1 9 7 5 – 1 9 7 6 (UK)
13 x 50 minute episodes
Nigel Davenport, Barbara Shelley, Angela Douglas and others tried to suggest that life on a North Sea oil rig – in this instance the rig ‘Nelson One’ owned by the Triumph Oil company – wasn’t always crude. They failed . . .
Oil Strike North – filmed in Peterhead, Scotland – did not concern itself with boardroom battles and internal power struggles but focused on the claustrophobic atmosphere and the hardships endured on oil rigs and the impact this particular line of work had on the families of the rig workers.
The key characters were American drilling superintendent Frank Ward (Michael Whitney) and his wife Julie (Angela Douglas) who suffered at home while her husband lived and worked on the rigs.
Viewers were frequently reminded that the rig was cut off from the outside world as supply ships and helicopters made hazardous journeys in fierce weather conditions to deliver food and materials to the men who worked there.
The drama (such as it was) came from the rig coming under threat from adverse weather conditions, an explosive freighter adrift in the North Sea, or supply vessels that were unable to reach the men. But sadly, there was very little pace or drive to sustain viewer interest.
A poor response from the public ensured there was no second series.
Sir Norman Denison
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