Vigil star Lorne MacFadyen breaks down "violent" episode 5 twist

·3-min read
Photo credit: World Productions - BBC
Photo credit: World Productions - BBC

Vigil spoilers follow.

Vigil star Lorne MacFadyen has opened up about that "violent reveal" in the episode five twist literally everyone is talking about.

As fans of the BBC One series will already know, episode five – which aired last Sunday (September 19) – revealed that MacFadyen's character Lt Matthew Doward was the Russian spy on the submarine in a seriously dramatic twist.

Tense scenes saw Doward attack Suranne Jones' DCI Amy Silva before locking her in a torpedo shoot and seemingly leaving her there to die.

MacFadyen spoke about the big reveal during a recent BAFTA Q&A, calling the big moment "great" and "amazing" while likening it to the infamous villain reveals on Scooby-Doo.

Photo credit: World Productions/Mark Mainz - BBC
Photo credit: World Productions/Mark Mainz - BBC

"Thanks to [creator] Tom [Edge] for that amazing reveal. That's really exciting. Hopefully there were a lot of people still sort of guessing right up until the last moment but yeah, I loved that arc of just being a shadowy, kind of polite character for a lot of it, and then being thrust into the action like that with a really violent reveal. I thought that was a really cool way of doing it," he said.

"I remember at the read through, [director] James [Strong] coming up to me and being like, 'So, you're our guy.' And I remember for a while it being a secret between me and James. I know that he did that when he directed Broadchurch," MacFadyen shared. "He didn't tell anyone who the killer was, and that sort of informed their acting decisions."

And while the rest of us have been in the dark about the traitor's identity this whole time, it turns out the actor has known his character has been harbouring a huge secret ever since he first landed the role years ago. Yes, years ago.

Photo credit: World Productions - BBC
Photo credit: World Productions - BBC

The actor admitted he actually found keeping his lips sealed "really fun", confessing even his nearest and dearest had no idea. "I found keeping it from my family and friends the best thing ever. It was like two years, pretty much, since I was cast, so that's a long time to hold onto that. And even sitting with my friends and family, my girlfriend, them turning to me and going, 'You didn't tell me that.' That's really satisfying," MacFadyen admitted.

Paterson Joseph, who plays Commander Neil Newsome on the series, admitted on The One Show just yesterday (September 21) that the whole cast were kept in the dark about the murderer's true identity.

As for MacFadyen, he confessed that keeping the big secret actually helped him to get more into character, saying: "I think there was a sense of isolation, holding a secret, which was really useful... for the job that he would have been doing as well, living this solitary life."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Related: Suranne Jones' Vigil becomes BBC's most-watched new drama of 2021

MacFadyen went on to call playing the role of the baddie "a big challenge", admitting: "There's the cliché, you don't judge them, you treat them as a human being and see their world through their eyes. So you have to figure out why it is they're doing these bad things, and it has to come from a place of, I guess, there's a righteousness there, a sense of what I'm doing is the right thing and I will go to the nth degree to get that done.

"It was really interesting having that conversation with James about why it is he's doing what he's doing, and we discussed that to great length."

Vigil airs on BBC One, with the finale airing on Sunday, September 26 at 9pm.

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