Vigil Series 1 Recap: DCI Amy Silva’s Fiancé, DI Kirsten Longacre, Poppy, & the Russians

Need a refresher on what happened to Suranne Jones' Amy Silva and Rose Leslie's Kirsten Longacre last time? Series 1 spoilers ahead

Suranne Jones Vigil
Photo: BBC/World Productions

Warning: contains spoilers for Vigil series one.

DCI Amy Silva is back! Even if most people would have quit Police Scotland and retrained as a florist the moment we hit dry land after what happened on board nuclear submarine HMS Vigil, Silva is not most people.

In Vigil series two (it’s still called that, even though the boat it’s named after is history), Silva is taking on a different branch of the British Armed Forces – the Royal Air Force. When a brutal incident occurs at a Scottish air base, Silva is drafted in to kick ass and take names. And seeing as it’s now over two years since the first series aired on BBC One, here’s a brief reminder of where Silva, her step-daughter Poppy, her partner Kirsten Longacre and their last case were left.

If you want even more detail, read our series one ending explainer here, and our spoiler-filled series one episode reviews here.

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Murder on HMS Vigil and Russian Sabotage

Series one was essentially an old-fashioned country house murder mystery but set aboard a nuclear sub. A murder happened and DCI Silva of Police Scotland was air-lifted in to solve it, which she did by coolly interviewing suspects, meeting their hostility with no-nonsense professionalism, and almost dying multiple times, until finally unveiling the killer.

Silva sniffed out the truth about the death of Chief Petty Officer Craig Burke (played by Line of Duty’s Martin Compston) and revealed that he’d been killed as part of a Russian plan to sabotage the Royal Navy nuclear programme. The boat’s cook Jackie had been coerced by the Russians into fatally poisoning Burke in exchange for her son’s release from a Bali prison, and was killed in the process.

Burke’s replacement CPO Doward, who was air-lifted onto the sub at the same time as Silva, was working for the Russians. He’d enacted multiple acts of sabotage that caused the boat’s command to shit themselves at least once an episode. Thanks to Silva – whom Doward had trapped in a torpedo tube rapidly filling with water – and the rest of the surviving crew, Doward was caught and sentenced in a closed trial.

Secondary to the Burke murder plot were goings-on at a nearby peace camp protesting against the presence of Trident nuclear subs in Scotland, the murder of Burke’s peace camp girlfriend, the unveiling of a transatlantic cover-up involving the deaths-by-negligence of two workers at a Florida naval base, and another cover-up of a US submarine having caused the deaths of a Scottish fishing trawler crew.

DI Kirsten Longacre, Poppy, Iain and the Car Accident

In flashback we learned that years earlier, Amy Silva was in a serious relationship with Iain Torrens, and together they raised his daughter Poppy – whose mother had died soon after giving birth.

Iain and Amy were planning to get married when the family car came off the road and into a loch, knocking Iain unconscious. Amy escaped the vehicle but had to choose between saving her fiancé or her step-daughter. She chose Poppy and Iain died, leaving Amy traumatised, suffering from PTSD and claustrophobia, and taking anti-depressants.

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After Iain’s death, Amy shut down her feelings until she fell for her colleague DI Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie). They started a relationship until Amy broke it off, and were exes by the time series one took place. On board HMS Vigil, Amy’s unresolved trauma about the accident plagued her, not helped by her lack of medication after the planned three-day visit to the boat turned into multiple weeks.

After surviving several near-death experiences on HMS Vigil, and working remotely with Kirsten who was solving the murder mystery simultaneously on shore, Amy and Kirsten reunited in the finale. Series two sees the couple still going strong and raising Poppy together – Amy obviously having won the custody battle she was engaged in with Poppy’s paternal grandparents.  

Series Two Release Date

Here’s what Silvacre (the couple’s official fandom name) are facing in the six-episode second series:

“In a brand-new investigation, DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) and DI Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) enter the world of drone warfare to catch a killer. Following multiple unexplained fatalities at a Scottish military facility, Silva and Longacre are tasked with uncovering the cause. Entering the hostile and closed ranks of the air force, the pair must face the deadly warfare of tomorrow as they fight for their own future.”

Release-wise, Vigil series two will be broadcast on BBC One on consecutive nights in two chunks: episodes one to three will air on Sunday 10, Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 at 9pm on BBC One (with all three available to stream on BBC iPlayer from 6 a.m. on Sunday 10).

Episodes four to six will air on Sunday 17, Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 of December at 9pm on BBC One (with all three available on iPlayer from 6 a.m. on Sunday December 17).

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Vigil series one is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.