’The Loch’ debuted last night on ITV (scheduled against ‘Poldark’ - ouch!), bringing us the lovechild of ‘Trapped’ or some other Nordic Noir crime drama (serial killer despatching the community’s residents in various grisly fashions) together with something a little more unashamedly Scottish-soapy.
In between the stunning landscapes, the inevitable tales of Nessy and the discomfort between all the locals as their secrets are - guess what - laid bare during the investigation, there are a lot of familiar faces to assure us of the quality of this satisfying drama over the next few weeks. Did you spot...
Laura Fraser as DS Annie Redford
Currently the go-to for primetime crime drama (she’s the one who’s NOT Morven Christie), Laura plays local copper Annie.
Where you’ve seen her: Currently the go-to for primetime crime drama (ie she’s the one who’s not Morven Christie). Seen in ‘One of Us’, ‘The Missing’, and, in a giant leap for overseas acclaim, she played Lydia in ‘Breaking Bad’.
Siobhan Finneran as DCI Lauren Quigley
Plays: Senior detective drafted in from Glasgow.
Where you’ve seen her: Possibly most celebrated for her role of complicated ill-doer O’Brien in ‘Downton Abbey’, she’s more recently co-starred in ‘Happy Valley’ as Clare Cartwright. Also starred in ‘Benidorm’ and ‘The Syndicate’.
Alastair Mackenzie as Craig Petrie
Plays: The head of local Lochnafoy college.
Where you’ve seen him: Following his breakthrough role as Archie in ‘Monarch of the Glen’, Alastair has appeared in ‘Borgen’, ‘Wolf Hall’ and recently in the return of ‘Cold Feet’.
John Sessions (yay!) as CI Frank Smilie
Plays: A not entirely straightforward senior policeman who just wants a quiet life on the Loch.
Where you’ve seen him: Everywhere for the past three decades. A comedy panel show stalwart for many years, John has recently turned his skills to scene-stealing roles in ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’, ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’, ‘Outlander’ and ‘Mr Holmes’.
Don Gilet as Blake Albrighton
Plays: Yet another outsider, this time the glamorous forensic specialist from London.
Where you’ve seen him: Soap stalwart in ‘EastEnders’ - where his character Lucas Johnson made a recent comeback - as well as ‘Holby City’ and ‘Brief Encounters’.
Gray O’Brien as Alan Redford
Plays: Annie’s adoring husband and tour guide Alan.
Where you’ve seen him: In distinctively more villainous territory as ‘Coronation Street’ villain Tony Gordon.
‘The Loch’ continues on ITV on Sunday evenings. Catch up on ITV Player.