The six-part Vigil (working title) will tell the fictional story of how the disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board a Trident nuclear submarine create conflict between the police, the Royal Navy, and intelligence services.
Suranne Jones, the star of BBC and HBO’s Gentleman Jack, will lead the cast as DCI Amy Silva, who spearheads the investigation which strikes at the heart of Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
Game Of Thrones and The Good Fight actress Rose Leslie has also landed a lead role, while other members of the cast include Shaun Evans (Endeavour), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard), Martin Compston (Line of Duty), Paterson Joseph (The Leftovers), Connor Swindells (Sex Education), Adam James (Doctor Foster), and Gary Lewis (His Dark Materials).
Vigil is written by Tom Edge, the BAFTA-nominated writer of feature film Judy and the creator of Netflix comedy Lovesick. Ed Macdonald (The End of The F***ing World) and Chandni Lakhani (Dublin Murders) have also written episodes, while James Strong (Broadchurch) and Isabelle Sieb (Shetland) are the directors.
Edge said: “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.”
Jones added: “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.”
Simon Heath is the executive producer of Vigil for World Productions, alongside the BBC’s Gaynor Holmes. The drama was commissioned by BBC drama controller Piers Wenger and BBC director of content Charlotte Moore.
Production will take place in Scotland with support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. World Productions’ parent company ITV Studios is handling global sales.