I’m still not over the casting of Michaela Coel in the BBC Two and Netflix thriller Black Earth Rising, which we reported in May. Perhaps it’s a withdrawal symptom of not watching her anymore in Chewing Gum, a show she created and wrote and whimsically starred as the lead role.
Unlike Chewing Gum‘s relaxed themes, Black Earth Rising is laden with some heavy, uncomfortable stuff, at least the trailer shows that much. Humming with a dark, brooding air, I almost believed that the show has a supernatural element, largely because of a scene that depicts Coel ominously saying, “Once you have been touched by evil, it never let’s go.”
I will always remember that, thanks. Playing across three continents (the UK, Europe, Africa), Black Earth Rising explores issues of justice, guilt and self-determination. The story centres on Kate Ashby (Coel), who was rescued as a young child during the Rwandan genocide and adopted by Eve Ashby, a world class British prosecutor in international criminal law.
Kate was raised in Britain and, now in her late twenties, works as a legal investigator in the law chambers of Michael Ennis (John Goodman). Per the synopsis, Eve takes on a case at the International Criminal Court and while prosecuting an African militia leader, the story detonates, pulling Michael and Kate into a journey that will upend their lives forever.
Written, directed and produced by BAFTA winner Hugo Blick, Black Earth Rising already feels slick and intense. The eight-part series is a co-production with Netflix and will premiere on BBC Two in the UK and Netflix will stream internationally outside the UK. Check out the trailer below.