I’m 4 weeks into watching The Missing. In my opinion this is excellent quality television.
The Missing stars James Nesbitt – Aussies will remember him as Adam from Cold Feet – and Frances O Connor – most well known to me as Fanny Price from the 1999 film Mansfield Park – as parents of a child who goes missing. The series also stars Tchéky Karyo as a police detective in the Then, and in the Now, as a retired police detective who is seemingly obsessed with keeping bees.
I read a blog called Unpopcult, where they review and discuss television. The blog is based in the UK which means they often see shows long after they have aired in the USA, and I use their reviews as a way to go back and re-watch things, or as a way to binge watch new shows and keep track via their posts of episodes I have seen, which I did with The Good Wife earlier this year.
Interestingly, neither of the bloggers involved with the blog has watched The Missing because they were put off by the fact that the story involves a missing child. Having watched it, I can safely state this show is about far more than a missing child.
It seems that the show was marketed as “a parents worst nightmare”. I learned a long time ago not to listen to the marketing of tv shows – have you heard an ad for a tv show on your local station recently? They are all awful. They are like parodies of movie trailers.
Sometimes it makes me laugh because I will have already seen the episode they are trying to “sell” and they pick one event and try to make it seem like the show is all about that one “SHOCKING” event and “You Won’t Believe WHAT.. HAPPENS.. NEXT” with foreboding music of doom and scary violins playing in the background..
I know from having seen the episode, that event they are “selling” was maybe 1 minute of the show and then it was never referred to again, and the episode was about something else entirely.
The Missing is truly about how an event can change everyones lives in one moment – there is before X happened, and after X happened. This show is about how events change people.
The show is interestingly put together in a way that is difficult to describe to anyone who has not watched it. The show has two storylines – what happened then, and what is happening now. It is telling two stories at once – though sometimes we know the events of the first story from the now, we do not know the details.
How on earth the cast and crew put this together I have absolutely no idea, because they look totally different in the now to the then. Having done some reading – in particular this blog post – it seems that they filmed all the “now” scenes first, and then all the “then” scenes. Given that information, the cast performances are all the more incredible, because they had not experienced the “then” when filming the “now”.
The subject matter may be difficult but if you can get past that, this is television at its finest with amazing performances from the cast and you absolutely should not miss it.
US readers will find The Missing on Starz – episodes have already aired but you can catch past episodes on On Demand.
Australian viewers will find The Missing on BBC First from November 30th. I do not know if or when it will air on free to air tv here, sadly. BBC no longer has a deal with the ABC, they now have a deal with Foxtel.
UK readers have not much time to catch up on the episodes – there are just two days left to view the first episode online over at BBC One.
Readers who know how to torrent will be able to find this series in their usual places, I expect. :)