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Vigil finale: Once you come up for air, did it really hold water?

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Spoiler alert: This article reveals major plot details of the final episode of Vigil.

Now Vigil is over, we can finally come up for air and take a deep breath. Phew, that was intense.

The finale, which aired on Monday night, was deeply satisfying in the sense that it wrapped everything up neatly, including giving us the happy ending DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) and DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) – a couple dubbed Silvacre by some fans – clearly deserved. But once you’d got your landlegs again it might have struck you as also being a bit pat and predictable, and a lot far-fetched.

Don’t leave us hanging: Suranne Jones as Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva in Vigil. Credit:BBC

The genius of Vigil lay in its setting. A murder investigation in a closed community always ups the ante – think Witness or Knives Out or pretty much any Agatha Christie whodunnit ever. Make that community a submarine crew, bound by ties of comradeship, secrecy and a heightened sense of risk and responsibility, and you can dial it up to 11.

The tension was relentless. While the land-based elements of the story provided their own excitement, Amy’s isolation underwater ratcheted it up enormously. Add to the fact that almost everyone on board had a reason to despise her at some point, and possibly to want her dead, and it was almost unbearable at times.

But surfacing from all that claustrophobic tension risks a case of the televisual bends.

Things get tense – and stay that way – below the surface of the submarine murder mystery.Credit:BBC

Suddenly you can see how many circumstances had to align to make it all work – and the most glaring example is Amy herself.

What are the odds of a cop narrowly escaping drowning in a car accident that kills her partner? Pretty slim. What are the odds of that officer then being assigned to investigate a mysterious death on board a submarine, where her PTSD might have full reign? Unless her superiors were asleep at the wheel, close to zero.

What odds that her girlfriend would have taught her Morse code by tapping out sweet nothings on her back, enabling Amy to signal for help from inside the torpedo tube where she’d been stuffed by the villain? What odds that Executive Officer Mark Prentice (Adam James) – a man she had not so long ago accused of murder, and whose career she has absolutely shredded – would happen to hear her tapping when so many others who had been in the room had not, that he would open the tube just as she was drawing her last breath, and that he would then sacrifice his own life to save hers when the villain re-emerged?

Just like Chief Petty Officer Elliot Glover (Shaun Evans) finally clocking that everything was designed to bring the boat to the surface, you can start to see a pattern here, right?

Speaking of that motivation, everything is built around the idea that the ship’s captain, Commander Neil Newsome (Paterson Joseph), would do absolutely everything in his power – including letting crew members die and possibly allowing the sub itself to sink to the bottom of the ocean, taking all aboard with her – to avoid surfacing, lest it give the boat’s position away to the Russians.

And yet, in episode two, THE BOAT DOES PRECISELY THAT!

After the near-meltdown of the nuclear reactor, the boat is running on batteries, but those batteries are old and will only last three hours. After that, Glover explains to Amy, “we’d use the backup diesels. Which means going to the surface and sticking up a periscope.”

Cut to the captain: “I don’t want us anywhere near the surface, not if there’s a chance we’re being shadowed.”

But the next thing you know the sub is at periscope depth, just below the surface, where it almost collides with a tanker.

A few minutes after narrowly escaping that disaster, the captain is told they’ll need to use the diesel motors because the reactor is still shot.

“No, I’m sorry,” he says. “Sitting on the surface to double-check things is not an option if we’re being trailed by an enemy submarine.”

What the …?

And let’s not even start on the villain. Towards the end of episode five, Amy and Glover finally crack the code. “What if it was Jackie [the cook]’s job to kill Burke, so they could fly a replacement out?” she muses. “Doward,” says Glover of the replacement sonar operator who came on board with Amy.

Seriously, how did it take so long? Fifteen seconds after he landed poop and fan started mingling. First the reactor meltdown, then the near-miss – prompting the captain to bellow at Doward (Lorne MacFadyen), who was on sonar duties, “How can you not hear a tanker?” – then the communications cable fouls, then the bilge pump starts leaking. Other than the near collision, who’s been absent from deck each time? Doward.

