Rig 45: A Non-Spoiler Review

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🇸🇪 RIG 45 🇸🇪

Rig 45 (2018-2020) is a Swedish TV crime/thriller series with 2 seasons. This is a review for season 1 which is available in the U.K. on Walter Presents All4. It has 6 episodes of 45 minutes. Rating mature audiences only. In English with a small amount of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.


“Two days before Christmas, Andrea is sent by Benthos Oil to investigate a fatal accident on the company’s North Sea rig. Faced with silence and a raging storm that cut off communications, she and the crew soon realize a killer’s on board.” IMDb


Lisa Henni as Petra
Gary Lewis as Douglas
Joy Johansson Vidar
Björn Bengtsson as Pontus
David Dencik as Mikkel
Søren Malling as Jens
Jakob Oftebro as Halvar
Ona Kamu as Ritva
Conor Mullen as Will
Judith Roddy as Mary
Catherine Walker as Andrea


Creators/Writers: Ola Norén, Roland Ukvselius
Director: Per Hanefjord
Cinematographer: Calle Persson
Editor: Margareta Lagerqvist
Production Designer: John Hand
Art Director: Owen Power
Costume Designer: Aisling Wallace Byrne


Although this on Walter Presents in the U.K., a curated VOD service that specialises in foreign language drama and comedy, with English subtitles this series is 90%+ in English with little dialogue in other languages and therefore limited subtitles. It is somewhat baffling as to why it is on Walter Presents at all.


Well know, the big attraction (or attractions) of Rig 45 for me was the cast, especially the Scandinavians but also wee Gary Lewis. Since it is an older series, in the scheme of things, but now free on Walter Presents with lots of actors I like I thought to myself “What could possibly go wrong?”

What could possibly go wrong? Firstly, I watch series on Walter Presents because I know that they will not be in the English language (maybe a little in the case of The Team, The Pleasure Principle, Moscow Noir but nowhere near 50% of the dialogue) so why would Rig 45 be any different? Why exactly is this series on Walter Presents?

Listening for any dialogue not in English and some subtitles became one of my occupations as this story played out. There is a little Swedish, Danish and Norwegian spoken.

Leaving this big moan aside (it is a VERY big moan) what did I make of the show itself. Comparisons have been made with BBC’s Vigil, I assume because these both involve the sea and a “locked in” Agatha Christie style scenario. You know, a murder, cut off from the outside world and then further murders. All very “And Then There Were None”.

There is, to my mind, nothing wrong with this sort of plot, however it does need a deft hand to tell this sort of story. There needs to be tension, of course, but that tension also needs to increase and decrease. We also, ideally, need at least one character we can sympathise or identify with for starters. Unfortunately for Rig 45 this sympathy is displaced and diluted in favour of what felt like a cheap shock factor (I bet you did not see THAT coming!) Not enough time was spent before that really building up a connection between the latest discarded character and the one we are now supposed to identify with.

Did I care enough about characters? No, not really. Why? Because most lacked depth and the depth we did get felt “written”. Would a couple more episodes allowing time for more depth fixed this? Possibly.

One of the other things that often happens in thrillers and horrors is that characters make ridiculous decisions and take part in stupendously idiotic actions. Everything from going around on their own, in that dark, with no weapon, following noises on their own when they know a killer is on the loose, to searching cupboards without shutting a room door behind them… Here we can also include repeatedly slapping a badly injured man around the face instead of applying a dressing and pressure bandage. As for special forces not fully assessing a situation… I will say no more!

Are there plot holes? Yes? This rig story is full of them. Now, I do not actually have an issue with plot holes per se, if the story and characters carry you along with them you tend not to notice and even if you do, you do not mind much. Unfortunately Rig 45 did not work in this way for me. Writing to a cliffhanger/shock at the end of every episode for a show that is only 6 episodes of 45 minutes seemed unnecessary.

I thought the performances in this were all solid, especially given the material. I liked the music a lot and the cinematography was good. Pacing was an issue as it lacked variation and that adversely affected how much tension and real jeopardy I felt.

By the end I guessed what was going to happen and in truth I had stopped caring about who was doing the murders and why a considerable time before that. For me this was a disappointing series even disregarding the fact that it is essentially an English language production which just rubbed salt into the wound. A good cast wasted.


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