Sit back, stretch your legs, and ignore the murders: seven ways to survive ITV’s Red Eye

<span>Richard Armitage and Jing Lusi star in Red Eye.</span><span>Photograph: Laurence Cendrowicz/Bad Wolf/Sony Pictures Television</span>
Richard Armitage and Jing Lusi star in Red Eye.Photograph: Laurence Cendrowicz/Bad Wolf/Sony Pictures Television

At some point in your life, odds are that you will have to take a red eye flight for work, or a holiday. These long-haul flights, departing at night and arriving at their destination early in the morning, can be exhausting. But they are not always predictable – and, as is the case in ITV’s new thriller Red Eye, one of the passengers may be an agent intent on preventing the truth about a shadowy organisation from getting out. That being the case, here are some top tips for making the most of your journey, and arriving in one piece.

1 Maximise your sleep time
This is the most important step of all – and there are a couple of key tricks to ensure you get a decent kip. A neck pillow helps to relieve back pain from sleeping upright, and an eye mask is a must if you want to shield your peepers from the series of mysterious deaths on board that seem to point to Matthew Nolan (Richard Armitage), a doctor being accompanied by DC Hana Li (Jing Lusi) to Beijing, where he is suspected of murder. Sleeping pills are not recommended, but you may find that a couple of drinks from the free bar help send you off!

2 Sample some haute (!) cuisine
Long gone are the days when airlines would provide a tray of grey slop to passengers. Nowadays, many carriers strike deals with top chefs to bring refined and enjoyable meals to the experience, with food expertly calibrated to give you the right energy and nutrition for your journey. If you can somehow avoid becoming the first mysterious casualty, you should find that the in-flight mealtime is a convivial and even pleasurable experience.

3 In-flight entertainment
Careful now. While the action surrounding you – involving protagonist Nolan as he seeks to clear his name and get to the bottom of the carnage – may be deeply suspenseful and engaging, that is not what is meant commonly by in-flight entertainment. Instead, select a film or TV show from the on-screen menu in front of you.

4 Stretch your legs
After a certain point the captain of the plane, who appears to have an agenda of his own, will announce that passengers are free to leave their seats for a bathroom break. On a long flight, take this opportunity to exercise your muscles, by walking up and down the central aisles. Be careful not to become collateral damage in an international diplomatic standoff that has gotten out of hand.

5 Ignore the murders
As the mysterious deaths start piling up on your red eye flight, you may be tempted to get involved and, like Nolan, desperately seek answers to the mounting horror surrounding you, before finding yourself in too deep. Or you might feel inclined to put in a call to head of MI5 Madeline Delaney (Lesley Sharp), as DC Li does, to find out if the killing is in any way connected to Operation Blindside. This would be a mistake. Lie back in your seat, and if you are unable to sleep, focus on your book or that movie you were halfway through.

6 Avoid stress
A common cause of concern for many passengers is … fellow passengers. If you are seated next to a difficult traveller, who takes up too much leg space or has a gun holster tucked under their jacket, don’t be afraid to ask to swap seats. It’s not unusual for planes on these routes to have extra spaces, either because the flight wasn’t sold out or because a few fellow passengers have been brutally offed and are now stowed away in a makeshift morgue on board.

7 Beware of turbulence!
Last but not least, always, always obey instructions from the captain or whoever may be pointing a revolver in your direction at any given moment. The pilot of the plane will warn you of any incoming turbulence ahead, and you should stay seated for the entirety of that occurrence. The gun-toting villain or cruelly framed innocent person will likewise spell out very clearly what you must do in order to survive. Listen carefully – that way you will be able to arrive safe, refreshed, and ready to start the day. Grab a coffee in the airport on your way out, never mention what you saw to anybody, and head off into town for the day ahead.

Red Eye starts on Sunday 21 April at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX