The Rig, a new supernatural thriller about a group of workers stranded on an oil rig, arrived on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 6 January. After a positive reception, Amazon announced at the end of February that the drama would return for a second series.
The series, which stars Martin Compston and Iain Glen, was the first Amazon Original to be filmed entirely in Scotland.
Here’s everything you need to know about The Rig.
What’s it about?
The workers of Kinloch Bravo oil rig are stranded, and forces beyond their imagination are closing in.
The official Amazon Prime Video synopsis explains that “when the Kinloch Bravo crew are due to be collected and return to the mainland, a mysterious and all-enveloping fog rolls through. The rig is hit by massive tremors, and they find themselves cut off from all communication with the shore and the outside world.”
“As the crew endeavour to discover what’s driving this unknown force, a major accident forces them to ask questions about who they can really trust. Bonds are broken, allegiances formed, and generational fault lines are exposed. The crew of the Bravo will be driven to the limits of both their loyalties and their endurance, leading to a confrontation with forces beyond their imagination.”
Who stars in The Rig?
Iain Glen plays Magnus MacMillan, the leader of the crew. Glen is probably most recognisable for Game of Thrones, in which he played Ser Jorah Mormont across all eight series, but you might also know him from Jack Taylor or Downton Abbey. He currently plays Batman on the DC series Titans.
Martin Compston plays Fulmer Hamilton, the communications officer. You’ll know Compston from Line of Duty, of course, but you might also recognise him from forensics drama Traces, paranoia thriller Our House, or from his recent appearance in the BBC drama Mayflies.
Emily Hampshire plays Rose Mason, a representative of the oil company. Prior to starring in The Rig, Hampshire played Stevie Budd in Schitt’s Creek and Jennifer Goines in 12 Monkeys. You might also recognise her from films like Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan or David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis.
They’re joined by Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe, Guilt) as Alwyn Evans, Rochenda Sandall (Line of Duty, Doctor Who) as Cat Braithwaite, Owen Teale (Game of Thrones) as Lars Hutton, Stuart McQuarrie (Trainspotting) as Colin Murchison, and Molly Vevers (The Spanish Princess) as Heather Shaw amongst others.
Who writes and directs?
The Rig was created by David Macpherson, a first-time screenwriter inspired by stories his father told him about working on an oil rig. Macpherson has been developing The Rig since 2018.
John Strickland, a director who has previously worked on Line of Duty and Hustle, directed all six episodes of The Rig.
Is there a trailer for The Rig?
Yes, there is! You can watch it right here.
When and how can I watch it?
The Rig will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video from Friday 6 January, which you can sign up for here. All six episodes of The Rig will be available at once as part of a boxset.
How many episodes are there?
The Rig is a six-part drama, with each episode around an hour long.
What do reviews of The Rig say?
In our review of The Rig, we described the series as an evocative, well-made supernatural thriller, arguing that it marks a strong start to the year for Amazon Prime - and a benchmark for its upcoming shows to meet.
Where was it filmed?
Interestingly, The Rig is the first Amazon original to film entirely in Scotland. The oil rig itself wasn’t a real one, but was constructed for the series.
Will there be a second series?
Yes, there will! On Thursday 23 February 2023, Amazon Studios confirmed that a second series was in development. The official press release explained that “Series 2 of The Rig will continue exploring global themes about the past, present, and future of the planet, all while delivering epic thrills and gripping action for its compelling cast of characters,” with many of the cast returning alongside a number of new characters.
“It was always my aim to build a story that starts in Scotland but speaks to a global audience about global themes,” said David Macpherson, writer and creator. “In Series 2, I’m looking forward to expanding the world of our show through the eyes of our excellent cast, as we deliver more shocks and thrills and delve deeper into both our characters’ and our show’s expanding original mythology.”
Filming for Series 2 is scheduled to begin in Edinburgh later this year.
Why should I watch The Rig?
I’ve seen the first episode, and it marks a really strong start to the year for Amazon Prime – the cast (more or less every acclaimed Scottish actor working) is fantastic, the direction is evocative, and it feels like it could be one of the first big contenders for the best shows of the year.