Is Alpha R-PAS Real Drone Technology? Is Alban-x an Actual Tech Company?

‘Vigil,’ the BBC crime drama show, follows the investigative adventures of Detective Amy Silva and her partner, Kirsten Longacre, who often find themselves looking into military-related crimes. In season two, the crime consists of a prototype drone technology the UK Air Force plans to supply to Wudyan for their partnership. However, during the early demonstration of the R-PAS drone technology, one of the Alpha models went rogue, killing several people and leading to catastrophic political results. As such, while Kirsten investigates the case from Scotland, Amy flies out to Wudyan soil to uncover startling conspiracies.

Since the R-PAS Drone Technology, supplied by manufacturing tech company Alban-x, plays such a significant role in the show’s narrative, the prototype weapon must have caught the viewers’ attention. As such, a natural curiosity arises about the technology, the company behind it, and its connections to real life.

R-PAS Prototype Drones And Alban-X Are Fictional

No, the Alpha R-PAS Drone, the central murder weapon in ‘Vigil’ season two, is not an actual drone technology present in real life. Consequently, neither is the UK-based tech company Alban-x, which invented, manufactured, and supplied those drones to the military. Both elements were fabricated by the show’s creative team in service of the plot and hold little to no connection to real life. As such, the storylines revolving around these elements remain works of fiction.

Nevertheless, considering the show’s political thematic resonance in relation to the military, the fictionalized drones end up reflecting a fair bit of reality. Even though the exact drone technology showcased in the show does not exist, drones as weapons have long been equipped by different military and paramilitary groups. Thus, similar drone technology concepts and designs may very well exist in reality without any connection to the ones depicted in the show.

In fact, recently, Ukraine oversaw a significant drone attack by Russian forces in late 2023. The Iranian-made Kamakazi Shahed drones targeted the country’s capital, Kyiv, and rained massive damage.

According to The Standard’s reports, the attack was cited as “the most massive air attack by drones on Kyiv” by the city’s administration officials. Likewise, drone strikes have been a prevalent occurrence in the Gaze strip conflict between Israel and Palestine. Therefore, even though the drone technology depicted in ‘Vigil’ holds considerable distinctions from the reality of drone weapons, the show utilizes the idea to present an account of the possible implications of such military technology.

Furthermore, through Alban-x, a greedy tech conglomerate, the show portrays the harm that establishments vying for financial gain through wartime can cause to society. In fact, similar ideas of greedy corporations exploiting tragedies— whether political or otherwise— have been a prominent narrative tool equipped by many shows to emulate reality within their fictional storylines.

As such, ‘Vigil’ utilizes its antagonistic drone technology and Alban-x tech company in a similar fashion to retain real-life reflection without directly referencing real events. For the same reason, despite the sense of realism, these elements impart upon the narrative, both the R-PAS drone prototype and the company creating it in-universe remain works of fiction. Moreover, any parallels that these plot devices may draw between the show’s fabricated narrative and real-life remains minimal and confined to fictionality.

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