BBC's 'Vigil' becomes UK's biggest new drama in three years

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 14:00:01 on 02/05/2021 - Programme Name: Vigil - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 6) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED AND NOT FOR USE BEFORE 14:00hrs SUNDAY 2nd MAY 2021*** Amy Silva (SURANNE JONES) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: screengrab
Suranne Jones as DCI Silva in BBC's 'Vigil' (BBC)

Submarine thriller Vigil is the UK’s most watched new drama in three years, the BBC has said.

The first episode of the six-part series, starring Suranne Jones as a police detective investigating a murder at sea, attracted an audience of 13.4 million viewers, according to the BBC’s 30-day viewing data.

The show, made by World Productions, the company behind Line Of Duty, is now the highest rated new drama launch across all UK channels since Bodyguard, also made by World, in 2018.

It’s the second most-watched drama of the year, being beaten only by juggernaut Line Of Duty.

Watch: Vigil trailer

Suranne Jones stars in the whodunnit series as DCI Amy Silva, a detective tasked with boarding a submarine, following a mysterious death.

Read more: 'Vigil' creators tease possibility of a second series: 'That would be terrific' (exclusive)

As the six-part drama unfolded, Silva discovered dark forces at play and was soon fighting for her own survival under water.

Suranne Jones stars as a police officer investigating a death on board a submarine in 'Vigil'. (BBC)
Suranne Jones as DCI Silva on board the HMS Vigil in 'Vigil'. (BBC)

Game Of Thrones’ Rose Leslie, Line of Duty’s Martin Compston, Sex Education’s Connor Swindells, and Endeavour star Shaun Evans joined Jones in the cast.

Read more: Suranne Jones suffered whiplash filming stunts for new submarine drama

Speaking on the show’s success, Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s Chief Content Officer, said: “Vigil kept viewers hooked as Suranne Jones took them on a thrilling journey like no other. The series’ incredible success is testament to the power of the writing and a brilliant cast and crew.”

Intense thriller 'Vigil' became a smash-hit success and the biggest debut since 'Bodyguard' (BBC)
Intense thriller 'Vigil' became a smash-hit success and the biggest debut since 'Bodyguard' (BBC)

World Productions’ executive producers Simon Heath and Jake Lushington, added: “A very big thanks to everyone who tuned in and stayed for the six weeks of Vigil’s thrilling voyage through the Atlantic.

Read more: Martin Compston jokes he will sack his agent after Vigil's 'disappointing' ending

“The show was brought to the screen by a terrific team in Scotland and these huge figures are the result of their brilliant work.”

Vigil is available now on BBC iPlayer.

Watch: Suranne Jones shares experience of dementia in film for Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day