel's reactor malfunctions, injuring crew member Gary Walsh and leaving the ship without power...

What happened in episode 2?

Vigil episode 2 reveals that Gary Walsh was seriously injured in the nitrogen burst that occurred during the reactor malfunction, but his condition is stabilised. It's not yet known what caused the problem, or who or what was behind it. Meanwhile, attempts to view the video files on Craig Burke's USB drive are unsuccessful, but it is revealed that Gary Walsh and another man recently beat up Burke at a local pub. 

It's also revealed that one of Gary's younger brothers was dishonourably discharged from the Navy for heroin possession and that Lt Commander Prentice disciplined Craig several times in the days leading up to his death. However, Gary was also disciplined, with the reason omitted from the logbook and it proves frustrating when Prentice refuses to cooperate with DCI Silva during her investigation.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!