If this lot are meant to be the ever-alert first line of defence, with their fingers on the nuclear button, we should all be very afraid indeed.

And what was it all for in the end? A selfie for the Russian navy, it seems, designed to show what a basket case Britain’s nuclear subs are.

At least we should thank our lucky stars we’re not on board that particular boat, I suppose. Oh, wait…

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

Email the author at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook at karlquinnjournalist and on Twitter @karlkwin

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Brits in foodie debate after arguing over flavours on wedding crisp wall

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Everyone has differing tastes when it comes to their big day. Some people opt for extravagance whilst others prefer a more low key wedding.

Regardless of taste, people often want their day to be memorable.

And, it seems a new foodie trend has been started in the UK. Forget donut and Prosecco walls, one Reddit user was stunned when they came across a wedding “crisp wall”.

They titled the post: “A crisps wall for a wedding? I’ll take three!”

A picture of a three panelled crisp wall was attached to the post, which included what was thought to be some of the fan favourite potato snacks.

However, the creative decoration has caused a bit of a stir on the online forum as people were not satisfied with the choice of crisps on offer.

In true Brit style, the comment section quickly erupted into a foodie fuelled debate over the selection of crisp flavours.

One person commented: “Very questionable choices in place I must admit!”

Another user added: “No monster munch!?”

Whilst a third person stated: “No T-bone roysters either, what a joke.”

Someone else shared: “Far too many walkers roast chickens on there, poor late comers are gonna be devastated.”

Meanwhile, a fifth person said: “No Hula Hoops? It’s a f***ing travesty.”

However, some people decided to stay out of the crisp debate and questioned why the wall was there in the first place.

One user said: “Plot twist: That was the wedding dinner.”

Another person commented: “I don’t understand it but I like it.”

Someone else joked: “I’m divorced, but part of me wants to get married again just so I could do this.”

Let us know in the comments what crisps you would have chosen for the wall!

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I thought I would be crucified and my baby’s arrival was linked to the ‘Second Coming’

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EXCITED to bring her newborn baby home, Katherine Shaw knew she was in for some sleepless nights.

The special educational needs (SEN) teacher had a normal pregnancy and welcomed baby Jude at 7.49am on 24 April 2020, at the height of the coronavirus lockdown.



The 31-year-old and her husband Matt, 34, brought Jude home later that afternoon and like most new parents, they faced sleepless nights.

Although Katherine was struggling, she thought it was normal at the time.

Katherine, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire has now revealed how just a week after giving birth she experienced a psychotic episode.

She tells how postpartum psychosis led her to be convinced she was “the second coming” and she thought she would trigger a Noah’s Ark style flood by flushing the toilet.

“It came on really quickly and escalated – in just 10 minutes I went from feeling like myself to becoming a shaking wrek”, she said.

Katherine said that in the first few days after Jude arrived, she was unable to switch off and sleep soundly.

She explained: “I didn’t have negative thoughts at this point but my brain was very active and wanted to be busy all the time.

“On reflection, I feel this may have been some sort of mania in the build up to the psychotic episode.”

When Jude was a week old, Katherine and her family started to notice something was seriously wrong.

Katherine said she felt as though her thoughts were racing and said to deal with this she tried to write them down on her phone, but felt as though she couldn’t type quick enough.

She added: “I didn’t tell anyone but very quickly, they turned into delusions.

“I believed tapping my phone rapidly would transfer the thoughts from my head into my phone, and I thought rubbing my hands or tapping on myself quickly would slow down time.

“I began thinking about God creating the world in seven days and believed I could now understand how he did it.

“I started to think I was the second coming and Jude’s birth was linked to this.

“I was unable to swallow my food and was convinced if I flushed the toilet it would trigger a Noah’s Ark type situation.”

What is postpartum psychosis?

