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Vigil: is the BBC drama based on a true story? 

The drama stars Suranne Jones, Rose Leslie and Shaun Evans 

vigil submarine 1
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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BBC’s new drama Vigil has been keeping us entertained on Sunday night, and follows a detective who goes aboard the submarine HMS Vigil to investigate the murder of one of its crew members. The show has been seriously gripping so far, but is it based on a true story? Find out here… 

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A spokesperson for the BBC has confirmed to The National Scot that the show is indeed fictional, saying that it is "a fictional drama and is not inspired by or based on any specific real-life events”. However, there are several parallels to real-life events throughout the series. 

WATCH: Have you been watching the drama?

In episode one, a trawler is sunk by a mysterious submarine, which the captain of HMS Vigil believes is trailing them. A similar tragedy took place in 199, when a fishing boat, FV Antare, was sunk by the Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS Trenchant, killing all four crew members. The official investigation concluded that the HMS Trenchant was at fault, saying that there was a “partial breakdown in both the standards and structure of watchkeeping on board HMS Trenchant”. 

vigil sub

BBC has confirmed the story is fictional

The peace camp that Jade was a part of is also thought to have been inspired by the Faslane peace camp, located near a Naval base in Scotland. 

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Speaking about the realities of the world he created for TV, screenwriter Tom Edge said: “This world [the nuclear deterrent] has rarely been explored on-screen. I can’t wait to take a BBC One audience down with us, into the pitch-black icy waters of the unseen Atlantic, where tomorrow’s geopolitical struggles are already being played out.”

peace camp vigil

The peace camp is thought to be inspired by Faslane peace camp

He added: “I think over the next ten years submarine warcraft is going to dominate in a way they haven’t been thought about for a while.”

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