The Rig

Oil rig workers battle a strange fog in a new thriller staying afloat in shallow waters.

The Rig comes with such a strong cast and concept that it surely sets up expectations.

Martin Compston (Line of Duty), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek) and Owen Teale (Game of Thrones) -what’s not to like?

After Britain’s recent Vigil on a sub with Suranne Jones, we’re all set for another thriller now on an oil rig in the North Sea.

Compston plays Fulmer, the radio communications guy on the mammoth Kinloch Bravo, which looks to be subject to an undersea earthquake nobody is much aware of.

Iain Glen is boss Magnus, working alongside company rep / science expert Rose (Emily Hampshire) while Owen Teale is the angry rank-and-file worker, Hutton. There’s also LGBTQI+ medic Cat (Rochenda Sandall) who will have more than her share of testing work in this tale.

Tensions are already high (and the Scottish accents are thick) when the story kicks off with the workers frustrated at delays in finishing up their rosters and heading home. But things become complicated when a blackout hits the structure, followed not long after by a strange fog that envelops them all.

From there it’s a seeming descent into madness that really needs no further elaboration or spoilers. Suffice to say that everybody is, well, all at sea over no help, no communications and a rising body count.

While Compston is as you’d expect the obvious hero of writer David Macpherson’s 6 part saga, the screen time is fairly evenly distributed amongst key ensemble cast. Emily Hampshire puts all of her comedy schtick to one side, but not her North American accent, to play the very-straight corporate woman worried about meeting deadlines and budgets.

Iain Glen adopts the wise fatherly figure, taking no risks and trying to keep a lid on his rabble without really understanding what he is dealing with. That leaves Owen Teale to ramp up the deranged, mutinous villain for no reason in particular other than somebody has to.

If the fog has rolled in from an old John Carpenter film I wouldn’t be surprised. There are hints of something supernatural, or possibly ancient.

“This whole sea used to be land…” we learn.

“Out here things that can’t happen, happen all the time.”

Only 3 of the 6 episodes were provided for review. As scenes became more and more ludicrous it was clear this rig is in fairly shallow waters, which is not to say it isn’t a decent silly season entertainment.

Heck, I will probably watch the other 3 just so I can yell at my TV by the end.

The Rig is not the “character-driven” thriller it is being promoted as, and arguably would work better as a 90 minute feature, but with a tub of popcorn you could do a lot worse before you are back to the office grind.

The Rig screens Friday on Prime Video.

6 Responses

  1. ”The Rig” certainly looks to be a solid effort by the creatives concerned, but in my opinion the production would not have been as watchable, at least for the first episodes, without the direction of John Strickland who has experience with this type of genre. The solid acting is what you usually expect for a generic sci-fi show, especially from journeymen like Ian Glen, Owen Teale and Mark Bonner, all well known faces in British film and TV drama, as is Martin Compston (Line of Duty). The supporting acting roles do seem a bit obtrusive on occasion, the writers inserting characters into scenes for effect rather than importance to the story arc. Overall, the production does look impressive in places, especially the large oil rig set, however the viewer could feel that some of the CGI must have suffered a budget cut as a consequence. Generally this is a much needed welcome addition to Amazon Prime’s viewing list and hopefully there may be some more coming soon.

  2. A North Sea oil rig, mysterious fog, unexplained radio interference, cataclysmic shaking… it’s those bl**dy Zygons letting the Skarasen off the leash again isn’t it. Better order in some plaster of paris, I have a feeling it’s going to be needed soon.

  3. Couple of moisture buckets from Bunnings. Desk fan from Kmart. I mean, even Kogan does an affordable dehumidifier these days. Can’t see what all the fuss is about. No wonder these things keep spilling..

  4. Watched all six episodes yesterday. Started off ok, then felt like it was dragged out too long. Always a bad sign when you have it on and start looking at your phone, then come back and feel like you haven’t missed anything.

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