POSTPARTUM psychosis (otherwise known as puerperal psychosis or postnatal psychosis) is a mental illness which can affect any new mother – and could cause her to harm herself, or her baby.

t should be treated as a medical emergency – and can get rapidly worse if not treated.

In the worst cases, psychosis could cause a new mum to harm her baby or herself.

The two main symptoms are hallucinations, seeing or hearing things which aren’t there, and delusions, having thoughts or beliefs that are unlikely to be true (e.g. that you’ve won the lottery).

What to look out for:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • High mood/mania: talking too quickly, feeling ‘on top of the world’ or being more sociable than normal
  • Low mood/depression: being withdrawn, tearful, anxious, irritable, and having low energy levels, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Severe confusion

When her family noticed her behaviour, they tried to help her sleep while they sought advice from the hospital.

Husband Matt drove her to hospital while Katherine’s mum stayed at home with Jude.

During the car journey, Katherine deteriorated.

She said: “I believed the car was going to crash and we would die. I then started to believe the things that happened to Jesus would happen to me – betrayal, disbelief, crucifixion.”

At the time Covid rules were still in place, but Matt was given special permission to stay with his wife at the hospital.

She agreed to take medication and tried to sleep, while Matt lay beside her.

When she awoke the next day she said she felt confused and still had some ‘strange beliefs’.

She added: “After a few days, eventually I was calm enough to be discharged back home with the support of the crisis team.”

‘ONGOING STRUGGLE’

In the months that followed Katherine continued to struggle with her mental health and had panic attacks.

She also lost her appetite, had blurry vision and experienced mood swings.

“I felt numb and spaced out, I had constant anxiety, difficulty concentrating and intrusive thoughts that constantly controlled, tormented and haunted my mind.

“Although I had my family around me every step of the way I felt so alone in what was happening to me. I was petrified, it felt never-ending”, Katherine said.

In mid-July Katherine decided to admit herself to Brockington Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) in Stafford, meaning Jude was able to come with her.

She spent four months at the hospital receiving treatment and said her ‘heart ached’ when she had to leave her husband, but that on the surface she was ‘numb’.

She said: “I found myself watching the clock all day every day and, due to Covid, visits were restricted to three times a week for just one hour per visit.

“All of the staff I encountered through my illness were just outstanding people. I couldn’t have wished for nicer people to care for me.

“Unfortunately the facilities did not provide a nurturing environment to support healthy recovery.

“As a teacher, being led to an out-of-date playroom with donated toys and poster paints and being told I could do some sort of art made me feel like I was a child in a bad early years foundation stage setting.”

She explained that there were no alternative therapies available alongside medication.

Katherine added: “I would like to have seen CBT; massage or acupuncture; exercise such as a gym and swimming pool; art, music or movement therapy and mindfulness.

“If we were lucky we had a short walk around the hospital grounds with a member of staff.”

TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE

A year after leaving the hospital Katherine has recovered and returned to work in April.

She said it took a while as a family to heal from what happened and that it had been a ‘traumatic experience’.

“Now we have settled down into family life and we have been able to enjoy normal things that at one point I never believed I would ever do again.”

Katherine is working with Action on Postpartum Psychosis to raise awareness of the condition, particularly among expectant and new parents.

She said: “Talking to others always has helped a lot. It has allowed me to process and come to terms with things.

“I spent a long time during my recovery being cross that no one talks about what could happen to you postpartum until you are in it and suffering.

“Talking has also helped me help others offering words of advice and comfort to friends that have had a hard time or been ill postpartum mental health.

“Talking doesn’t make anything go away or stop but it does make you realise you will one day find yourself again and most importantly you are not crazy or alone in the awful things you have had to experience.”  

A spokesperson for Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are currently undertaking a significant refurbishment of the ward, including creating more open plan spaces and increasing the amount of natural light.

“We have also been able to develop and increase our offer of therapeutic activities with the employment of a dedicated occupational therapy assistant.

