With a top cast including Martin Compston and Suranne Jones, pedigree producers and thrilling teasers, Vigil on BBC One promised to deliver much.
And viewers were enraptured by the opening episode on Sunday night.
Read more: Is Vigil on BBC One worthy of all the hype?
But one thing had pretty much everyone at home raging – Chief Petty Officer Craig Burke, played by Line of Duty legend Martin Compston, was bumped off within the first eight minutes.
Seriously, Steve Arnott made it through successive scrapes in six series of LoD – and this wee fella couldn’t last on a submarine!
What happened to Martin Compston’s character in Vigil?
Martin played Craig Burke whose role on HMS Vigil was to monitor the sonar. He raised an alert with his superiors when he saw that a trawler was in trouble.
And he tackled bosses when they refused to take the submarine up to rescue the trawler men.
Hours later, he was found dead – a suspected drug overdose.
Killing off a leading actor within a few minutes? Who does Vigil writer Tom Edge think he is, Jed Mercurio?
MC devotees were jumping on the sofa, spilling precious peanuts and Pinot… and some of the hilariously angry tweets were almost worth the disappointment of losing him…
— S (@S85337387) August 30, 2021
— OLVSKN (@oliveskinboy) August 30, 2021
— Sean (@Sean_1986) August 29, 2021
— Gene McGurk (@magawk) August 29, 2021
— Helen 💙 (@helenridge01) August 29, 2021
— Edith🌻 (@amiinimitable) August 29, 2021
How did Burke really die?
Suranne Jones’ detective character DCI Amy Silva, was brought aboard the submarine to investigate Burke’s death.
It was pretty clear her presence wasn’t welcome – and her heckles were immediately up when the bosses of HMS Vigil refused to send Burke’s body to land for a proper post mortem.
Amy was suspicious about Burke’s death – to her it looked as though drugs had been rubbed around his nostrils to make it look as though he’d OD’ed snorting heroin!
However, all was not lost for Martin fans, as he popped up again at the end of the episode.
Burke had made a whistleblowing video, warning of corruption and him being in danger on HMS Vigil, which DS Kristen Longacre had got her hands on.
So it looks like we will be seeing more of him in subsequent episodes.
— Donna 🌺 (@Stewp67) August 29, 2021
What has Martin Compston said about Burke’s death?
The Nest star admitted: “I’ve not told a single soul. You just can’t give these things away – nobody wants a spoiler, and I wouldn’t want to kill the surprise for anybody.
“Even my family and people close to me who knew I wasn’t away filming Vigil for very long, I just told them I had a ‘limited’ role.”
“I found it intriguing to be the surprise death for once. I was chuffed to be asked.
“What I found especially intriguing was that Burke dies and – just when you think you’ve seen the last of him – it turns out that, no, he’s still got more to give and more to say and he’s made it so he hasn’t gone down without a fight.”
The second episode of Vigil airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One.
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