TV REVIEW: The Capture – Limited Series

During a celebration of his acquittal on the basis of flawed CCTV former United Kingdom Special Forces Lance Corporal Shaun Emery (Callum Turner) kisses his barrister, Hannah Roberts (Laura Haddock) and sees her off on the bus home. The next morning Hannah has vanished and the CCTV seems to show that Shaun is responsible.

Investigating the case is DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) a former Terror prevention specialist who has flown through the ranks and isn’t exactly trusted by her subordinates.

When the evidence linking Shaun to Hannah’s disappearance is suddenly redacted, Rachel starts to wonder who else may be involved. In the meantime all Shaun really wants is to see his daughter but he’s struggling to trust his own memories and his own eyes and there is more than one shady organisation after him.

The Capture is one of the most twisty turny things I have watched in a long time and I was utterly immersed in it to the point where I watched several episodes back to back while on a work trip to Leeds. I was keen to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and I found Shaun to be a compelling character. He was two parts pure rage and unresolved trauma and three parts confused everyman unaware that he was being used as a pawn in a much bigger game.

The series made me flip flop back and forth on complex moral questions throughout, which I think was intentional and it was a stark and disturbing reminder of the power that resides in the hands of those that watch our every move. It is true that soon we will not be able to distinguish the truth from fake news and our manipulation by the powers that be will know no bounds… but let’s not think about that too much.

Holliday Grainger gives a great performance as a woman trying hard to live up to the expectations she has put on herself. Her ambition and dedication is obvious but it has created a seemingly impenetrable wall around her humanity. I quite enjoyed the appearance of Ron Perlman as a questionable NSA Agent although the real thrill was Famke Janssen playing his boss. And I really liked the relationship that built between DI Carey and DS Flynn (Cavan Clerkin).

I feel like there was a point about halfway in where the believability went slightly astray. It felt like the writers decided they wanted to come at their idea with a chainsaw when a paring knife would have been much more effective. Once that subtlety was gone it was impossible to get it back and while I ultimately enjoyed the series a more nuanced approach probably would have been even more disturbing.

Definitely worth a watch but far from perfect.

3.5/5

4 Comments

  1. I liked this a lot, mainly because the roles were so well-cast without pandering to the usual ‘good looks’ requirements. I agree that it became far fetched, but I didn’t mind that too much.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. The casting was indeed excellent. I think British TV in general is better at casting a much wider range of people than American TV. It was still enjoyable despite the far-fetched element.

  2. Sounds interesting. They should make a movie or series showing people how to rely on each other, and ultimately, their own intuition. Because, you’re right, soon we won’t be able to rely on what we see and hear in all forms of media.

    Was this show on Netflix?

    1. That would be interesting because so often people say “I had a bad feeling” in hindsight and realise they should have trusted that!

      This was on the BBC but their shows regularly end up on Netflix a little while after screening.

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