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Vigil Series 1 Recap: DCI Amy Silva’s Fiancé, DI Kirsten Longacre, Poppy, & the Russians

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Murder on HMS Vigil and Russian Sabotage

Series one was essentially an old-fashioned country house murder mystery but set aboard a nuclear sub. A murder happened and DCI Silva of Police Scotland was air-lifted in to solve it, which she did by coolly interviewing suspects, meeting their hostility with no-nonsense professionalism, and almost dying multiple times, until finally unveiling the killer.

Silva sniffed out the truth about the death of Chief Petty Officer Craig Burke (played by Line of Duty’s Martin Compston) and revealed that he’d been killed as part of a Russian plan to sabotage the Royal Navy nuclear programme. The boat’s cook Jackie had been coerced by the Russians into fatally poisoning Burke in exchange for her son’s release from a Bali prison, and was killed in the process.

Burke’s replacement CPO Doward, who was air-lifted onto the sub at the same time as Silva, was working for the Russians. He’d enacted multiple acts of sabotage that caused the boat’s command to shit themselves at least once an episode. Thanks to Silva – whom Doward had trapped in a torpedo tube rapidly filling with water – and the rest of the surviving crew, Doward was caught and sentenced in a closed trial.

Secondary to the Burke murder plot were goings-on at a nearby peace camp protesting against the presence of Trident nuclear subs in Scotland, the murder of Burke’s peace camp girlfriend, the unveiling of a transatlantic cover-up involving the deaths-by-negligence of two workers at a Florida naval base, and another cover-up of a US submarine having caused the deaths of a Scottish fishing trawler crew.

DI Kirsten Longacre, Poppy, Iain and the Car Accident

In flashback we learned that years earlier, Amy Silva was in a serious relationship with Iain Torrens, and together they raised his daughter Poppy – whose mother had died soon after giving birth.

Iain and Amy were planning to get married when the family car came off the road and into a loch, knocking Iain unconscious. Amy escaped the vehicle but had to choose between saving her fiancé or her step-daughter. She chose Poppy and Iain died, leaving Amy traumatised, suffering from PTSD and claustrophobia, and taking anti-depressants.


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