Written by Geoffrey Bastin



We all need a good laugh from time to time and what better way to find it than on a Sunday evening on the BBC.

Now, I suspect already that you think I’m going to start on about the TV license but alas that poll tax contention is for another time. Like me you have probably been following the rather deep subplot of the Vigil drama. It’s got everything in it to satisfy all the Diversity Managers and more that for some time have ruled the BBC.

Even the storyline could have been set anywhere really but this time around it was a nuclear submarine that happens to have a forty-year-old protest area not more a than a mile from the Faslane Base at Gare Loch just off the Clyde and just up the road from Glasgow. That location has been there since the Polaris subs first carried our nuclear deterrent and has progressed through to the most recent Trident programmes over fifty years.

Now if you haven’t been watching the four episodes so far I suggest you stop reading as what I’m going to say could spoil it.

The plot is indeed complicated, as many like to say, and to imagine a suspicious death on a capital ship in British waters needs a police officer to investigate means the task can only fall to a woman. Now the Captain of the sub who happens to be a Commander and has three stripes on his epaulettes, who incidentally is a person of colour suddenly develops a fourth stripe after one episode and becomes a real captain. The police officer attempts to take over the boat and is advised to go and lie down whilst the body of the deceased is stored in a torpedo tube to keep it fresh.

Meanwhile a rating who has smuggled drugs on board decides to wave his gun around as most submariners do, I’m told, when they have a grievance. Mind you he did spot a £10 padlock on a glass cupboard door that prevented almost anyone from having access to the nuclear reactor so he’s not all bad. But then to keep those diverse types happy we discover the policewoman is a lesbian and is on strong anti-depressants and suffers from claustrophobia. So nothing much of interest there. Mind you the suspicions for the next episode are that the Captain may appear in Wren’s uniform and ask the second officer to marry him. If that happens it will be Comedy Gold.

Meanwhile back on land the police woman’s lady friend who is also a detective chases a Russian agent and brings him down with a tackle for which even Johnny Wilkinson would be proud. He is over six feet and 16 stone and she’s wafer-thin in high heels but hey this is BBC drama. So far, the best bit was the memorial service on board Vigil. All the off duty crew and captain on a stealthy submarine with millions of pounds of high tech to keep them silent, are heard blasting out “for those in peril on the sea” at the top of their voices. I loved it. Can’t wait to see if they can top that in the last two episodes.

Recently overheard in a BBC corridor: ‘What can we trash next’, one privileged BBC executive asked another privileged BBC executive (both highly paid you understand). ‘We haven’t trashed the Royal Navy for some time’. ‘Great, let’s do it. Lesbian Super Detective, Black Captain, Privileged White Officers, Racist anti-women other ranks. We can put in every alphabet group we like, that’ll keep the Race and Diversity people happy. If the Navy doesn’t cooperate it doesn’t matter we’ll make it up!’

Hence Vigil. And let’s keep all the bodies in a torpedo tube for freshness. Unbelievable.

With BBC drama you almost know the plot. There will be a catastrophe that is the fault of Donald Trump. We will suffer through not being in the EU. The situation will be saved by a gay Muslim asylum seeker who was just about to be deported thanks to a stupid white male who as it just happens used to be in UKIP but is now a Reform UK party supporter.

We must always remember that this is drama on a grand scale that makes us laugh and is the exact opposite of what we have had to endure for eighteen months from their news and propaganda department just next door.

Of course, it all comes at the high cost of that TV license but in the case of Vigil worth every penny.

What will we do if the BBC ever loses its sense of humour?
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