“Six Four” (2023) is ITV’s new crime-drama series based on Hideo Yokoyama’s 2012 Japanese novel of the same name. The narrative revolves around the investigation into the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl. Set chiefly in Glasgow, Scotland, it follows the quest of two parents in search of their missing daughter, Olivia, whom they think has been kidnapped. Chris O’Neill is a police detective with the Scottish Police Service, and his wife Michelle is a former undercover agent who travels to London to revisit some buried relations from her past life to help with her investigation.
A prior case of a similar disappearance of another teenage girl, Julie Mackie, is uncovered by Chris while making his inquiries, and this leads him to discover several signs of political cover ups and departmental corruption within the police force, leaving him confused and questioning the trust in his own department. The first season of the series consists of four episodes, with the pilot having been aired on March 30. It features a talented cast consisting of Kevin McKidd, Vinette Robinson, James Cosmo, Andrew Whipp, Richard Coyle, Alex Ferns, and Iona Anderson, among others.
Kevin McKidd As Detective Constable Chris O’Neill
Kevin McKidd plays the role of Detective Constable Chris O’Neill, who is the father of the missing girl, Olivia O’Neill. A skeptical character, Chris is a man torn between his personal and professional lives, forced to question all his relationships. He reopens a similar unsolved case from sixteen years ago to find answers regarding his daughter’s disappearance.
In paying a visit to the deceased girl’s father, Jim Mackie, he sets off a chain reaction that would ultimately unearth some of the darkest secrets, both regarding the case itself and the justice department. His older brother Phillip (played by Andrew Whipp) is the Assistant Police Chief, who outranks him in the force and was perhaps involved in the coverup of the Julie Mackie case. He tries to hinder Chris’ investigation every step of the way in the fear of being exposed. In the course of the search for his daughter, Chris’ passion for good police work is re-ignited, and he drives himself into every crooked corner of the Julie Mackie case to ensure he leaves no stone unturned to find her.
Kevin McKidd is a popular Scottish actor and television personality who is well-known for his roles in “Trainspotting” (1996), “Nicholas Nickleby” (2002), “Hannibal Rising” (2007), “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief” (2010), and “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005–).
Vinette Robinson As Michelle O’Neill
The role of Michelle O’Neill, the former undercover agent, and Olivia’s mother is played by Vinette Robinson. Michelle is a driven woman who refuses to remain idle as her daughter goes missing. Although she is not a police officer anymore, she risks her life traveling to London to dig up acquaintances from her old life to get to the bottom of her daughter’s disappearance. She pays no heed to her husband’s advice to remain in Glasgow and hops on a train to London under disguise. Michelle is the one who divulges several secrets about their family, one of them being that Olivia’s biological father is a criminal named Piers, a fact that was kept from her since childhood, which ultimately led her to leave home. Instrumental in driving the plot forward, Michelle is single-minded and strong, adamant about keeping her family whole, and in the end, she wishes to mend her relationship with Chris to gift their daughter the family she deserves.
Known especially for her role in the hit BBC series “Sherlock” (2010–2017), Vinette Robinson has quite a few significant performances under her belt in both television and theater, including those in “Black Mirror” (2011–2019), “Death in Paradise” (2011–), “A Christmas Carol” (2019), and the eleventh series of “Doctor Who” (2018), where she played the character of Rosa Parks, a civil-rights activist. Apart from these roles, she has also given noteworthy theater performances in Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” (2004), “Hamlet” (2011), and an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” (2008), among others.
James Cosmo As Jim Mackie
The character of Jim Mackie, the father of the deceased Julie Mackie, is played by Scottish actor James Cosmo. Jim is a pivotal character in the series, owing to his involvement in the Julie Mackie case and his constant efforts to bring the perpetrators involved in his daughter’s murder to justice. Once deeply involved in the Scottish Independence Movement, Jim Mackie was a good friend and mentor of Robert Wallace (played by Richard Coyle), the Justice Minister of Scotland. But his life is destroyed by the mysterious disappearance of his daughter sixteen years prior to the events of the series. He had discovered several dirty secrets behind the incident and concluded that there was an insidious political motive that instigated it. He is the one to first mention the name ‘Six Four,’ which is a code name for a secret agent who worked to dissolve the Scottish Freedom Movement and is later revealed to be none other than Robert Wallace, who had also orchestrated the coverup of Julie’s murder. Jim kidnaps Wallace’s daughter, Annabel Wallace, in a last-ditch effort to confront him but is killed in the act.
James Cosmo is a revered actor who famously portrayed the role of Jeor Mormont, the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, in HBO’s hit television series “Game of Thrones” (2011–2019). Some of his other cherished performances were in films like “Highlander” (1986), “Braveheart” (1995), “Trainspotting” (1996), and “Troy” (2004).
Richard Coyle As Justice Minister Robert Wallace
Robert Wallace, played by Richard Coyle, is the Justice Minister of Scotland and the leader of the campaign against British control over Scotland. He was once a trusted friend of Jim Mackie, but they fall out after he orchestrated the coverup of the murder of Jim’s daughter. Sixteen years later, after Chris reopens the Julie Mackie investigation and pays Jim a visit, trying to get information about his daughter’s disappearance, Jim kidnaps Wallace’s daughter, Annabel, in a desperate attempt to confront him and make him confess to his crimes.
Although evidence is finally unearthed regarding the crimes committed sixteen years ago, Jim is killed and at the end of the last episode, we find Wallace being appointed as the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, in a surprising turn of events. Richard Coyle has appeared in several films and television series over the years, including “Lorna Doone” (2000), “Outpost: Black Sun” (2012), “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (2010), “The Whistleblowers” (2007), “Crossbones” (2014), and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (2018–2020).
Andrew Whipp As Phillip O’Neill
Phillip O’Neill, played by Andrew Whipp, is the brother of Chris O’Neill and the Assistant Chief of the Scottish Police Service. He is involved in the coverup of the murder of Julie Mackie and tries to hinder his brother’s investigation to avoid being exposed. He is desperate to keep his favor with the higher authorities and thus gets easily involved in Wallace’s conspiracy. Andrew Whipp is chiefly known for his varied television and theater roles. Some of the numerous TV roles under his belt are in series like “Cursed” (2020), “The White Princess” (2017), “Death in Paradise” (2011–), “Outlander” (2014–), etc.