The Rig starts filming in Scotland for Amazon

The show has a starry cast headed by Iain Glen 

By Nia Daniels 29 Mar 2021

The Rig starts filming in Scotland for Amazon
Iain Glen

The Rig, Amazon’s first scripted series to shoot exclusively in Scotland, begins filming today, 29th March, on an oil rig and at FirstStage Studios in Edinburgh

The series comes from Wild Mercury Productions and creator David Macpherson. John Strickland directs. The drama stars Iain Glen (pictured), Emily Hampshire, Martin Compston, Rochenda Sandall, Owen Teale, Richard Pepple, Mark Bonna, Calvin Demba, Emun Elliott, Stuart McQuarrie, Molly Vevers and Abraham Popoola as the crew of the Kinloch Bravo oil rig, stationed off the Scottish coast in the North Sea. 

As the crew is about to be collected, a dramatic fog rolls across the water and the rig is hit by huge tremors. As the crew try to find out what’s driving the unknown force, a major accident forces them to ask questions about who they can really trust… 

The production is supported by Screen Scotland. Exec producer Derek Wax said at the time of the greenlight announcement: “The Rig is a character-driven, epic thriller, full of heart-grabbing action and bold, original ideas, and we are delighted to be working with Amazon Prime Video in bringing it to life.  

“David Macpherson captures life on a North Sea oil rig with extraordinary authenticity and it’s been exciting to work with him, director John Strickland and our creative team in realising the scale and vision of this world. “

The series is filming partly at FirstStage Studios, a major new filming facility in Port of Leith, Edinburgh that numbers Avengers: Infinity War among its recent visitors. FirstStage, run by Jason Connery and Bob Last, is leasing the site from Forth Ports Ltd on a 25-yr deal. 

The advent of the studio is good news for Scotland – many in the screen sector there have campaigned for years for a purpose-built facility as for decades, the country remained the only one of the UK’s nations and regions without a dedicated filming facility able to support large-scale, international productions. 

Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld is generally taken up with HETV regular Outlander, which has just had a seventh series greenlit. Edinburgh and Glasgow remain busy production hubs for location filming, having recently hosted The Batman, Tetris and The Princess Switch: Switched Again. 

For more on filming in Scotland, head to our UK filming guide

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