Created by David Macpherson, ‘The Rig’ is an Amazon Prime supernatural thriller series that revolves around a crew stationed at the Kinloch Bravo oil rig in the North Sea. Several crew members are set to return to the mainland soon and reunite with their families. However, odd things start to happen on the rig, and machines stop working. And then, a fog comes and brings the reckoning for humanity with it.
If the people on the rig want to survive, they must trust each other. But doing so becomes increasingly complex, as many workers become affected by what the fog has brought. The horror drama series is a tale of the extreme effects of climate change. Given the world we live in, if that has made you wonder whether ‘The Rig’ is inspired by actual events, here is what we think.
Is The Rig a True Story?
No, ‘The Rig’ is not based on a true story, though elements of reality are embedded into its narrative. David Macpherson shares the writing credits for the show with Matthew Jacobs Morgan and Meg Salter, each of whom is credited for one episode. They began working on the script in December 2018. “… so it has been living in my head for so long now,” Macpherson told The Herald. “To actually see it all come to life is going to be exciting.”
Macpherson shared that ‘The Rig’ was inspired by his childhood fascination with oil rigs. “Oil rigs and that world had always been a part of my life growing up,” he said. “When they are getting repaired at Invergordon, they tower over the town, and you see them wherever you are. My dad used to build rigs at the yard in Nigg, and then, when we were a bit older, he started working offshore. He would always come back with lots of stories about all the strange things that happened out there.”
The debutant screenwriter added, “That world has fascinated me because it is such a big part of Scotland’s story. There’s so much tied up in it, yet it is also still a very hidden world. Unless you actually work out there, it is very hard to imagine what it is really like. Even with my dad and lots of my friends working offshore, having heard all the stories, it is nothing compared to being there and up close.”
‘The Rig’ has a fantastic cast comprising mostly Scottish actors. While Iain Glen is mainly known for portraying Jorah Mormont in ‘Game of Thrones,’ Martin Compston, Rochenda Sandall, and Mark Bonnar are former ‘Line of Duty’ alumni. Besides, Owen Teale, a Welsh actor known for portraying Ser Alliser Thorne in ‘Game of Thrones,’ also appears in the series. “I always wanted a strong Scottish element to the cast,” the creator said. “Someone said to me yesterday: ‘It’s like we have got the Scottish Avengers.’” According to Macpherson, adding Emily Hampshire, a Canadian actress, reflects that oil is an international business.
As a show, ‘The Rig’ is grounded in science fiction, so it was imperative for its writers to get some of the basic science right before the narrative could go off on a fictitious tangent. Though the series does that quite well, it becomes astounding while depicting the lives of the oil workers. Kinloch Bravo might be a fictional platform, and Pictor Energy might be a fictitious company. Still, Macpherson and his team strove to ensure that their portrayal of how things work on a rig is as realistic as possible.
Moreover, Glen consulted a former Offshore Installation Manager for his character, Magnus MacMillan, a fictional OIM in the series. ‘The Rig,’ despite being a show about an environmental disaster, depicts its characters with remarkable humanity, perhaps its greatest strength. To reiterate, while the Amazon Prime show does have some natural aspects, it’s not based on a true story.
Read More: Where is The Rig Filmed?