Last Night’s TV – Blood and Oil

Just in case you haven’t seen last night’s first part of this intense two-parter, I won’t give away the plot – on pain of death from my husband who’s saving it ‘til weekend to watch all at once…

But what I can tell you is that this is one of those increasingly rare commodities; a truly gripping, powerful and infinitely compelling drama.

It began at break neck speed and already in the thick of sorrow as we saw Claire – played beautifully by Jodhi May – veritably keening over the body of her dead husband…

It’s a tale of corruption, and at the heart, oil. While the pawns and victims are most often the workers – who are often kidnapped and held to ransom or just plain slaughtered – and the intensity of the pace didn’t let up even once.

Written by Guy Hibbert, it’s an intelligent piece of work set in Nigeria’s Delta region where political intrigue, militancy and corporate ruthlessness combine to make this among the most dangerous places in the world. And perhaps it’s because it’s based in large part on reality, this drama is utterly convincing.

Company names, people etc., are of course fictitious, but the core of the tale could and probably does happen, so it makes it that bit more enthralling…

This was all best summed up when one of the character said, “Everyone takes a cut, all the way down the line, until the people at the bottom get nothing.”

The special effects and make-up departments must’ve been working overtime too in order to create the often shockingly realistic scenes. Some of the most disturbing were those of the slaughter of kidnapped workers; it was arguably a tad too realistic and made for uncomfortable viewing.

But uncomfortable or not, I’ll be taking the phone off the hook and shutting myself firmly in for part two tonight! If you missed part one, you can catch it here on BBC’s iPlayer.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.