Sub me in: After four episodes of Vigil I’m ready for our submarine future


Are you good in confined spaces? Silva is not (the result of PTSD from a car crash), so when she sees her tomb-like sleeping quarters, she begins to panic.


Generally, the rule seems to be: there’s not much space onboard it, so it can’t be wasted. Every inch must be utilised; every officer must fulfil several roles. It makes you realise that having four Beatles living on the same yellow submarine would be a total waste of resources and space.

You should also brush up on your acronyms or risk being DOA the minute that hatch door slams shut. In the first two episodes of Vigil, I had to pause several times to Google the many acronyms being bandied about.

It turns out “XO” is not a cute kissy sign-off between crew members but stands for Executive Officer, the person typically responsible for managing day-to-day activities on the sub.

Speaking of day-to-day activities, don’t expect much fun while floating 300 metres under the ocean’s surface. “A successful patrol is one in which nothing unexpected happens,” Chief Petty Officer Elliot Glover (Shaun Evans) warns Silva during her induction. Snooze.

But despite all the above, there remains something magical about that murky existence deep below the sea. And while I may be nothing more than a lowly Lieutenant – to be fair, my submarine experience extends to a mere four episodes of Vigil – I am preparing to serve my country by doing what I do best: watching things.

Prime Minister Morrison anticipates that the first shiny new nuclear submarines will hit Australian waters in just over 18 months. Meanwhile, I will be working my hardest to get up to speed, thanks to these TV shows and films.

The Deep, S1, Amazon Prime Video

The BBC One five-episode miniseries The Deep takes place on a research submarine. The crew are searching for a rare biofuel but remain distracted by the knowledge that the submarine before them went missing.

Das Boot, S1-2, SBS On Demand

Based on the 1981 German film of the same name, drama Das Boot is set during the height of World War Two, as an inexperienced U-boat crew tries to survive a secret mission.

The Hunt For Red October, Binge

Sean Connery plays Russian Soviet submarine captain Marko Ramius in this Cold War thriller, and because he’s Sean Connery, he speaks Russian in a thick Scottish accent.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Disney +

The submarine genre gets the Wes Anderson treatment with this wonderfully offbeat film that sees Bill Murray hunting a mythical jaguar shark that killed his best friend.

U-571, Binge and Foxtel Now

Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel, Bill Paxton play three American submariners tasked with boarding a German submarine.

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


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