“With the support of the Trust’s Arts for Health team the programme has recently included music and movement sessions and a range of art activities including work with clay. The unit has also recently received Quality Network for Perinatal Health Services accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.”


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How Rebecca Hall’s family history inspired new film Passing

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How Rebecca Hall’s family history inspired new film Passing: Actor turned director reveals how her US opera singer mother Maria Ewing and grandfather who were both biracial ‘passed’ themselves off as white

  • Rebecca Hall, 39, makes her directorial debut with black and white film Passing
  • Tells the story of two light-skinned Black women who ‘pass’ as white in the US 
  • Hall explained her connection to the subject through her own biracial history
  • Her maternal grandfather Norman Isaac Ewing ‘passed’ as white, she revealed
  • Hall’s mother is the biracial opera singer Maria Ewing, Sir Peter Hall’s third wife 

Director Rebecca Hall has revealed how her family’s own complex biracial history inspired her directorial debut, Passing, about two light-skinned Black women who ‘pass’ as white.

Hall, 39, is the daughter of white British director Sir Peter Hall and Detroit-born opera singer Maria Ewing, 71, whose mother was white Dutch and father was of African American, and possibly Sioux Native American and white European descent.

Like the characters in Passing, Hall’s maternal grandfather Norman Isaac Ewing spent his life ‘passing’ as a white man and raised his children, including Maria, as white. 

‘He was almost definitely African American. I say he passed for white; there was no language for that within even my family… it was it was mysterious even for [my mother] and complicated for her,’ Hall said in an interview with Screen Daily. 

Rebecca Hall has revealed how her family’s own biracial history inspired her directorial debut, Passing, about two light-skinned Black women who ‘pass’ as white. Pictured, Rebecca in 2010 with her mother, opera singer Maria Ewing, whose mother was white Dutch and father was of African American, and possibly Sioux Native American and white European descent

Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in Passing as Clare and Irene, two light-skin Black women who both ‘pass’ – intentionally and unintentionally – as white in 1920s New York

‘I then dug a little deeper, and it became very clear that he was white passing. And more than that, it was likely that his parents were also both white passing. And I started thinking more and more about the legacy of passing in a family.’ 

Martha J. Cutter, an associate professor of English at Kent State University, argues racial passing originated in advertisements offering rewards for captured runaway slaves in the US in the mid-18th century. 

It was uncommon for those who ran away from slavery to be described as being able ‘to pass’ or to ‘pass for’ white, almost white or Native American. 

Passing was threatening because it could ‘challenge’ the rationale for slavery: that Black people were ‘inferior’ to white. An individual’s ability to ‘appear’ white while ‘being’ Black destabilised this racist argument. 

The theme was explored in Nella Larsen’s 1929 novella, Passing, on which Hall’s film is based.  

It centres on the friendship of Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga), two light-skin Black women who both ‘pass’ – intentionally and unintentionally – as white in 1920s New York. 

Rebecca described her grandfather’s ‘passing’ as something that was ‘known and not known’. Adapting Passing for the screen was a way of processing her own complicated family history. Pictured, Rebecca as a baby with her mother Maria and father, director Sir Peter Hall 

Like the characters in Passing, Hall’s maternal grandfather Norman Isaac Ewing spent his life ‘passing’ as a white man and raised his children as white. Pictured, Maria with Rebecca

The pair reconnect in a chance encounter at a whites-only hotel during the Harlem Renaissance. It is Irene’s first attempt at passing, while Clare has done it for her entire life, even marrying a white racist who is unaware of his own wife’s heritage.

Hall explained she was recommended Passing by a friend about 10 years ago, when she was considering her own racial identity, and the privileges she was afforded as a white-presenting person. 

‘I began to think about how racial passing is representative of the American dream, in the sense that you can be self-made and turn yourself into something else, but also representative of the lie at the center of the American dream, which is that you only get to [participate] if your complexion is a certain color,’ she told the LA Times.

‘And as I started thinking more about that, I started wanting to know more and see how I sit in relation to that.’

