26 September 2016 | TheLittleSongbird
One of my favourites on television from 2015, that's for sure..as well as being one of the best mini-series of this genre in recent years. To see top-notch production values, an absorbing story-line and great acting, 'The Missing' is essentially a must watch.
Seven eighths of 'The Missing' is simply phenomenal, with the only fault being that it was difficult to find anything to fault it. 'The Missing' does stumble in the last episode somewhat, which is a shame. The production values, music, script and acting are without complaint, but the episode does drag a bit and does get bogged down by being overstuffed and occasionally over-complicated, also with an ending too ambiguous and abrupt. Maybe it does leave room for a series 2, but considering how the rest of the series unfolded and was told one can't help feeling that a possible second series would focus on a different story.
Production values here are simply exquisite. There is such a brooding moodiness and at the same time a gleaming beauty to how everything is shot, and the dark mood seen in the lighting and how the scenery is like a character of its own are furthermore striking. The music score is not overused or intrusive, yet with enough to make it atmospherically haunting and distinctively memorable. The script is intelligent and thought-provoking, with a lot of insight into sensitive adult issues explored with astute sensitivity and intelligence, with enough tightness to stop it from rambling.
Despite the last episode not being as great as the rest, the story is incredibly absorbing even as a slow-burner, and like with this year's 'One of Us' (not as good, but was also gripped on the whole), it does have to be commended for trying to be different from other mystery dramas, focusing enough on the mystery but focusing also on the aftermath and repercussions for the families and also presenting a moral edge. There is a huge amount of atmosphere too, the production values help as well as the skillful direction, but it is high in tension and conflict with plenty of twists and turns that all feel relevant and stop the storytelling from dragging. Much of it is suspenseful and poignant, and everything makes logical sense.
Also loved what was done with the characters, so vividly drawn and presented as characters that are both vulnerable and deeply flawed, one gets to know them so well and really care about their main situation, as well as any other situation they face. The acting is of high quality all round, Frances O'Connor fares the weakest of the main characters but that doesn't mean in any way that she's bad, just that everybody else impressed even more. James Nesbitt's performance in 'The Missing' ranks among his best, while Ken Stott is chillingly loathsome and Titus De Voogdt is very believable as a sympathetic monster (this may sound oxymoronic, but definitely possible).
Outshining them all is the simply sublime performance of Tchéky Karyo, a performance worthy of award recognition and manages to make what could easily have been a stereotype into one of the most complex and most fascinating characters of any show of this genre in recent years.
In conclusion, exceptional drama and would have been even better with a last episode that lived up to the rest. 9/10 Bethany Cox