Red Eye viewers call out ‘preposterous’ plot holes after episode 1

Viewers of the new ITV drama Red Eye have called out enormous plot holes and a lack of attention to detail in the show.

The series follows Dr Matthew Nolan (played by Richard Armitage) who is extradited from the UK to Beijing to answer for the death of a woman found in the wreckage of his car.

Chinese-British police officer Hana Li (played by Argylle actor Jing Lusi) is ordered to escort Nolan back on the “red eye” flight – but not everyone onboard is who they seem. In a part whodunnit, part conspiracy thriller, the unlikely duo start fighting crime together.

As the first episode aired on Sunday night (21 April), viewers were quick to criticise the lack of attention to detail in the plot, such as the ad hoc extradition of Dr Nolan that happens almost instantaneously, in which he is not given any legal representation.

“I suppose we’re expected to forget about extradition laws and rights of a person to watch this,” wrote one viewer on X/Twitter.

“There are so many points of law being broken here. Bit preposterous. It’s fiction though right?” added another.

One viewer admitted: “The lack of any legal credibility in the plot of #RedEye is making it hard to enjoy.”

Richard Armitage and Jing Lusi in ‘Red Eye’ (©ITV)
Richard Armitage and Jing Lusi in ‘Red Eye’ (©ITV)

“Why do these contemporary ‘dramas’ have to be so unrealistic? None of the stuff we have just seen would ever happen. Do they think we’re all stupid?”

Another viewer concluded: “All shades of wrong. Wasn’t research done?”

However, others weighed into the debate to remind viewers to stop scrutinising particularities in the plot.

“Why can’t people just enjoy a Fictional drama for what it is??” they wrote. “Instead of ripping every little detail to shreds! It’s a story! It’s not a documentary!! Just enjoy it for what it is! Best thing that has been on for weeks!”

In his two-star review for The Independent, TV critic Nick Hilton pointed out that “red eye” is a term used to short-haul flights that depart in the evening and arrive in the morning.

‘Red Eye’ sees an unlikely duo join forces to fight crime on a long-haul flight (©ITV)
‘Red Eye’ sees an unlikely duo join forces to fight crime on a long-haul flight (©ITV)

“It does not apply – however much the team behind a new ITV six-part thriller would like you to believe – to flights from Heathrow to Beijing, which take 10 hours and have a seven-hour time difference. No matter, though, because this lack of attention to detail is far from the most ridiculous part of Red Eye,” he writes.

Hilton concludes that Red Eye is “just about watchable” and “wholly ludicrous”.

Red Eye continues on Sundays at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.