The anatomy of a thriller is rather simple: misdirection, parallel plot-lines, obscuring valuable information. Sometimes there’s violence, and sometimes there’s murder. The stakes creep up higher and higher as the clock winds down faster. The atmosphere is dark and suffocating, and suspicion runs wild and rampant. Trust no one. Everyone is watching.
BBC One’s The Capture follows soldier Shaun Emery (Callum Turner), who due to his actions overseas, is arrested and put on trial for war crimes after incriminating video footage comes to light. Upon further examination, the footage is ruled to have been unreliable, and Emery is cleared of the charges. That same night, Emery celebrates his release alongside his beautiful barrister Hannah Roberts (Laura Haddock), who he has grown extremely fond of during their time together. Hours later, however, CCTV footage shows Hannah being brutally abducted by none other than Emery himself.
Enter DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger). Having just been promoted, Carey is drafted to investigate Shaun Emery’s case which —thanks to the meddlesome nature of the British tabloids— is immediately labelled as a high-profile investigation despite the government’s best efforts to keep it hush-hush. Things are far from what they seem as Carey quickly finds out; the deeper she digs into the surveillance world, the more she begins to learn that the politics of manipulation is the nation’s most used-and-abused weapon against not just their enemies but their citizens as well. Carey’s investigation is blocked at every single turn, so she takes matters into her own hands, determined to piece together the mystery about that fateful night regardless of whether it may cost her career and her life. Unfortunately, the truth, it seems, does not wish to be discovered: Emery and Carey are but small, small flies trapped at the centre of a sprawling spider’s web, ready to devour them into a permanent silence.
Though it may be bold to say, The Capture is a brilliant thriller due to its relevancy and the endless twists and turns that are thrown at the audience with each subsequent episode. Moral shadows engulf the villains as much as they dictate the heroes, and the scariest part of it all, is that such a circumstance exists in our very world. Britain is one of the world’s most spied-upon nations, and digital captures are a form of evidence that is often irrefutable to juries as much as they are vulnerable to external influences. An unsettling climate is established mere minutes into the opening scene, and that air follows the characters like a bad omen, feeding off their fear and anxiety. Perhaps the only thing more abundant than paranoia, are the lies. Lies are like dominoes: tell one, and you can’t help but tell another, and another, until you’ve buried yourself so deep underneath them, that the only way out is a path no one wants to take.
Holliday Grainger and Callum Turner are magnificent in their roles: one, the criminalised soldier with a notorious temper, and the other a determined, unapologetic investigator who’s constantly belittled by her superiors despite her past results. The dynamic Grainger and Turner bring to the show is raw, believable and simply exciting. You cannot help but root for the both of them even though they operate on opposite sides of the law. Grainger brings a feisty flavor of confidence to the table, and she commands your attention whenever she is on screen. Turner is equally compelling, combining the waywardness of a man who has seen the horrors of combat with the fragility of a young father who just wants to return home and mend his bond with his estranged daughter. Grainger and Turner are certainly the right choices to carry this weighty story forward, and they bear such a responsibility with great ease.
England’s gloomy capital makes for an excellent choice in a supporting role; the idyllic suburbs are just as shadowy as the heart of the city, with Big Brother always right there to play witness to every single thing. Add in the rapid succession of cliffhangers, a boatload of political deviousness all in the name of justice —and of course-flashbacks with choppy editing— and you’ve struck gold.
The Capture is available to stream on BBC iPlayer
by Kacy Hogg
Kacy is an English Lit student living in the Great White North (no not Winterfell unfortunately), Canada. Her favourite films include the Harry Potter series, Cinderella, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hangover, and Lady Bird. She’s also an avid binge-watcher of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. You can follow her on Twitter here: @KacHogg95