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Vigil finale leaves BBC viewers ‘stressed’ and ‘claustrophobic’

Vigil finale leaves BBC viewers ‘stressed’ and ‘claustrophobic’ as Suranne Jones fights for air in a torpedo tube as it fills with water


BBC One’s hit series Vigil left viewers on the edge of their seats during Sunday night’s finale, as lead actress Suranne Jones found herself in a perilous scenario.

Suranne plays DCI Amy Silva in the series – a cop leading an investigation when a Scottish fishing trawler vanishes, while a murder takes place on-board a nuclear submarine elsewhere. 

DCI Silva found herself trapped in a torpedo tube as it filled with water during the tense climax, with it slowly filling up with water.

Drama! BBC One’s hit series Vigil left viewers on the edge of their seats during Sunday night’s finale, as lead actress Suranne Jones found herself in a perilous scenario

Kicking, screaming and struggling to breathe, Silva was seen slipping in and out of consciousness, blacking out.

Fans of the series were gripped, with many taking to Twitter to comment on the ‘tense’, ‘stressful’ and ‘claustrophobic’ sequence on screen.

‘Never felt as claustrophobic as I do watching #Vigil,’ one posted.

Another penned: ‘I don’t know why I do this to myself and watch #Vigil it gives me the worst anxiety.’

Tense! Suranne plays DCI Amy Silva in the series - a cop leading an investigation when a Scottish fishing trawler vanishes, while a murder takes place on-board a nuclear submarine elsewhere

Tense! Suranne plays DCI Amy Silva in the series – a cop leading an investigation when a Scottish fishing trawler vanishes, while a murder takes place on-board a nuclear submarine elsewhere

‘This episode is making me hold my breath & it’s stressing me out! #vigil,’ another tweeted.

Viewers have been gripped by Vigil, with its clever plot twists and unexplained death, all set on a nuclear submarine.

The finale was watched by an average overnight audience of 7.1 million viewers, with a 39.4 per cent share and a peak of 7.3 million viewers, as reports the BBC on Monday.

The programme’s production designer Tom Sayer had his work cut out creating an authentic set for the drama.

Basic components of the set – based at the BBC’s Dumbarton studios in Scotland – were created using marine-grade MDF or plywood.

Behind-the-scenes: With very little information to go off due to the Royal Navy's strict security protocols, the programme's production designer Tom Sayer had his work cut out creating an authentic set for the drama

Behind-the-scenes: With very little information to go off due to the Royal Navy’s strict security protocols, the programme’s production designer Tom Sayer had his work cut out creating an authentic set for the drama

Process: Mr Sayer had begun by studying the design of former submariners to learn about their inner workings. His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310ft-long set in three-and-a-half months

Process: Mr Sayer had begun by studying the design of former submariners to learn about their inner workings. His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310ft-long set in three-and-a-half months

There is another mystery at the heart of the BBC show – namely, what exactly a nuclear submarine is even supposed to look like

There is another mystery at the heart of the BBC show – namely, what exactly a nuclear submarine is even supposed to look like

It was then coated in paint or clad with laminate sheets before being trimmed with aluminium strip to make it look as realistic as possible.

Sayer had begun by studying the design of former submariners to learn about their inner workings. His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310ft-long set in three-and-a-half months. 

‘We got advice on the layout and detailing from ex-submariners,’ he told Radio Times.

‘We’d say to one, ‘Imagine if a guy left the missile deck, where does he walk to? What’s through that door?’ ‘Then we’d ask another one about where the bomb shop was in relation to the control room, so we could jigsaw it together.’

Vigil can be streamed on BBC iPlayer. 

Submarine: Basic components of the set – based at the BBC's Dumbarton studios in Scotland – were created using marine-grade MDF or plywood

Submarine: Basic components of the set – based at the BBC’s Dumbarton studios in Scotland – were created using marine-grade MDF or plywood

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