The Rig Season 1 Review – An early contender for worst TV show of 2023

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 2 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 3 -|Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -|Review Score – 2/5
Episode 5 -|Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 6 -|Review Score – 2/5


The Rig is billed as a “big-budget” project but you’ll be hard-pressed to find any of that money here. With CGI that looks like it’s ripped right from an early 90’s project and a derivative narrative that can’t even remember its own plot, The Rig is a disaster-class in how not to write a TV show. Given we’re only 6 days into the year, this could be a contender for one of the worst shows this year. And that’s shocking given the sheer wealth of talent behind this project – at least in front of the camera anyway.

Lets get to the positives first, because The Rig has an all-star cast who give their absolute all here. Iain Glen, Richard Pepple, Owen Teale, Mark Bonnar and Mark Addy are all fantastic in their roles. The others aren’t bad either but these guys really bring their A-game and they do their best to elevate the material they’re given. And that’s annoying in many ways because the writing and the narrative are poor across the board, despite a promising premise.

The story centers on a group of workers off on a remote Scottish oil rig called Kinloch Bravo. They’re all ready to leave for the mainland, along with their comrades over on Kinloch Charlie. However, weird tremors from below the rig, coupled with a thick blanket of fog and strange ash, cause all sorts of problem that soon link themselves to something far worse and more dangerous on the horizon.

As the group work to figure out what this may be, one of the men called Baz, finds himself experiencing horrific visions linked to something on the sea bed. The first chapter actually does a half-decent job of building up a mystery before this one falls into derivative waters, borrowing tried and tested concepts that have already been done better elsewhere for decades… and somehow doing them worse.

Nightflyers, The Thing and Origin have all tackled everything this show plays with, and that’s before mentioning shows like The Expanse, which this show has cleared been influenced by, especially late on in the game. I’m not about to spoil what happens but if you thought the writing early on is shaky, wait until episodes 5 and 6.

While the narrative could have been saved with some neat set pieces, The Rig has none to speak of. In fact, the few dramatic moments it has are completely undercut by the show’s inability to remember its own internal logic. For example, we learn early on that the oil rig has cameras all over the place, except for certain areas that the crew has to explore for themselves. And yet, in episode 5 we see the cameras pointing at the exact areas the crew explored earlier on.

Another time, we learn the food needs to be rationed and they don’t have much left. Magnus, the man in charge, tasks the chef with cutting down on food portions… but yet this plot point is never touched on again. It’s briefly mentioned in passing but there’s still mountains of food on plates.

These sort of niggling issues continue right the way through to more basic and logical moments, including characters acting smart in one scene and then needlessly foolish and dumb in another to drive the narrative forward. At one point a handful of characters are forced to wear oxygen tanks as they head into a deadly area…but they don’t wear gloves and their sleeves are baggy. And lo and behold, one of the characters gets blood on his hands.

So what of the dialogue? Well… it’s not much better. “I wasn’t notified Research & Expansion were in this field. What is it you’re doing here?” Rose retorts late on, “Research.” Is the reply. This isn’t played for laughs though, it’s a genuine line of dialogue in the show.

To be fair, there will be some who love The Rig . It’s the sort of cheesy, breezy series you can stick on in the background without really thinking too hard about… or just watching while you’re scrolling through social media watching funny videos. For everyone else, skip this one.

The writing is sloppy, the characters poorly developed and the entire production design looks cheap and under-funded…despite this being an alleged big budget production. It’s a shame for sure but this is definitely one to avoid.

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  • Verdict - 2.5/10

35 thoughts on “The Rig Season 1 Review – An early contender for worst TV show of 2023”

  1. @Meg Doherty – Iain Glen is a Scotsman. His accent isn’t ‘awful’, you’ve just never heard him use his real one before so assume he’s English…

    Show is tripe though.

  2. @ Charlotte Emmerson. You are a nasty minded individual the way you attacked people here, you can say you like a show without slagging off other posters you know.
    Anyway, this show is awful as others have explained. Almost as awful as Charlotte Emmerson but not quite.

  3. I really wanted to like this. The cast is excellent. But I’m most of the way through the second episode and I’m gonna have to bail. Very disappointed. I tried.

  4. The reviews are more entertaining than the series… some hilarious lines 😊

    Only got Love for the actors, so no offence and glad they got paid,

    I really wanted the helicopter to fly into the wave… at the end, when he said “we’re not going home”

  5. I’ll probably keep watching, but after only 10 minutes in on the first episode, I’m wondering why where are so many women in this cast. I mean cmon, so unrealistic! Women make up only 5% of employees who work on oil rigs. You don’t see any “equality” activists crying about this uneven ratio in real life, now do ya, probably because only men are interested in and qualified for these kinds of jobs. Yet, in this tv show, I counted at least 6 women in a room full of about 30 people total. This politically correct nonsense is really stupid.

  6. Managed to slog on til then end. Endless scenes of lame characters talking their heads off. “It’s gonna be okay!” I was depressed upon realizing they were setting this up to be a continuing series. Pass.

  7. Glad to see I’m not the only one whose eyes have practically gotten stuck from all the eye-rolling I’ve done, nearly constant whenever any character speaks. Except Martin Compston, because I adore him and am in Line of Duty withdrawal. But otherwise, I’m stunned that such excellent actors actually agreed to be in this show, unless they didn’t actually read the script before filming. I’m even more stunned that I have managed to keep watching through Episode 6. Maybe I’ve been infected by the ludicrous “spores”…

  8. Took me a while to twig, but after I saw it as a B movie sci-fi thriller spoof it got really entertaining! Dated CGI and spot the cliché. Great!

