Minnie Driver stars in the BBC's The Deep, a five-episode miniseries about a submarine searching the depths of the Arctic Ocean for organisms that could produce biofuels, replacing our dependence on dwindling fossil fuels. But everything goes awry.

The Deep premieres on BBC One on Tuesday, and it features an all-star cast. In addition to Driver, there's Jekyll's James Nesbitt, plus ER's Goran Visnjic and Rome's Tobias Menzies. Watery spoilers ahead...


Here's the synopsis, from the BBC's web site:

The Orpheus' team of scientists are on a mission to find a renewable source of energy in the depths of the Arctic Ocean. The last team who went died in mysterious circumstances, so the Orpheus crew are already feeling nervous when a salvage inspector unexpectedly joins their mission. What does he know about the lost crew, and who is he working for?


According to this article, the submarine is actually searching through the vent fields of the Lomonosov Ridge. And there are others out there besides the Orpheus' crew — but did these others cause what happened to the previous team who disappeared? Or are these mysterious others there to cover up what happened? Driver plays the submarine's captain, whose chief engineer (Nesbitt) is mostly concerned with finding out what happened to his wife, who was on the previous submarine. And then disaster strikes, and they get rescued by a huge, seemingly mostly empty, Russian submarine.

And here's a new interview with Driver, in which she reveals that the dangers the submarine faces include crushing water pressure and boiling gases. And she describes her character: "She reminded me so much of Ripley in Alien, and the whole thing was like the Abyss and State Of Play, action films and political thrillers. It ticked all the boxes for me and it would really have to, because it would take a lot to get me to bring my little boy to insanely freezing Glasgow in the winter!" And she says her character has to make lots of tough choices as the mission slowly unravels, and she's "compromised by what's going on."


It sounds like fun times, with just enough hard science to justify diving into the "claustrophobic submarine adventure" genre one more time. And it's a pretty great cast. No clue when it's coming to the United States though.