In the second instalment of Tuesday night BBC One drama ‘In The Dark’, chilling truths are uncovered, secrets are revealed and a murderer is revealed. MyAnna Buring again shines as the haunted DI Weeks. Her character is strong, flawed and not one you want to drive to anger. Buring embodies her brilliantly and shares the torments suffered in her home town so powerfully that it makes for a difficult watch.

Continuing on from the previous week’s episode, the case of the two abducted children develops further. Whilst the remains of one of the girls was found in episode one, the seconds whereabouts are unknown. The prime suspect is admitted to hospital after an apparent suicide attempt. A sign of guilt perhaps? The case gets a bit CSI, via a pig farm. Central to that theory is Matt King, who Doctor Who fans may recall from ‘The Shakespeare Code’. Nonetheless something still doesn’t quite add up.

Once again MyAnna Buring is the focus, struggling with haunting images of her past and regret over a recent act of infidelity. DI Weeks also has to deal with being with youths spitting in her face plus the twinges and nausea of pregnancy. The episode meanders through at a much more sedate pace than anticipated. But when the revelations arrive they come thick and fast. Buring is devastatingly powerful as she bares her soul. Like all good coppers however her mind is never off the job as she swings into action to nab the real perpetrator.

In The Dark - TX: 11/07/2017 - Paul Hopkins and Phil Hendricks. Paul Hopkins (BEN BATT), Phil Hendricks (MATT KING) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Gary Moyes
In The Dark – TX: 18/07/2017 – Paul Hopkins and Phil Hendricks. Paul Hopkins (BEN BATT), Phil Hendricks (MATT KING) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Gary Moyes

Conclusion of Convenience

The final confrontation is a bit convenient. Criminals seem to have second sight or a sixth sense for when the net is closing in. Confounding logic further the crim leads the coppers to his secret kidnapped hideaway. Whilst the identity of the culprit is reasonably coherent, other elements aren’t really explained with a reliance on convenience and loose plausibility. For instance, Bate’s uncovered relationship with a 16-year-old is supposedly enough to drive an innocent man to attempt to take his own life, fearing that fact alone might convict him. Overall Yorkshire is presented as an unfortunate place to grow up as a young girl, no matter which generation you are. To say that this make sense for uncomfortable viewing is an understatement.

Sadly this concluding episode to the abducted girls narrative is a disappointment after the gripping first installment. Tales of child abduction are not likely to be full of chuckles and it proves to be a suitably grim and dark episode to watch. This tone is also reflected in the direction and photography. Both of these are skilfully delivered by Director Gilles Bannier and his team. Happily Matt King’s character does at least provide much-needed moments of light relief. Ultimately however it is MyAnna Buring who once again shines, delivering a phenomenal performance. When the TV acting awards season comes around I hope that she is acknowledged for her impressive work.

In The Dark - TX: 11/07/2017 - Picture Shows: Helen Weeks (MYANNA BURING) - (C) BBC/Gary Moyes - Photographer: Gary Moyes
In The Dark – TX: 11/07/2017 – Picture Shows: Helen Weeks (MYANNA BURING) – (C) BBC/Gary Moyes – Photographer: Gary Moyes

Episode 3

DI Weeks returns to Manchester with the aftermath of her trip home to contend with. To say things are frosty at home is an understatement. But Helen and Paul manage to patch things up. The quiet moments are just that. No incidental music, just two actors. Then, out of nowhere, a bombshell. It genuinely comes as a shock.

It’s a tragic story. One man is killed before even getting to meet his child. Another father trying to get money to buy a pram causes the death of the first man. Once again MyAnna Buring is spectacular. Grieving. Confused. Angry. All of her emotions are portrayed with a deft subtlety that is an art form in and of itself. There are no grandiose expressions. Everything is very controlled, with a typically British resolve. Much like Helen Weeks, the viewer also meanders through the remainder of the episode. There’s a numbness created by the shocking events that permeates through all the scenes that follow. This is not a criticism but merely a sensation I had as a viewer.

Despite the tragedy DI Weeks’ investigatory instincts continue to twitch. Although there is a randomness to the events there is something that doesn’t quite add up. Perhaps it is the prick of a guilty conscience for her infidelity but Helen thinks that an accident isn’t the whole story. Tim McInnery plays Frank Linnell but he is more Halpen from ‘Planet of the Ood’ than Captain Darling from Blackadder Goes Fourth. His character is the epitome of the episode, he is an enigma. Much is left to uncover with Linnell and in this tale as a whole, making for an eagerly anticipated finale.

This penultimate installment of the quintet poses more questions than it presents answers. However, with one episode to go this particular viewer is hooked, keen to see the conclusion.


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