Norman Isaac Ewing was born c. 1892-1894 to John William Ewing and Hattie Norman, who are both reportedly described in U.S. Census records as ‘mulatto’, an outdated term used to describe a child born to a Black person and a white person.

On the 1910 U.S. Census, Norman’s race is listed as ‘mulatto’. In 1920 he describes himself as ‘Native American Indian’.

Norman married Hermina Maria Veraar, who was born in Amsterdam, in 1938 in Ontario, Canada. The couple settled in the US and welcomed four daughters, Norma Koleta, Carol Pankratz, Frances Ewing and Maria Ewing.

Maria, pictured, met Sir Peter at Glyndebourne in the late 1970s. He directed her as Carmen and as Salome, whose Dance Of The Seven Veils left her totally naked on stage

Norman died in 1968, when Maria was a teenager, and Hermina died in 2004, aged 88. 

Maria graduated from Finney High School, Detroit, in 1968 and made her professional debut just eight years later in a Metropolitan Opera production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

She met Sir Peter at Glyndebourne in 1979. He directed her as Carmen and as Salome, whose Dance Of The Seven Veils left her totally naked on stage, and fell ‘madly in love’, despite being married to his second wife Jacky at the time. 

Jacky and he were divorced in 1981, and in 1982 he married Maria, who that same year gave birth to their daughter, Rebecca.

Hall was to write of his third marriage: ‘We were together for ten years of passion, highs and lows, excitement and despair. It was a turbulent life, gloriously happy and acutely miserable.’

But by 1988, he had fallen in love yet again with the theatre’s press officer, Nicki Frei. She became his fourth and final wife when he was 60 and she 30. 

Rebecca with her father Sir Peter Hall in 2006. Sir Peter, who married four times, died in 2017

Rebecca first starting her family’s heritage when she was in her mid-20s.

I went through a stage of really bringing it into a room and being surprised by the reaction that I got and also confused by the reaction, which varied,’ she told Screen Daily.

‘Some people would be accepting, and a lot of people just would laugh and find it hilarious. And I’d always be like, “What does that say about you that you find that so funny? What’s funny about it? Because I look like an English rose and that’s funny to you because you have an absolute idea about what blackness is?” 

‘All these things start to percolate and you’re like this walking paradox.’

In a separate interview, Rebecca described her grandfather’s ‘passing’ as something that was ‘known and not known’. Adapting Passing for the screen was a way of processing her own complicated family history.

‘I don’t think that I really had language for passing. It was such a difficult area of conversation in my family,’ explained Rebecca in an interview with Variety. 

Rebecca with her mother Maria Ewing and Leslie Caron, Sir Peter’s first wife, at his funeral

‘It was a question of, maybe my grandfather and maybe his parents [were Black], maybe this, maybe that, maybe it was something else, we don’t really know. It wasn’t framed as this choice.

‘I don’t think I understood the truth of [passing] until I read the book. And then I had a context for it that made sense and slotted everything together in relation to all of the snippets of information I had about my family.’ 

It was a long journey to get the film made, with producers Nina Yang Bongiovi and Forest Whitaker, of Significant Productions, initially sceptical about Hall’s suitability to tell the story. 

‘I was a little hesitant because what we do as a production company is champion filmmakers of colour,’ Bongiovi told Variety. ‘Our mission is to lift up underrepresented voices. 

‘So I told her, “I don’t know if it’s right for a Caucasian woman to tell a story about Black women who can pass. 

‘And when she told me that her [maternal side of the family] is African American but have been passing for generations, I almost fell off my chair. I was like, Wow, this actually makes her such a perfect filmmaker to tell the story.’

Hall said her mother was ‘incredibly moved’ when she saw the film for the first time.

‘There were a lot of tears,’ she said. ‘She said that she felt her father would have been released by it on some level because he was never able to talk about it. This has given our family an ability to not feel like there’s something that’s hidden.’

Passing is screening in a limited number of cinemas in the UK and US.

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