If you remember Michael Bay’s 1998 doomsday flick “Armageddon,” you’d know that the workers on an oil rig are all kinds of tough, hardy, and at times crazy. Now imagine an oil rig, but instead of sending the workers into space, they’re forced to stay on that rig for an indefinite time as an inexplicably dense fog approaches everyone and supernatural things start happening. How does a group of people maintain unity when cut off from the rest of the world in the middle of the North Sea with a crewmate who starts behaving weirdly? That forms the central theme of John Strickland and Alex Homes’ 2023 supernatural thriller, “The Rig.” From January 6, 2023, all six episodes of “The Rig” will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime. Read on to find out how a crew of deep sea drillers finds themselves in the midst of an entity that rises from the bottom of the sea.
An Oil Drill, Stranded Crew, And Fog
Episode 1 of “The Rig” begins with the seabed erupting to let loose something that hides underneath, which causes bubbles on the surface of the water a little farther away from a Scottish oil rig, where the events are to unfold. It’s a sunny day, and the crew at Kinloch Bravo is in the usual mood that you can expect people to have after being on an oil rig for weeks. The cheeriest of them is Barry “Baz” Roberts, who’s excited to be on the next helicopter flying home when Leck Longman informs him that he’s been knocked off the list for Fulmer Hamilton. Meanwhile, the boss and offshore installation manager, Magnus MacMillan (Iain Glen), asks Fulmer to join him in the briefing room, along with Rose Mason (Emily Hampshire), the representative for Pictor Energy and the onboard scientist. At the briefing room, the crew faces further disappointment when Magnus informs them that they need to wait a bit longer because a power failure was reported from the North Kilscour platform. Arguments ensue, and the loudest of the lot is Lars Hutton, who seems bent on blaming all the miseries on Magnus. However, further arguments need to be put on hold as the rig starts shaking suddenly, and the crew prepares for an emergency evacuation. Meanwhile, the radio goes out, and the Kinloch Bravo is completely cut off from the outside world. If that wasn’t enough, a mysterious fog descends, thereby severely impacting the visibility. With the radio out and the crew stranded, Baz and Fulmer are called on to fix the radio. High up at the top, with fog making vision almost impossible, Baz and Fulmer get into an argument when the former mentions that he was bumped for the spot on the helicopter because Rose and Fulmer share a relationship. Irritated at Baz, Fulmer starts descending as Magnus and Hutton exchange a few more snide remarks below. Suddenly, a scream is heard, and moments later, a body crashes down. A harried Rose rushes down to the spot and is visibly relaxed to find Fulmer standing. Baz has fallen from the top, and he’s not moving.
Cat Braithwaite, the onboard medic, rushes to the spot as Hutton shouts at Fulmer for abandoning the inexperienced Baz at the top. Baz is breathing but is gravely injured and is shifted to the medical facility. Magnus demands an airlift, but Rose informs him that’s not possible because all the pipelines have been shut down in that oilfield. Meanwhile, Baz’s condition appears to be critical when Hutton goes off the rails and demands that Cat fixes him up. The calm and coolheaded Alwyn tries to keep the peace but fails and takes up the task of keeping a watch on Baz as Cat leaves to freshen up. In the communications room, Fulmer is wallowing in grief for Baz’s accident when Rose walks in and consoles him, and they share an intimate moment. In the washroom, Cat tells Heather about the plans she and her wife Macy have and is attacked on her way out by Hutton. However, Cat, an army medic, quickly pins the aggressive man down and leaves him on the floor to grovel. In the clinic, Baz regains consciousness and has a similar vision to the one we were shown at the start of the episode. Being knocked down hasn’t taught Hutton a lesson, and he goes to square off with Magnus in his office. After another argument, Magnus leaves, and Hutton spots a confidential file on the Off-shore Installation Manager’s desk. Tensions soar as Hutton makes a scene at the helipad in view of all the crewmates and threatens to expose Magnus’ dirty laundry when the man himself steps in. As it turns out, Pictor Energy had made plans to decommission the entire Kinloch Field and terminate every employee. With the crew trying to wrap their heads around the fact that their livelihood is under fire, tiny particles start falling from the sky that can be mistaken for snow but are actually ash. With ash flying and the fog all around, a battered and gruesomely injured Baz climbs to the top and claims that something has started to happen. By all rights, Baz shouldn’t be able to regain consciousness within such a short time after a fall like that, and yet, he manages to haul his broken body up to the top. The supernatural is already afoot. Interestingly, the man who went to bat for him so aggressively, Hutton, stands back with a confused face. Alwyn and Cat rush to his aid and lend him a jacket to protect him from the cold as he moans about something having already started as the credits roll.
A Hidden Message To Go Green?
“The Rig” can be viewed as a supernatural thriller where an entity arises from the pit of the sea to attack mankind in a typical “The Thing” or “Jaws” fashion, or it can be viewed as a commentary on the ill-treatment that mankind has subjected the earth to for centuries and is nature’s way of dishing out payback to the ones who have hurt her. Alwyn recounts how the sea they have set up the oil rig on was land once upon a time until the sea consumed everything in sight, thus reminding the crew of the power of nature. Rose Mason is the representative of the corporations that want to keep drilling into the earth for more resources, even to the extent of threatening the safety of the crew. While Hanson puts the safety of the people first, Rose’s main concern remains meeting the quota.
The series might be a wake-up call to the corporations that unless a man can abandon his greed and start taking responsibility for their actions, the entire world might face the same fate that the piece of land faced 8000 years ago, per Alwyn. “The Rig” also explores the human psyche and how it can lose its sanity when forced into challenging circumstances. The moment the crew learns that they are stuck on the oil rig with no means of going back, they begin to mutiny, with Hutton at the head. “The Rig” Episode 1 ends with situations going from bad to worse with no probable solution in sight.