Also like Bodyguard, the eight-episode show plunges you into a complicated web of relationship (and geopolitics) with little to no exposition. In 1994, Kate Ashby — played by an incandescent Michaela Coel — was rescued from a village in Rwanda during the genocide led by the Hutu majority government against the Tutsi minority population, which took 800,000 lives. As the only survivor of her village, Kate grows up burdened by trauma and survivor's guilt. Her adoptive mother, Eve (Harriet Lawyer), is a U.K.-based international lawyer who prosecutes war criminals like the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide.
When the show starts, Kate's just getting out of a mental hospital and Eve, for reasons that only become clear later, is about to prosecute a Tutsi general for war crimes. As Kate later learns, her mother — and her mother's friends – are keeping major secrets from her.
Here's what you need to know about Black Earth Rising's characters to seamlessly follow along with the action.