Bloodlands returned for a second series on Sunday night, following DCI Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt) in and around Belfast once more
After the stunning revelation of Brannick’s identity as legendary assassin Goliath at the end of the last series, Brannick was seen killing kidnapping victim Pat Keenan and lecturer Tori Matthews as the only two people who could have identified him.
Series two has Brannick dealing with the murder of a crooked accountant, which threatens to expose his identity once more, forcing the police officer to keep his widow, Olivia Foyle (Victoria Smurfit), dangerously close.
It also sees the return of Brannick’s partner DS Niamh McGovern (Charlene McKenna), DCS Jackie Twomey (Lorcan Cranitch) and DC ‘Birdy’ Bird (Chris Walley), as well as Tom’s daughter, Izzy (Lola Petticrew).
However, it plunged straight into a flashback set in 1998 which had viewers confused over a missing recap from the last series as well as exactly how Nesbitt’s de-ageing had been handled.
The show is set in 2022, so effects were needed to show the actor looking almost 25 years younger – but many viewers felt they had missed the mark.
Although the majority of the scene sees the actor don a black balaclava as he waits to ambush a gun-running operation – ultimately revealing gold – he does later remove the headwear, revealing his digitally altered face.
‘Can’t stop laughing at that terrifying yet ridiculous filter on James Nesbitt,’ tweeted one viewers, while another wrote: ‘They should have let him keep the balaclava on rather than show this scary filtered face!’
‘Mmmm – not entirely convinced by the CGI de-aging,’ mused a third fan while a separate one was more blunt in their assessment: ‘What kinda awful filter was that at all!?’
Others also pointed out it was a move the show could have skipped, given Nesbitt’s recognisable voice.
‘Didn’t need to remove his Balaclava to show his digitally enhanced face, his voice told us it was James Nesbitt,’ pointed out one while another agreed, adding: ‘You can tell it’s Nesbitt even with a mask on!!’
Bloodlands series two promises intrigue aplenty, largely owing to the game of cat and mouse Brannick and Foyle are playing as they try to work out exactly what each other is.
Bloodlands returns next Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.
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