If we leave aside The Beatles' yellow one, submarines have a pretty dim reputation in popular culture. They get attacked by a giant squid in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, become a wartime hellhole in Das Boot, and, to judge from Crimson Tide and The Hunt for Red October, they're nearly always on the verge of triggering World War III. Their image doesn't get any brighter in Vigil, a new police procedural about a murder aboard a nuclear submarine. The show broke BBC ratings records when it aired this summer in the UK and is now premiering in the U.S. on the Peacock streaming service.
Filled with well-known TV actors, this six-part series is a weird hybrid. It marries the bingeably implausible plotting of shows like The Bodyguard and Line of Duty to a story of psychological healing. When a sailor is killed aboard H.M.S. Vigil, a Scottish-based nuclear submarine out on patrol, the police hand the case to its top investigator, Det. Chief Inspector Amy Silva. She's played by Suranne Jones, a huge British star who you may know from Doctor Foster and Gentleman Jack.