Created by Tom Edge, ‘Vigil‘ is a police-procedural series that follows the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and the death of a crew member aboard a nuclear submarine. It essentially begins when the Royal Navy invites DCI Amy Silva to examine the latter down in the waters, and she has no choice but to leave DS Kirsten Longacre to handle all the groundwork. Thus, with the ensuing twists and turns at every step of the way, along with the personal aspects involved, let’s uncover whether these two characters are based on real people or not, shall we?
Are Amy Silva and Kirsten Longacre Based on Real Police Officers?
Neither Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) nor detective Sergeant Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) with the Scottish Police Service are based on actual law enforcement officials. As far as we can tell, they are partly the result of an original idea by World Productions’ head developer, George Aza-Selinger, meaning that they’re fictional individuals whose storyline develops just to serve the overall picture. Of course, producers try their best to make their tale believable, but a spokesperson has since revealed that nothing is even loosely inspired by any specific real-life incidents.
Coming to personality traits, even though Amy Silva has faced her fair share of issues, she is someone who stays determined to do her job and do it right. She struggles with anxiety and depression after losing her boyfriend in a car accident, especially as it’d shoved them into the water, and she’d decided to help his young daughter (whom they were raising together) before him. The fact that his parents took her into custody soon after also affected her, yet Amy still managed to dive into her job and find happiness. Falling in love again scared her, but she did open up to it in the end.
As for Kirsten, she can only be described as a fierce, confident, and loving force of nature who knows her worth, both in her professional and personal life. Like Amy, she never backs away from her intuitions, yet she is different as she never backs away from her emotions either. She’s simply a go-getter whose dynamic nature not only keeps us hooked to her experiences but also makes her relationship with Amy the perfect blend of complex and compelling. Moreover, rather than it being an interfering facet, Kirsten’s consideration for everyone she meets only drives her to work harder and better.
With all that said, when ‘Vigil’ was first commissioned, the ‘Doctor Foster’ star even implied that she had to understand how to play Amy on her own because she had no idea about the world or whom she could look to for complete guidance. “Amy Silva is a brilliantly complex character, thrown into a highly charged situation where her authority is weakened,” Suranne said. “[In the series,] we watch as she navigates her own personal trauma and loss, all at a time when she’s questioning her relationships and life choices.”