BBC thriller Vigil: take a look at a real-life nuclear sub

A new documentary charts life on HMS Trenchant. Like HMS Vigil, Trenchant is a nuclear submarine.

When and where can I see the documentary?

Channel 5, Monday September 13, 9pm What can you see through the keyhole?

Vigil looks positively spacious compared to Trenchant’s claustrophobic and labyrinthine interior. If we’re talking swinging cats as a unit of measurement, Trenchant would be a kitten and Vigil a full grown tabby.

READ MORE: Is Dunloch naval base real?

Is it access all areas?

Hardly. If there is any action anywhere near a classified area, such as the reactor, the cameras beat a sharp retreat.

Who is on board?

The 130-strong crew are all male, unlike Vigil which has eight women. Trenchant’s captain says it is like a village under the water. Every mission begins with forming a human chain to load provisions for the four month voyage.

A big shop?

The biggest. 10,000 teabags and 600 litres of milk for starters, plus 15,000 rashers of bacon, a quarter ton of rice, and several thousand chicken breasts. Between the pressures of intense work, being away from home, and there being little else to do, grub looms large in the sailors’ concerns. Saturday steak night is the week’s highlight.

READ MORE: Vigil and Jones make deep impact

Are the jobs the same as on Vigil?

Joe the sonar operator on Trenchant is a match for Martin Compston’s character, the one who listens to the sounds of the deep to pick up on any hazards.

Any detectives winched on board Trenchant?

No, but remember the first episode of Vigil when the naval commander tells DCI Silva that she will have to leave the sub on a raft and mind out for any passing tankers? A similar exit takes place in Submarine, complete with watch through the fingers tension.

READ MORE: I like Vigil; just wish I could hear what the characters are saying




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The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992