The Rig is Amazon’s latest Prime TV release to hit our screens, starring a whole host of recognisable faces from the likes of Game of Thrones and Line of Duty. Advertised as a supernatural thriller, the series follows the crew of an oil rig over six episodes as a mysterious fog descends on them. However, despite a promising trailer, the end result is a huge disappointment.
The series follows the crew of the Kinloch Bravo, a remote oil rig off the coast of Scotland. Along with their colleagues on the nearby Kinloch Charlie, the crew are ready to end their rotation and get back to the mainland. Rep for oil company Pictor, Rose Mason (Emily Hampshire), has just posted the roster for the departing helicopters, bumping mouthy Baz (Calvin Demba) for radio operator and Rose’s partner Fulmer (Martin Compston). However, before the helicopters arrive all phone reception and communications to and from the rig cut out and a dense fog rolls in, enshrouding both Bravo and Charlie.
Manager Magnus McMillan (Iain Glen) must give the bad news to the crew that they can no longer go home and they are understandably unhappy, no one more so than the fiery Hutton (Owen Teale). As trusted crew Alwyn (Mark Bonnar) and Dunlin (Richard Pepple) try and restore order, conditions get even worse for the rig as a crew member suffers a terrible accident and ash begins to fall from the sky. Unable to contact the outside world and with yet more incidents, the rig is forced to shut down all production as the crew attempts to figure out the cause behind the mysterious fog and ash.
I had very high hopes for this series as the trailer really reeled me in, but sadly I was left bitterly disappointed. The first episode wasn’t too bad and was enough to hook me in to watch more in the hope that it would improve, but sadly it doesn’t. One big issue is that the production values are rather poor; the CGI is terrible and the writing is incredibly bad. Considering how phenomenal some of the cast is, they’re very let down by the quality of the writing and character development. Iain Glen and Martin Compston are great actors, as evidenced by their other work, but the writing here is so bad it almost had me questioning their talent. I also question the inclusion of Emily Hampshire as Rose as she seems entirely out of place and ill-fitting with the rest of the crew.
The story isn’t terrible and I liked how it linked what was going on to climate change and environmental factors, however, the ending was a bit hit-and-miss. The reveal as to what is causing the events is rather meh, and not nearly as scary or horrifying as it could have been. Considering Mark Bonnar’s Alwyn is seen reading The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham in one scene, the writers here have really missed a trick on the revelation, it could’ve been so much scarier. That said, the final scene is better and more ambiguous than I’d hoped for, although does appear to set up for a potential second series that I’m not sure would be particularly welcome. The story is also a little cliched and seems to draw inspiration from other films and shows that have done this sort of genre so much better, like The Thing for instance – I nearly groaned in despair when Rose mentioned testing people’s blood, surely this can’t be the only way to identify infected people?!
I think The Rig had some promising aspects with a great cast and story linked to climate change, but sadly the poor overall production has severely let it down.
Where to Watch
A contract manager moonlighting as a rather discerning film and book critic, with an almost fangirl appreciation for anything made by Christopher Nolan. When I’m not catching up on my latest read or watch, you can usually find me trying out my amateur baking skills – Bake Off here I come!