TV Review: The Rig

Amazon drama The Rig has a fantastic cast, some great initial mysteries and a whole lotta squandered potential

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

Having not read anything about The Rig before watching it, I actually rather enjoyed the WTF-ness of how its plot unfolded, to begin with at least. The first Amazon show to be wholly filmed in Scotland, it is set on the Kinloch Bravo oil rig, where mysterious fog and scary tremors derail the crew’s plan to return to the mainland with shocking results.

Quite what those results are, I’d struggle to tell you after getting through the six episodes. Created by David Macpherson, the show’s increasing mysteries swerve between thriller, horror and then eventually sci-fi. And as I said, it’s a wild ride to start off with, particularly as such a strong cast (Iain Glen, Martin Compston, Mark Bonnar, Owen Teale) bring heavyweight drama to the fore.

The early episodes are the strongest, when the air of mystery is strongest and the ensemble is in full force. Tensions between the workers and the combined officiousness of Glen’s manager and Emily Hampshire’s oil company rep simmer nicely and there’s much blame being passed around when things start to go ominously wrong, the mutinous feel whipped up mainly by Teale’s Hutton.

Once answers, of a kind, start to come through though, the levels of weirdness just get compounded and what was at first spooky and strange degenerates into something convoluted and sadly ineffectual. I don’t always need my sci-fi to make sense, am happy to be bamboozled by something if it takes me on the journey with it but The Rig just left me baffled.

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