  9. For anyone that has actually been offshore, this series must make them laugh so hard at the ludicrousness of it all.
    Radio Op operating the engines, being just one the the many idiototic scenarios.
    Has anyone noticed that all the names of the crew, are of oilfields!
    Magnus, Fulmar, Hutton, Dunlin, Murchison. The writers must be laughing their heads off as much as me. Shoes outside on deck and hard hats optional, and so it goes on, and on! For the serious actors, this is one not to have on their collective CV’s. As for the script, Jesus my 10 year old granddaughter could do better. Did anyone consult at all with anyone that new anything about rigss, obviously not.

  10. Great cast but the biggest load of rubbish I have seen in many a long day. The names of the characters – seriously is these for real. They are the names of North Sea oil and gas developments. The writer is definitely taking the pee with that one.

  11. And what is it with Lars. He assaults someone, smashes the med bay and has to be locked up. He then escapes and causes more chaos. So instead of locking hm somewhere more secure they just seem to forget about it and leave him to roam free.

  12. I was in an awful show hole and The Rig provided some entertainment. As an American,
    it was lovely to listen to the actors (except the Brits). So many familiar faces from GOT.

  13. Best bits of episode 1 – was that bell-end “Hutton”.. Managing to go “It is fog”, “Its not fog”, “We cannot have a helicopter because of the fog”… “Where is the helicopter?”… “The management are lying about this fog”… “You need to save him!”.. “Whtlattdaya mean its not a hospital”. “THERE IS NO FOG” *Whilst standing in the fog addressing everyone*
    This one character made the show a massive joke – It’s like Acorn Antiques on an Oil Rig

  14. Really good cast, so I had high hopes for this, but I thought it was dreadful. Slow, badly written, clichéd and, in the end, utterly pointless.

    Pray God they don’t try to make a second season!

  15. As for the food thing – Charlie blown up on 2nd day, so the conclusion is on the 4th day. The cook told the boss that supply boat will be on bravo in 3 days. Surely they have more food then they need on board, as different weather conditions may postpone the supply boat, so it’s not that weird that they still have food.

  16. Lol, the “Research” line was exactly what it was supposed to be. Guy saying it is shady and doesn’t want to disclose what’s he doing there, so he says “Research” to cut the conversation.

    Other than that it’s stupid show, yes 😉

  17. Charlotte Emmerson aka Iain Glenn’s wife.. easy there tiger.. 🤣🤣🤣
    Sometimes people just make shlt stuff.. and this is tremendous shlt.. I had to fast forward through a lot of it..
    Anyway, dust off and go again. I bet Iain even thinks it shlte 😬👍

  18. Thank goodness for that, I thought I was getting too old.
    But this is atrocious, cheap and you have to use your imagination to make it work.
    Why are good actors wasting their time.
    Maybe there not good actors.
    Don’t waste your time, embarrassing for prime.

  19. Just so awful I gave up after the first episode, which I only watched because of the hype,and I only watched that to the end as it was hard to believe it couldn’t get any better. It didn’t.

  20. Hey Alasdair you’re absolutely right I do apologize! I did write Kinloch in the recaps but clearly missed that on the full season, really appreciate the heads up and thanks for reading!

    -Greg W

  21. Dull monotionus slog that could be reduced to a short film, I don’t think any of the directors, producers or writers have ever visited an north sea oil rig because certainly the casting is way off.

    Excuse me I think my brain is leaking from my right ear after episode 4

  22. You are all sad pathetic human beings whom I expect have very little to say that is of any interest to anyone apart from yourself. If you get the show and listen to the brilliant words spoken from the exceptional actors you might learn something for once in your life ! Or actually feel something different! Sadly I expect you won’t, highly unlikely .. I wonder if u have done anything interesting in your life! Archived anything! Helped anyone , challenged anyone , changed someone’s thinking for the better . I expect not ..And I expect that will be u for the rest of your life ! Just a slight nasty pathetic individual going no where!!

  23. Usual PC production. Pregnant lesbian medic with “wife” onshore. Giant black bouncer security rig guy is gay for some little Indian IT guy. The oil rig has 50% non-whites (cockney black guys) and 10% LGBT. Just like the real oil rigs ;). The plot is ludicrous, but forgivable if it’s sci-fi. The writing is terrible and unforgivable. “What’s happening? Can we fix it? What happening? Shut it down! Start it up!” “Planet Earth is fighting back! We’ve been destroying the oceans for too long!” No, that’s not Greenpeace; it’s the oil workers! Total nonsense. I never met an oilman yet who cared about the environmental impact of the oil industry. No stars!

  24. Cheap VFX- wall to wall greenscreen – no set build- a production disaster that Amazon and its team should be ashamed of.

  25. Watched Ep.1and 2 wow this is just bad bad bad .. iain Glen must still have a hangover from the greyscale as his accent is just awful.. the rest of the cast and it’s a good one do t seem to care a jot about the plot the acting or anything
    I’ll watch till the end but geeez it’s bloody dire

  26. Predictable, lazy story that seems composed by committee. Horrible waste of talent. The production values suggest that someone wasted literally tens of dollars on this laughable mistake.

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