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Friday Finds: “The Terror”

Friday Finds shares a piece of content I’ve recently discovered on broadcast, cable, or streaming TV.

Today’s find: The Terror
Genre: Hour period suspense/thriller
Origin: EMJAG Prods./Entertainment 360/Scott Free Prods.
Find it on: AMC, season 1 (10x)

The Terror posterBoasting a strong headlining cast of Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, and Ciarán Hinds, AMC’s new series The Terror takes an unlikely setting – a Victorian expedition to the Arctic – and puts in motion a tale that appears to combine man against nature, and perhaps the supernatural.

The plot is based on the true story of the Terror and the Erebus. These two explorer ships from the Royal Navy were lost without a trace while trying to find the mythical Northwest Passage in 1848. The ships were finally discovered just a few years ago, in 2016, but their true story has been lost with their crews.

This series posits more sinister doings than just an ill-advised trip to the Arctic by overconfident Victorians. The series is anchored by a trio of experienced Britsh stars whose faces are likely more recognized than their names. Harris (Mad Men) plays Captain Crozier, whose caution on the expedition is ignored by expedition leader Sir John, played by Hinds (Rome, Game of Thrones). Menzies (Outlander) plays Fitzjames, an adventurer allied with Sir John, whom I think we’ll find out isn’t as brave as he likes to imply from his wardroom stories.

Despite its expanse, the Arctic is a suitable setting for this suspenseful thriller. Its unforgiving terrain and weather means any step off the ships can end badly, creating a sense of claustrophobia and constant dread. This Arctic effect has also worked well in films such as The Thing and Ice Station Zebra. Add in the potential for a supernatural menace stalking our intrepid crews and the suspense notches up even more.

Frozen thumbs up!

The first three episodes (a two-episode premiere and a regular hour) really caught my attention. While the story of two British ships stuck in the ice in the 1840s may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, it should be worth your while to give it a taste.

David Tice is the principal of TiceVision LLC, a media research consultancy.
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