Episode 1 of The Rig starts with us on an oil rig called Kinloch Bravo in the middle of the ocean, as we’re introduced to a whole bunch of people trading banter. That is, until they get the roster for the guys scheduled to work the next shift. Magnus shows up and reveals the bad news. A power failure has caused the helicopters to be delayed and as such, they’re stuck there for a while.
Suddenly, alarms start wailing overhead as the group are forced to make a dive. Something seems to have blown and it would appear Charlie Station across the way is similarly running into problems. Alwyn and Rose join Magnus as they make a decision and shut down the drills. Rose is not happy, believing the safeties would have held, and annoyed that Magnus hasn’t listened, despite him admitting he’s done this by the book to prevent any potential deaths.
Despite shutting the drills down, massive tremors resonate throughout the area. Looking out, they notice a massive wave of fog that comes rushing over them. It blankets the oil rig and turns the place into an eerie nightmare, like something out of Silent Hill. The helicopters certainly won’t be coming back, and the group try to work out exactly what caused the second set of tremors. Without data from the Beach they’re just guessing and these weather anomalies aren’t helping.
At the communications tower, Baz falls down as his harness ends up uncoupled from the railings above. He’s still alive but barely. He needs to be transferred to the mainland as his injuries are internal. They can’t exactly operate on him at the rig, and one of the men, Hutton, is livid. We’ve seen him as a livewire throughout the episode and here he gets angry and heads outside for some air.
The group scramble to grab a stretcher to help Baz, while Rose checks the monitors back in the office. There’s a problem. Although they’ve shut down their well, the line back to the shore should still be pumping from the other rigs… and its not. In fact, none of them are. Whatever’s causing this has spread across to the whole field.
Hutton rushes in to see Magnus, angry at the lack of action from those on the rig. He demands that helicopters be sent out and claims he’s responsible. When Magnus leaves, Hutton begins to root through the office documents, including something that could change everything.
Off the back of this, Hutton rallies the troops together at the helipad and tells them all that management are lying and they’re leaving Baz to die. When Magnus and Rose shows, Hutton demands the truth. We know that they’ve been lying to the staff so Magnus eventually speaks up and admits the truth. Kinloch Bravo is done. Pictor (the company overseeing them) are going to terminate the whole field with all the rigs, meaning these guys are not going to be employed for much longer.
Just then, it begins to snow. Only…it’s not snow, it’s ash. As it rains down, Baz inexplicably gets up and begins wandering around. “It’s too late. It’s already started.” He says. The others are shocked and hurriedly wrap him up and take him back down again.
The Episode Review
The Rig gets off to a rather shaky start – both literally and figuratively. The premise itself is quite intriguing and Amazon’s latest series has the wherewithal to actually keep its cards close to its chest and not reveal too much early on. All of that is great but it’s undermined by the narrative. There’s the usual dose of contrived character drama, the forced arguments between all these individuals and the surprisingly cheap production design.
You can tell this has been filmed and shot on a soundstage and some of the scenes – especially those exterior cuts on the rig itself – look really poor. Some of the establishing shots introducing characters and zooming into windows could rival the CGI work in Thor: Love and Thunder!
Despite that though, there’s an intriguing premise behind this one and that’s enough to stick with this one to see what happens next.