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Series / Black Earth Rising

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Black Earth Rising is a 2018 British drama/Conspiracy Thriller television series written and directed by Hugo Blick. It airs on BBC Two for British viewers and it airs overseas through Netflix with the first episode released on September 10, 2018. It stars Michaela Coel, John Goodman, Harriet Walter, Noma Dumezweni and Tamara Tunie.

Taking place in both Europe and Africa, it centers on Kate Ashby, a British-Rwandan woman who was rescued from the aftermath of the Rwandan Civil War by Eve Ashby, a British barrister. When Harriet landed a case that involved the arrest of a Rwandan military officer turned mercenary and supposed war criminal Simon Nyamoya was apprehended and extradicted to Dutch soil.

Kate is conflicted with the case because Simon was involved in ending the Rwandan genocide, which clashes with Harriet's because he used child soldiers in his forces. While doing a case in the ICC, an assassin disguised as a National Police Corp motorbike takes out Harriet, her assistant and Simon in the streets of the Hague.

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With the help of Michael Ennis, Harriet's colleague and senior, Kate investigate why the murders happened. Meanwhile, something is happening inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo and peacekeepers from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or MONUSCO are moving in...


The show provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Decoy Protagonist: The first episode makes it seem like Eve, the experienced lawyer and adopted mother of Kate, is going to take on a case exposing a dark hidden secret about the Rwanda massacre by prosecuting a general who was seen worldwide as a hero who helped end it. She is then assassinated along with her legal team and the general she was going to use to expose the truth. This forces Kate to take up Eve's task and face the past she wanted to forget.
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  • Impersonating an Officer: See Wham Episode for more details.
  • Shown Their Work: Bouchard, a French-Canadian officer in the ranks of MONUSCO, mentions the failure of the first UN-mandated PKO and alludes to Roméo Dallaire's failures in "In Other News".
  • Wham Episode: "Looking at the Past" starts with a team of assassins that infiltrated the International Criminal Court in the Hague. While the three-man team failed in their diversion, a fourth assassin disguised as a NPC motorbike officer takes out the team and Harriet, her assistant and Simon.
    • The episode also ends with a warning written through the misty shower glass door of a female locker stop. "STOP".
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