The crew of the Kinloch Bravo oil Rig stationed in the North Sea of the coast of Scotland, is due to rotate and return to the mainland, but a mysterious fog rolls in cutting off communication with the outside world.
Spoiler Level: None
It has been a few months since I have had the time, energy, or desire to watch a full season of a show, but The Rig, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, intrigued me enough to continue through to the finale. The show centers around a crew on the oil rig, Klinloch Bravo, stationed in the North Sea of the coast of Scotland. Klinloch Bravo is run by the Pictor Oil company, and as the series begins, the crew is expecting to leave the rig as their work rotation is coming to an end and a new crew should be starting, but strange happenings and a communication blackout leave everyone stranded, scared, angry and confused. A supernatural fog rolls in and some crew begin acting strangely, and as the series progresses, it becomes clear that this isn’t just some isolated occurrence but may be the start of a mass extinction event. Tensions run high and the crew frustrated with Magnus MacMillan (Iain Glen), the OIM (offshore installation manager), causes some of them to plan a mutiny. Is the entity the crew dubs “The Ancestor” a friend or foe? Can the crew save themselves and humanity? Will the sacrifices made be in vain? Watch this series to find out!
It would be hard to do a series taking place on an oil rig without a major theme being global warming and the damage we are doing to the planet. What is interesting is the feelings from the workers on the rig. There are several conversations where crew members not only acknowledge the damage the job they are doing has on Earth, but how they feel trapped as it is the only job they know how to do or can get, and they need it to survive. It is the vicious circle many people encounter and a societal moral dilemma. I also found it interesting the way the theme was handled, as it wasn’t overly preachy about conservationism, but was more about finding a way to live in harmony with nature. The series reminds me slightly of the M. Night Shyamalan movie, The Happening with some major improvements including casting, storytelling, script writing, and setting. The finale also introduces some new moral insights on the theme as well. How do you choose between doing what is right and doing what you need to protect yourself or your family? What are the sacrifices we are willing to make when faced with difficult decisions?
The production value of the series is surprisingly high, starting with a cast that is very well chosen giving an ensemble performance that felt true and real even in a science fiction setting. The special effects were minimal, but woven into the series well, without it ever feeling fake or superimposed. The script is well written with a type of poetry all its own. There are some wonderful pieces of dialogue that both hit on the theme, tug on the heartstrings, and yet feel grounded in reality. This is both a credit to the actors and the writers of the series. The first season is short with only six episodes which does mean that some character development was not fully explored, but this actually leaves room for character growth, if the series is renewed. The handling of relationships and sexuality is also interestingly explored. Rose (Emily Hampshire) and Fulmer’s (Martin Compston) relationship causes some tension within the crew believing Fulmer is getting special treatment, but also raises the stakes for the characters as the series continues, giving both characters stronger reasons to keep moving forward. Having a lesbian couple Cat (Rochenda Sandall) and Kacey (Neshla Caplan) and giving Easter (Abraham Popoola) a male love interest was a nice inclusion rounding out an already racially diverse cast giving LGBTQ+ representation in what is usually an overly masculinized setting.
The one complaint I am going to make about the series has to do with the finale episode itself. The series has not announced if it will be renewed for a second season. The last episode introduces a couple of new characters including a more human “bad guy”, Coake (Mark Addy), a Pictor scientist who knows more about what is happening than anyone else. This quickly ties up some of the mysteries we encounter throughout the season, but it also introduces more questions and leaves the audience on a cliffhanger. If we do not get a second season, we will forever be wondering what happened to these characters, who survives and who doesn’t.
I really enjoyed this show, it was intriguing and mysterious with both supernatural and human elements keeping it interesting.
The Rig: Full Season 1 Review
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 9/109/10