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Series / The Capture

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A Conspiracy Thriller that first aired on BBC One in autumn 2019, The Capture is about a Shell-Shocked Veteran, Shaun Emery (Callum Turner), who is implicated in the kidnap of his solicitor (Laura Haddock) by CCTV, shortly after being freed by video evidence from a war crimes tribunal. The ambitious police officer Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger), who is sleeping with the head of MI-6 (Ben Miles) is put on the case and soon believes there is more to the situation than meets the eye. Famke Janssen and Ron Perlman also star.

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The Capture contains examples of:

  • Armor-Piercing Question: "Since when did you hear about a human rights lawyer defending a British soldier?"
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: Deconstructed. Everyone involved in "correction" thinks it's this, but everyone who's been affected by it has a naturally different perspective. It may cross over with Believing Your Own Lies.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Everyone, or so it seems by the surveillance monitoring that happens.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The video footage shown of the Sycamore bomb makers. It's very similar to the video showing Shaun attack Hannah, which Rachel figures out.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The would-be bomb makers that Rachel arrested in Operation Sycamore, especially Faisal, who we learn is Hannah's group's whole motivation for proving how far deep fakes can go.
    • Charlie, Shaun's solicitor, who initially only seems to be there to turn against Shaun when Hannah goes missing, but is actually part of the conspiracy to frame him.
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  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: A UK-specific example is interrogated between the London police (FBI) and MI5. The protagonist is police, and she believes MI5 are interfering in Shaun's case, though why has yet to be seen.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Photographic capture (as in a camera still) and capture as in kidnap, which Shaun may have done to Hannah.
  • Downer Ending: Shaun is forced to confess to Hannah's murder when Frank threatens to use footage captured of him playing with his daughter to fabricate more incriminating video, Correction continues mostly unaffected, with none of their previous victims being released, and Rachel opts to join them rather than upload her own evidence that Shaun is innocent. Meanwhile, Charlie is caught by Frank's men and is locked up in a safehouse, which meant that his team has no choice but to upload the real footage of the supposed attack online, but it'll take time until someone realizes that he or she is looking at unaltered video footage.
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  • Evil States of America: While the English forces are not presented well, the Americans are unambiguously evil. The three we see are all working with the "correction" conspiracy.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Jessica, Eli, and whoever she's working for, implied to be the American government. They're happy for video footage to be brought into question when it suits corrupt higher-ups, it just can't be debunked fully.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Gender-flipped between Shaun (a Lower-Class Lout soldier) and Hannah (a wealthy lawyer).
  • I Have Your Family: Frank pulls this on Shaun, when he, having escaped for Hannah's murder, is drawn back in when Frank's forces kidnap his daughter.
  • It Was Here, I Swear!: Things constantly disappear, thanks to faked video footage, especially of torturing Shaun's friends, and evidence that could exonerate him.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Shaun rushes into dangerous situations and physically attacks anyone who could be involved in the apparent conspiracy.
  • Magical Security Cam: Fake evidence is integrated perfectly into real footage on council security cameras and that by the secret services alike, to the point where nobody can tell the difference. However, this is getting closer and closer to being reality.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Everyone thinks so, from both sides of the conspiracy's angle.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Rachel has no problems accessing whatever security footage she needs, from all sorts of different departments, and is at least slightly more moral with it than the security services.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "A Pilgrim of Justice" mentions that Hannah has worked with Charlie and an American intelligence agent turned whistleblower named Eli to make a deepfake video to prove that intelligence agencies are conspiring to keep the world safe from bad guys. Hannah was not suppose to be killed in the fake video, which makes it easier for Shaun to be found guilty by the police.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Since when did you hear about a human rights lawyer defending a British soldier?" Leads to Rachel and the audience beginning to realise that Hannah was involved in the plot.
    • "Hello, Shaun. I'd imagine you'd like to know what's going on." Spoken by Charlie and accompanied by the Wham Shot of the conspiracy to frame Shaun happily greeting him.
  • Wham Shot:
    • The video footage of Hannah on the other bus that went that night.
    • Shaun discovers the conspiracy to frame him all standing around merrily in the nightclub.
    • Frank watches the footage of Jessica interrogating Eli...only to burst in and learn that the footage is faked and Eli is being busted out.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: A recurring problem for Shaun, who wakes up after his celebration of being freed from prison severely hungover and with Hannah missing. He insists that he didn't hurt Hannah, but he keeps having flashbacks of ''something'' violent happening between them.
  • You Have to Believe Me!:
    • Shaun insists over and over that he didn't kill Hannah, and nobody will believe him about the variety of disturbing things that keeps happening to him.
    • Rachel needs to convince her colleagues that they're investigating a conspiracy.
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