There’s a monster in Loch Ness, but not the one you are thinking of. It’s a serial killer with some peculiar tastes and habits. This TV series from Britain’s ITV network exploits the obvious monster theme. Likewise, the small Scottish community in the story markets the Loch Ness monster myth and legend to tourists. Underneath the hype is an intriguing mystery, slowly unfurling, with beautiful scenery and images, as well as a town and characters with secrets to hide.

Loch Ness TV series review Smilie

DCI Frank Smilie (John Sessions)

The Loch Ness TV series takes some familiar narratives and uses them well. One murder and evidence of a second is all it takes for the regional police to send in outside help. The small town, local cops may – or may not – be in over their heads. Enter DCI Lauren Quigley (Siobhan Finneran from Happy Valley), a matter-of-fact investigator with a connection to the local DCI, Frank Smilie (John Sessions). They both bring dry humor and tension to the mix.

Central to the story is policewoman Annie Redford (Laura Fraser). She is first cop on the scene when the first body is found, and her investigative skills catch the eye of DCI Quigley. Annie is eager and ambitious, but her teenage daughter hangs out with a group of prank-minded kids. It becomes a problem for Annie when their antics are tied to evidence of a second murder.

Loch Ness TV series AcornTV

Profiler Blake Albrighton (Don Gilet)

If that’s not enough, Quigley calls for the help of well-known psychological profiler Blake Albrighton. DCI Smilie may not be the only one to wonder if Blake’s primary motive is helping to solve the case or generating more publicity for himself.

Loch Ness is filled with beautiful scenery. The Scottish landscape and small town character are used to full advantage. These are contrasted with artfully staged imagery and closeups of autopsies and organs. Along with characters and a promise of more secrets to reveal, the camerawork hooked us on Loch Ness.

Acorn is airing the Loch Ness TV series only a week or so behind its British broadcast on the ITV network. That means it’s being released the old fashioned way, one episode per week, starting June 19, 2017. Based on the first episode, it’s one of the better series Acorn has to offer, but we don’t know if the quality of the first episode will hold throughout the series. Look below for updates as the show progresses.

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Loch Ness TV series trailer

Loch Ness TV series updates

Episode 2 (June 26, 2017) – It’s been a week since the series premiere on Acorn TV, and without a recap at the beginning of the hour, it takes a few minutes to remember who is who. There are a dozen or more central characters. This episode is not as strong as the first, but it does bring Annie back into the investigation. The last two scenes assure that we’ll be back to watch episode 3 next week.

Episodes 3 – 6 (July 24, 2017) (Spoilers ahead!) Loch Ness regained momentum with episode 3. Episode 4 basically sent us on a tangent. It was interesting, but did little to lead toward finding the killer. Episode 5 pulled a lot of pieces together. It fell into a standard thriller story arc, with Annie and others racing to stop the killer before he committed one last murder. At the end, most of the cops were satisfied the case was resolved. A couple of comments hint otherwise.

It was easy – we thought – to guess where episode 6 was headed. It returned to the standard thriller ending, with a couple of particularly good twists in the last few minutes. We are left hoping for Loch Ness season 2. DS Annie Redford deserves another challenging case to solve.