Vigil: 8 Similar Detective Shows That Deserve a Watch

Created by Tom Edge, ‘Vigil’ is a British television thriller set on a nuclear submarine. The 2021 series centers on Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) as she probes a suspicious death aboard the vessel. When a crew member dies under mysterious circumstances, Silva is sent to the submarine to uncover the truth. As tensions rise among the crew and the investigation deepens, Silva must navigate through a complex web of secrets and betrayal.

The show features an ensemble cast including Rose Leslie as Leading Rating Kirsten Longacre, Shaun Evans as Lieutenant Commander Mark Prentice, and Paterson Joseph as Commander Neil Newsome. ‘Vigil’ explores themes of loyalty, power struggles, and the consequences of living in close quarters under extreme conditions. If you liked ‘Vigil’ for its intense suspense and intricate mysteries, here are 8 shows like ‘Vigil’ that deserve your attention.

8. The Long Call (2021)

‘The Long Call’ is a British crime drama that serves as an adaptation of Ann Cleeves’ eponymous novel, developed for the screen by Kelly Jones. Set in Devon, it follows Detective Inspector Matthew Venn (Ben Aldridge) as he investigates a murder in a tight-knit coastal community. Venn’s personal and professional lives intertwine as he uncovers secrets that challenge his own past and beliefs. The show explores themes of identity, belonging, and redemption.

The cast includes Juliet Stevenson, Martin Shaw, and Anita Dobson, injecting ingenuity into the narrative. Similar to ‘Vigil,’ it dives into the complexities of human relationships within closed communities while unraveling mysteries that have far-reaching consequences. Both series offer intense character-driven narratives set against compelling backdrops.

7. Broadchurch (2013-2017)

Crafted by Chris Chibnall, ‘Broadchurch‘ is a poignant British crime drama series that revolves around Detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), investigating the murder of a young boy in a small coastal town of the same name. Unlike the confined setting of ‘Vigil,’ ‘Broadchurch’ paints a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for its emotionally charged narrative. While ‘Vigil’ explores the impact of secrets within a submarine’s close quarters, ‘Broadchurch’ taps into the intricate dynamics of a community shattered by tragedy, offering a deeply moving exploration of grief, guilt, and resilience.

6. Last Resort (2012)

Conceived by Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek, ‘Last Resort’ is a high-stakes military drama. The series follows the crew of a US ballistic missile submarine, the USS Colorado, as they defy orders to launch nuclear missiles and seek refuge on a remote island after being declared enemies of the state. Led by Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and Executive Officer Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman), the cast also includes Daisy Betts and Robert Patrick in prominent roles. In contrast to ‘Vigil,’ ‘Last Resort’ explores themes of loyalty, patriotism, and the consequences of challenging authority on a global scale amidst geopolitical tensions and moral dilemmas.

5. Shetland (2013-)

‘Shetland,’ created by David Kane, shares thematic similarities with ‘Vigil’ in its exploration of crime in close-knit communities. Based on Ann Cleeves’ novels, the Scottish crime drama centers on Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) as he investigates murders against the picturesque backdrop of the Shetland Islands. The series, also featuring Alison O’Donnell and Steven Robertson, dives into the conundrums of island life, unraveling intricate mysteries while navigating interpersonal relationships. Like ‘Vigil,’ ‘Shetland’ captivates viewers with its atmospheric storytelling, emphasizing the impact of crime on tight-knit societies and the challenges faced by detectives in such environments.

4. Annika (2021-)

Annika‘ is a British crime drama series created by Nick Walker, featuring Nicola Walker as the titular character, Detective Inspector Annika Strandhed. The show follows Annika, a brilliant and unorthodox detective, as she solves high-profile crimes in Glasgow. Similar to ‘Vigil,’ ‘Annika’ combines the intensity of criminal investigations with character-driven storytelling. Both series showcase strong and unconventional protagonists navigating complex cases within specific environments – whether the confined quarters of a submarine in ‘Vigil’ or the urban landscapes of Glasgow in ‘Annika,’ captivating audiences with suspenseful mysteries and unique investigative approaches.

3. The Tower (2021)

Penned by Patrick Harbinson, ‘The Tower’ aligns with ‘Vigil’ through its intense focus on a confined setting and intricate criminal investigations. Set in a London high-rise, the series unfolds when a seemingly routine murder investigation reveals deep-rooted secrets and conspiracies. Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins (Gemma Whelan) spearheads the case, navigating the complexities of urban life. With a stellar cast including Tahir Rahim and Jimmy Akingbola, ‘The Tower’ cooks up suspense and interpersonal drama. It mirrors ‘Vigil’ by immersing audiences in a confined yet multifaceted environment, exploring the ripple effects of crime on both a personal and societal level within the towering backdrop of London.

2. The Deep (2010)

‘The Deep’ is a British television thriller created by Simon Donald that follows the crew of a research submarine, the Orpheus, as they embark on a perilous journey to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Led by Captain Frances Kelly (Minnie Driver) and Dr. Clem Donnelly (James Nesbitt), the crew encounters both natural and man-made dangers, uncovering dark secrets along the way.

Similar to ‘Vigil,’ ‘The Deep’ explores the claustrophobic and tense atmosphere of life aboard a submarine, where trust is paramount and secrets have dire consequences. Both series show the psychological toll of isolation and the high-stakes nature of operating in extreme environments, creating thorough plots around mysterious and dangerous circumstances.

1. Line of Duty (2012-2021)

For fans of ‘Vigil,’ ‘Line of Duty’ is a must-watch due to its gripping narrative centered on police corruption and internal investigations. Created by Jed Mercurio, ‘Line of Duty’ follows the anti-corruption unit AC-12, led by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), as they uncover deceit and conspiracy within the police force. It features intense interrogations, enigmatic characters, and unexpected twists, akin to the suspenseful atmosphere in ‘Vigil.’ With a star-studded cast including Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, and Adrian Dunbar, ‘Line of Duty’ offers a thrilling exploration of trust and betrayal within law enforcement, making it a great choice for fans of the tense and intricate storytelling of ‘Vigil.’

Read More: Vigil Season 2: Exploring All Filming Locations