Episode 2 of Hard Sun, the new BBC One Saturday night programme from Luther creator Neil Harris picks up from episode 1 with the news out that the world will end. But then it takes a sharp right turn and goes where you wouldn’t expect.
Are you still here? After seeing the opening episode of Hard Sun quite soundly panned in certain circles last week, we’ve stayed around to see where BBC One’s new cop show/end of the world drama goes next. And it’s not where we thought it would go.
Following their nasty punch-up last week, new cop duo Renko and Hicks have separated. Renko has taken the Hard Sun flash drive to the press and has made an “If you’re watching this, I’m dead…” video while a battered Hicks is captured by the Bad People and forced to watch his pregnant wife as she’s carted off by more Bad People. The Bad People really really want that flash drive.
Four weeks on and the world has changed, but not how you might expect. The Bad People have convinced the world that Hard Sun is the biggest hoax since the Hitler Diaries. The reporter who broke the story is now broken himself, his career in tatters. Hicks and Renko are astonishingly still working for the Met and investigating crime.
But let’s just go back to that hoax for a minute. The hoax, of course, is no such thing. Those who know the truth are either the Bad People who don’t want anyone to know, those like Renko and Hicks who are in danger, and then there are the freaks and the nutters.
The focus of this week’s episode is nutter Chris, a man haunted by the Hard Sun news and by his separation from his wife and children. What would the news that the world will end in five years do to a man who has nothing to lose anyway? The answer is genuinely gruesome and disturbing.
This story is nothing less than harrowing as Chris decides to take his children and make his ex-wife Maggie suffer. Renko and Hicks, investigating the murders of Maggie’s employers (one of whom Maggie was having an affair with) become embroiled in this small but horrible family drama. Hicks, all too aware of how badly such stories usually end, convinces Renko that they should go after Chris alone.
Meanwhile in their own lives, Hicks attempts to keep his fragmented family together while still knocking about with his dead partner’s wife and Renko does what she has to do in order to protect her own child. And that includes trying to uncover evidence that will send her new partner down for the murder of his last partner.
A question to ask at the end of this episode is one regarding the nature of Hard Sun as a drama. We were promised something we’ve never seen before. Well, of course, we know that not to be the case, however, neither is Hard Sun what we may have expected at the end of episode one. If episode two is anything to go by, Hard Sun’s focus is less on the big end of the world stuff and more on the smaller, individual dramas, which, by the way, are no less turbulent or painful to watch.
We don’t know about you (well, we know about some of you based on last week’s comments!) but we’re going to stick around to see where Hard Sun goes next.
Hard Sun episode 2 is available now on BBC iPlayer. Episode 3 will air on Saturday 20 January 2018 at 9:30pm on BBC One.
Written by Neil Cross, Directed by Brian Kirk, Produced by Hugh Warren
DCI Charlie Hicks…….Jim Sturgess
DI Elaine Renko………Agyness Deyn
Grace Morrigan……….Nikki Amuka-Bird
DS Keith Greener…….Owain Arthur
Mari Butler…………….Aisling Bea
Simone Hicks………….Lorraine Burroughs
Daniel Renko………….Jojo Macari
DS George Mooney…..Adrian Rawlins
DCS Roland Bell………Derek Riddell
DS Mishal Ali………….Varada Sethu
DS Herbie Sarafian…..Joplin Sibtain
Lily Ezekpo……………..Teri Ann Bobb-Baxter
John Gregor…………….Simon Thorp
Maggie Sweeting……Christine Bottomley
Chris Chapel…………Jamie Sives