This is a review of a BBC television series so good, so expertly plotted, so professionally edited, and performed by such talented actors and actresses - that it is literally impossible to review.
By writing this review I run the risk of revealing a clue that would make the show just a fracture less enjoyable. If I write something here that proves to be evidence to what will happen, you will hold me responsible for kidnapping the excitement in your viewing experience.
This is a series for thinking people. However, it is a show for everybody as well. Thinking, cerebral people will undoubtedly discover that the title of the series indicates that the story revolving around the mysterious disappearance of a young English boy while he and his parents are vacationing in France.
Other viewers - and at this stage of the eight-part series myself included, who expect to see an ordinary "who dunnit" police drama, partially set in 2006 when the boy disappeared, and partially set a few years later when his parents return to the same village in France to try and track down what really happened - will not be disappointed. The slow cooking tension revealing each and every piece of the carefully reciped puzzle comes together in a slow, savory, innovative and unprecedented mastery of television drama.
But these simple folks do not see the clues.
I now see them, though I didn't realize what I was viewing in the first three or four episodes. Looking back, after getting to the fifth part, I can fully comprehend what I was viewing at the time. All the clues were there, in broad daylight. Only in hindsight could I find what was missing in my earlier interpretations of the fascinating, compelling case.
I've never seen a show like this on television before. I have not heard of any show that mimics this style of drama leading towards a climax that cannot be imagined, no matter how many clues are openly and unabashedly shown to viewers.
Here's the only clue I can give you to help you understand exactly, and fully, what appears on the screen. You must be awake, alert, with your mind totally focused on the television set, to fully experience the thrill of The Missing.
That said, even if you're half asleep and miss an episode, you can quickly catch up with the others. You will not miss anything if you miss part of The Missing. Rest assured, everything will be clear in the end, but for some - some things will be clearer a bit earlier.
See this show. Now. And there's a second season commissioned by the BBC.
Here's my review of the American mystery/action-thriller television series Dig.