Posted by: James Shaddock | Wednesday 23rd July 2008

‘Burn Up’

Just watched the first part of ‘Burn Up’, BBC Two’s two-part ‘eco-thriller’.

Set against the backdrop of the oil industry and climate change,  the drama follows Tom McConnell (Rupert Penry-Jones of ‘Spooks’) the newly appointed head of Arrow Oil, as he deals with the machinations of American oil lobbyist and  best friend Mack (‘The West Wing”s Bradley Whitford) who is trying to suppress the reality of global warming and climate change with a Kyoto 2 conference on the horizon.

Without giving the plot away for those who may want to watch it on BBC iPlayer, Tom ends up torn by his career in oil (where he was preceded as the head of Arrow by his father-in-law) after an Inuit climate change protester martyrs herself in front of him and it moves him the accept the findings of a key report written by his old university mentor.  This brings him in line with the vies of Holly (Neve Campbell from the ‘Scream’ series of films), the head of Arrow’s Renewable Division and together they’re thrown into a murky world of deceit and political power play between the oil barons and the US and UK Governments, which appears to be being fought between Mack and Philip (Marc Warren ‘Hustle’), a political fixer for the PM whose trying to get the US to sign up to Kyoto 2.

It has a strong cast, with a good and topical storyline, however it was a little predictable as although it was gripping in parts, you could tell what is probably going to happen. For example, I feel in part the basis of the storyline will switch to Mack and the US Government trying to suppress the fact that Saudi Arabia is running/has run out of oil.

Still, I’d give it an 8/10 so far. More to follow after part 2 on Friday night.

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