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BBC’s Show Vigil’s Submarine Sets Pictures Never Seen Before

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Shiver me wood! On the eve of the finale of BBC hit drama Vigil, the submarine as you’ve never seen it… in all its plywood set design glory

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Viewers are captivated by TV drama Vigil, with its clever plot twists and unexplained death, all on a nuclear submarine.

But there’s also another mystery at the heart of the BBC show – which is exactly what a nuclear submarine should look like.

With very little information to get started due to the Royal Navy’s strict security protocols, the program’s production designer Tom Sayer had to do his job to create an authentic set for the drama.

But as these exclusive photos show, lots of wood planks and extensive paintwork can go a long way. Base components of the set – based on the BBC’s Dumbarton studios in Scotland – are made with marine grade MDF or plywood.

The series, which ends tomorrow night, sees DCI Silva (Suranne Jones) investigating a death on HMS Vigil. However, the case turns out to be more complex than it first appeared

With very little information to get started due to the Royal Navy's strict security protocols, the program's production designer Tom Sayer had to do his job to create an authentic set for the drama.

With very little information to get started due to the Royal Navy’s strict security protocols, the program’s production designer Tom Sayer had to do his job to create an authentic set for the drama.

Mr. Sayer had begun studying the design of former submarines to learn more about their inner workings.  His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310 ft long set in three and a half months

Mr. Sayer had begun studying the design of former submarines to learn more about their inner workings. His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310 ft long set in three and a half months

There's another mystery at the heart of the BBC show - namely, what exactly a nuclear submarine should look like

There’s another mystery at the heart of the BBC show – namely, what exactly a nuclear submarine should look like

It was then covered with paint or clad in laminate boards before being trimmed with aluminum strip to make it look as realistic as possible.

Mr. Sayer had begun studying the design of former submarines to learn more about their inner workings. His sketches were then turned into a convincing 310 foot long set in three and a half months.

“We were given advice on the layout and detailing of ex-submarines,” he told Radio Times.

“We would say to someone, ‘Imagine a man leaving the missile deck, where is he walking to? What’s through that door?’ “Then we asked someone else where the bomb store was relative to the control room, so we could figure it out together.”

The series, which ends tomorrow night, sees DCI Silva (Suranne Jones) investigating a death on HMS Vigil. However, the case turns out to be more complex than it first appeared.

Base components of the set - based on the BBC's Dumbarton studios in Scotland - are made with marine grade MDF or plywood

Base components of the set – based on the BBC’s Dumbarton studios in Scotland – are made with marine grade MDF or plywood

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